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Small Claims

A small claims case is a simplified type of court case in which a person can attempt to recover money or personal property worth $10,000 or less. If your claim is over $10,000, you can still use small claims court, but you must give up the right to collect the amount over $10,000. The $10,000 figure does not include interest or court costs. You do not need a lawyer in a small claims case, although you may have one if you wish. Small claims court may only be used if all parties agree to this simplified procedure.

Small claims procedure may not be used for any of the following:

  1)   disagreements about title to real property
2)   actions to recover possession of real property
3)   evictions
4)   claims against the State of Alaska or the United States government
5)   injunctive relief (a court order requiring a person to do or not to do a specified act)
6)   actions to foreclose or enforce statutory, common law or possessory liens

Before You File

You must always ask the defendant for what you want before you sue. It helps if your request is in writing. Your problem may be solved if the defendant decides to give you the money you are owed or return the personal property rather than face a lawsuit.

It is not expensive to file a small claims action. However, if you lose, you will lose your court costs, and you may also have to pay the defendant's court costs. Lawsuits should not be used merely to harass people. If you believe you have a good claim and can prove your case, you should file the suit. The question you should ask yourself is whether you can show the judge facts which will prove your case. The facts can come from your own testimony, the testimony of other people, documents, pictures, and even the testimony of the defendant, whom you can call as a witness and force to answer questions under oath.

An important thing to consider before you decide to sue someone to collect money is that the court will not actually give you your money if you win. All the court will give you is a Judgment stating that you are entitled to collect the money from the defendant. If the defendant does not pay voluntarily, you must use another court procedure called "execution procedure" to attempt to enforce the Judgment. This procedure will only be successful if the defendant has money or property which can be seized to pay the Judgment. For more information about execution procedure, see our Collections section.
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Important Notice & Assurance of Voluntary Compliance
Alaska Paralegal Services & Self Help Legal Center, LLC is in complete compliance with AS. 08.08.230 regarding the Unauthorized Practice of Law. We are not attorneys, nor do we portray to be. All parties are "pro se " and will file any and all court documents as "pro se." We do not offer or provide any legal advice, opinions, conclusions, persuasions or otherwise. The services provided are only administrative and of a clerical nature and are based solely on educated civil opinion and common prototype. Alaska Paralegal Services & Self Help Legal Center, LLC also dba Alaska Legal Typing is a document preparation company and makes no guarantee or warranty on forms purchased for or authorized by our customers. Alaska Paralegal Services & Self Help Legal Center, LLC urges the public to seek the advice of a qualified attorney before making any final legal decisions.

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