Q: Do I have to have an attorney to file a small claims case?
A: No. In fact, you don’t have to have an attorney to file any case. While representing yourself in court is almost never a good idea, the small claims system is designed to allow quick resolution of small disputes, and the rules are designed in a way that makes representing yourself easier than it would be in a major lawsuit. But before you file a case, you should familiarize yourself with the process. You can do this from any computer. Simply go to The Oklahoma Supreme Court Network at www.oscn.net. Once there, click on “Legal Research,” then “Oklahoma Statutes Citationized.” Click on “Title 12,” then on Section 1751. Read this section and the following sections, through Section 1773. You can even do this in your pajamas.
Most actions seeking to recover up to $6000.00 in money damages or property can be filed in small claims court, including suits that are based on contracts, torts, and repossessing personal property. But suits against anyone for libel or slander and suits against a city, county or state agency, or their employees that result from incarceration cannot be filed in small claims court. Persons who are currently incarcerated may not bring small claims actions.
As the plaintiff, you initiate the suit by filing an affidavit. The form of the affidavit is set out in the statutes identified above. Copies of the form may also be obtained from the court clerk, and the law requires the court clerk to assist you in drafting the affidavit if you request. This does not mean that the court clerk will give you legal advice. That won’t happen.
You must pay a fee to file the affidavit with the court clerk. The court clerk will then set a date for a hearing and help you serve the defendant.
If your case is for less than $1500, it will be tried to the court without a jury. But if you seek more than $1500, either party may demand a jury trial by written notice to the court clerk at least two working days before the hearing date. Whichever party requests a jury will have to pay a small additional jury fee.
Then, on the date of your hearing, you go to court and argue your case. You should take any witnesses and documentary evidence you have. Good luck.
MATT HOPKINS is an attorney for Lester, Loving & Davies P.C. More information is available at lldlaw.com. Send questions to email@example.com.
Q: Do I have to have an attorney to file a small claims case?
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Edmond church to host free eye clinic
An Edmond church and Feed the Children are partnering to provide a free eye clinic.
Individuals will be able to receive a free vision test and free prescription eye glasses from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Waterloo Road Baptist Church, 3100 E. Waterloo Road. All ages are welcome and registration is not required.
July could be coolest in weather record books
With chances for soaking rains and unseasonably cool temperatures becoming frequent, a weather expert is increasingly convinced Oklahoma will end up with a historic July.
At mid-afternoon Tuesday, the National Weather Service forecast for Edmond called for the high Wednesday to be near 73 with a 90 percent chance of heavy rain, followed by the high Thursday near 78 with a 30 percent chance of showers.
Highs are expected to remain in the 80s into Monday.
Downtown Master Plan accepted by council
The 2014 Downtown Master Plan Study was accepted by a 3-0 vote Tuesday evening by the Edmond City Council.
Fort Worth-based consulting group Freese and Nichols presented their final update to the 1998 Downtown Master Plan. The city hired the group at a cost of $300,000 to make recommendations for future development of Broadway in the central business district.
“There are clearly some short-term (parking) options that we feel should move forward,” said Cody Richardson, of Freese and Nichols consultants of Fort Worth. “Better signage at existing parking lots.”
UCO forensic volunteer wants to aid more agencies
A four-person group of forensic investigators who volunteer their time to help smaller Oklahoma police departments isn’t enough to meet demand, a member said.
Kama King, who recently completed her graduate research and will be a member of the faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Forensic Science Institute, said outside of full-time jobs, members of the group volunteer to assist these agencies.
As her career progresses, King hopes to help establish a permanently funded organization available to any agency in the state to assist in remains recovery as well as related training.
Lambrecht Construction to build office
The commercial site plan of a physician’s office was approved recently by the Edmond Planning Commission by a vote of 4-0.
Lambrecht Construction plans to build the office at 3917 E. Covell Road in the Fairfax Business Office, north of Covell and west of Sooner Road, said Bob Schiermeyer, city planner.
More cameras monitoring Edmond motorists
The Edmond City Council this week approved a services agreement with Electronic Technology, Inc. For the installation of Intelligent Transportation Systems’ video wall system at a cost of $314,620. The vote was 3-0.
ITS is a fiber optic, wireless or hybrid communication system of monitoring road events and equipment in the field, data archiving and predicting traffic volume, said Kent Kacir, an engineer with Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc.
Shootout of a sale
An original article of the Wild West will be made available at auction Thursday. The rifle of legendary lawman Wyatt Earp will be part of the J. Levine Auction & Appraisal’s Summer Quarterly Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Earp was an Arizona deputy sheriff and deputy town marshal in Tombstone, Ariz. He is legendary for playing a key role in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. He died in 1929 at age 80.
Wyatt Earp collector Barry Tapp of Edmond will be selling his 1895 Wyatt Earp Marlin rifle at the auction. The rifle has an estimated value between $50,000 and $75,000. It includes authentication documentation from Tombstone Heritage Museum, according to the auction house
UCO forensic researcher answers key question
After working a few human recovery cases on a volunteer basis with a variety of police departments, a question kept bugging Kama King.
“You spend the whole day,” the UCO W. Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute student said, “sometimes days, searching for someone and only find a skull or a few bones and it just ate at me. Are we not finding this or is it not there to be found?”
Oklahoma sales tax takes a holiday
Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 1 and ending at midnight Aug. 3, Oklahomans will be able to participate in a sales tax holiday giving shoppers the opportunity to purchase certain clothing and shoes free of sales tax.
Yes, retailers may not charge tax, including state and local sales taxes on items that are tax-exempt during the sales tax holiday weekend. The sales of clothing and shoes priced at less than $100 are exempted from sales taxes.
Peace through Business empowering women entrepreneurs
Peace Through Business is part of the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) based in Oklahoma City. It is a program that connects small business entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda with business owners in Oklahoma. One such entrepreneur found out about the program from a friend, applied, and was accepted to take part in this year’s session.
Upon earning a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Universite de Sciences et Technique de Lille in Belgium, Lyliose Nduhungirehe began her career working for a construction company in Brussels, but she quickly switched paths to Information Technology.
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