Can someone point me to the correct forms?

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Latest post Wed, Jan 4 2017 7:24 AM by karen2222. 2 replies.
  • Tue, Jan 3 2017 7:22 PM

    Can someone point me to the correct forms?

    Hi,

     

    I'm in Washington state and I intend to sue someone in small claims court.   I have all my evidence and everything ready to go, I just need to notify the person I'm sueing, give them a chance to settle, and/or file the actual lawsuit.

     

    I'm fairly sure I have the correct forms, but I want to be sure.  I would hate to lose my first law suit because I didn't file the right forms or something.

     

    So, can someone please link/tell me... What is the correct form to notify the person?  I understand I have to notify them, then give them 10 days..?  Then file the lawsuit if they don't respond in that 10 days?

     

    I'm fairly sure they will want to settle out of court, so the only form I'm concerned about right now is the one to notify them of an impending lawsuit.  

     

    Any information you can provide will be greatly appreciated.  

     

    Thank you and Happy New Year!

    --Elmo

     

     

     

  • Tue, Jan 3 2017 11:13 PM In reply to

    Re: Can someone point me to the correct forms?

    You likely do not have have to make a formal demand for payment before filing the lawsuit. That may depend on the nature of the claim against the defendant. But even if you don’t have to make demand, it is often useful to do it. There is no special form for it. Send the defendant a short, concise letter that is respectful in tone stating that you demand payment of whatever amount of money you are seeking and why, and provide a reasonable deadline and see how the defendant responds.

  • Wed, Jan 4 2017 7:24 AM In reply to

    Re: Can someone point me to the correct forms?

    ElmoTheDestoyer:
    So, can someone please link/tell me... What is the correct form to notify the person?  I understand I have to notify them, then give them 10 days..?  Then file the lawsuit if they don't respond in that 10 days?

    That's not quite correct.  According to the Washington State Court system's webpage An Introduction to Small Claims Court, the form you fill out to start your case is a multipurpose form that serves both the function of actually filing your lawsuit and notifying the defendant that you did so.  Be aware that even though they have a form there on that website, they tell you to contact the court directly to obtain the form you should actually use - don't download and try to submit the form on the website.

    You have basically three options for starting communication with the person who owes you money.  Generally the most sensible first step is (1), the one recommended by Taxagent:

    (1) Just send a letter or even an email.  Ask them to pay you what they owe you, and explain why they owe you that amount.  Include any of your evidence that you think will help persuade them to pay.  Optionally you can say in your letter that you will file in small claims court if you don't hear back from them by a certain date.

    (2) Same as (1), but also include with your letter a copy of your small-claims filing paperwork that you have filled out but not yet submitted to the court.  This can be a good idea if you believe the defendant is dishonorable, easily scared, and not likely to get angry in response.

    (3) Go ahead and start your small claims lawsuit.  Since you believe the defendant is likely to settle, this is likely not a good choice for you.

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