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Who Can File a Claim?

You must be at least 18 years old to file a claim. If you are not yet 18, you may ask the court to appoint a guardian ad litem. This is a person who will act for you in the case. The guardian ad litem is usually a parent, relative, or adult friend.

A person who sues in Small Claims Court must first make a demand of the other party if possible. This means you have asked the defendant to pay and the defendant has refused. If your claim is for possession of personal property, you must ask the defendant to give you the property.

Unless you fall within two technical exceptions, you must be the original owner of the claim. This means that if the claim is assigned, the buyer cannot sue in Small Claims Court. You must appear at the hearing yourself unless you filed a claim for a corporation or other entity that is not a natural person.

If a corporation files a claim, an employee, officer, or director must appear and act on its behalf. If the claim is filed by an association or other business entity, a regularly employed person of the entity must appear and act on its behalf. A person who appears for a corporation or other entity must not be employed or associated solely for the purpose of representing the corporation or entity in Small Claims Court. You must file a declaration with the court to appear in any of these instances.

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