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Does anyone know anything about taking someone to small claims court?

I have gotton myself in a bind. The women I babysit for has gotton behind $250.00 She was supposed to pay me yesterday but never showed up. I am supposed to pick her Daughter up from school today and I plan on confronting her about the money tonight when she gets here to pick her up. If she doesnt give me it in full by december 1st I want to take her to small claims court but I have no idea how much it will cost or if she owes me enough money. Also, If I take her and she doesnt show up, will she get in trouble?

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Asked by MommyMel03 at 6:52 AM on Nov. 20, 2008 in Money & Work

Level 1 (0 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • Your local court will have different fees.. call down to the general sessions court and ask (they should be listed in the phone book) what the fees are and how you go about filing. When I ran various doctor's offices we would file in small claims court. They may have other suggestions about pursuing her for the money as well.

    Answer by KnoxvilleDoula at 8:53 AM on Nov. 20, 2008

  • You go to the magistrate court of the county in which SHE lives in. It costs about $60 to file and they will have someone serve her with the papers. She has 30 days to answer, yes, no or if she doesnt answer at all, then you win by default. Now going about getting money out of her is a different story. You gotta know where she works, bank account info. They can't collect the money for you, they just render a judgment to give you the right to take it once you find it. She might get scared and just pay you. Thats the best thing that could happen. Also you dont need to keep her kid anymore and once she finds out what youre going to do, she might not want you to anyway...LOL...Hope it all works out for you.

    Answer by momofsaee at 8:58 AM on Nov. 20, 2008

  • The last poster is correct, you need to go to the local magistrate's office and they should be able to help you. You will have to fill out a few forms, and pay a small filing fee, then wait for her to answer (or not). It's a lot of hassle for a small amount, but probably your only chance to get her to actually pay you.

    Answer by adoptionsc at 9:18 AM on Nov. 20, 2008

  • Also if this person has left items such as car seats, play pens, toys, and anything else of value you can hold these items until she pays. Another thing that works really well is let her know that you are going to write a letter to the paper warning everyone who babysits that she doesn't pay her daycare debt and to collect the money up front. If she is at all worried about her reputation then she doesn't want this to print in the paper. Good Luck

    Answer by Granna2006 at 11:50 AM on Nov. 20, 2008

  • Also keep in mind that while it is fairly easy to take someone to small claims and win - collecting the money is different. Most courts do NOT require her to pay right then and there. They leave it up to you to get the money - which is where you are now. Do NOT expect to get any money just becuase to win the case.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 12:15 PM on Nov. 20, 2008

  • It's not worth it. You'll be wasting time and money for any claims under $400.

    Answer by legalmommy101 at 7:11 PM on Nov. 21, 2008

  • Yep I sued an apartment complex in small claims court & won. He announced a judgement against them in the amount I had sued for. The next words out of the magistrates mouth was, that while they were the legal deciding authority on the matter, he wanted to inform me that they were not a collection agency. I got lucky & they paid up. I think it was because it was a large corporate management company that ran the complex.


    Answer by strongmom40 at 2:00 PM on Nov. 30, 2008

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