Trial Preparation Tool

Disclaimer

This is not a script; it is a tool to assist a non-lawyer in making an orderly presentation. The following is information only. For legal counsel contact a licensed attorney. Neither the Judge nor the Clerks of the Court are able to give any legal advice. 

What to Expect

The Justice of the Peace Court is a Court of Law and of Fact. It is not a Court of personal opinion or hearsay. Comments regarding an individual’s character will not be tolerated. Everyone will be treated with respect. Court will begin promptly.

Organize your documents and what you want to say before coming to Court. You will have about 10 minutes to present your case. The Judge will give you the opportunity to respond to the evidence, if any, and the Judge may ask questions of both parties.

Justice of the Peace Courts are not “courts of record.” There is no court reporter, and recording devices are not permitted.

Prepare Your Case

Be prepared to:

  • Identify yourself
  • Produce the documents that support your claim
  • Produce proof of the defendant’s status with the military
  • Produce a Service Members Civil Relief Act Affidavit
  • State the details of any agreements
  • State the details of damages (damages means sum of money)
  • State the details of how you calculated your damages (sum of money)
  • State the nature of your claim in one sentence
  • State the pertinent dates

In all cases, the Judge may elect to follow such other Rules of Civil Procedure and Evidence as are deemed necessary to be followed to ensure that the proceedings are fair to all parties.

Scope of Your Case

When it is concerning matters of law, go first to the specific then to the general.

Eviction Cases

Go first to 510 Series of Rules, then go to the 500 through 507 Series of Rules. If there is a conflict, the 510 Series overrides any other.

The 508 and 509 Series of Rules do not apply to eviction cases.

Landlord’s Duty to Repair or Remedy Residential Rental Property

Go first to the 509 Series of Rules then to the 500 thru 507 Series of Rules. If there is a conflict, the 509 Series overrides any other.

The 508 and 510 Series of Rules do not apply to cases to enforce a landlord’s duty.

Debt Claim Cases

Go first to the 508 Series of Rules, then to the Rules 500 through 507. If there is a conflict, the 508 Series overrides any others.

The 509 and 510 Series of Rules do not apply to debt claim cases

Small Claims Cases

Only the 500 through 507 Series of Rules apply.