What should I bring on the day of the trial?
You must be prepared to prove the truthfulness of your claim or, if you are the defendant, that you are not responsible for the damage or debt that the plaintiff is claiming. You should bring all documents that pertain to your complaint or defense. You should bring copies of the documentation (i.e. copy of the police report, two estimates of repair for the damaged vehicle photographs, surveys, receipts, cancelled checks and other evidence) so you can present a vivid picture of the case to the Court. You may also consider bringing any written communication that may have been transmitted between the parties. Very often the judge will want to know if any reasonable efforts were made to settle the dispute before coming to Court. 
Can I bring a witness to testify on my behalf at the trial?
Yes, witnesses may be an important part of your case in small claims court. In cases involving poor workmanship (such as repairs on your car), an experienced and impartial person in the same trade makes an ideal witness. 

Most small claims witnesses are willing to come to court to tell the judge what happened. Occasionally, a witness will not come to court voluntarily or cannot get permission to leave work. If a witness is important to your case and a subpoena is necessary to ensure their appearance for the court date, you can request that the Court issue a subpoena. A subpoena is a court order, which will compel that witness’ appearance before the Court. The Court charges Fifty dollars ($50.00) for the issuance and service of each subpoena. 

In order for a subpoena to be issued, you must provide the Court with the full name, address and telephone number of the witness. The deputy marshal will serve the subpoena on the witness. Please note that without the subpoena, the witness has no legal obligation to appear in Court to testify. It is important that you have all witnesses whom you need to testify at the Court and prepared to testify on the day and time of your trial.

On the Day of the Trial
What happens on the day of the trial?

It is advised that you arrive at the courthouse early so that you will be present in the courtroom when your case is called. 

At the trial, both plaintiff and defendant will be given an opportunity to introduce evidence, ask questions of the witnesses, and explain to the judge why judgment should be entered in their favor. 

The “plaintiff” is the person or entity who filed the complaint; therefore, the plaintiff will proceed first, providing testimony and evidence to support the claims made in the complaint. The “defendant” is the person or entity whom the claim is against. The defendant will have the right to ask the plaintiff and any witnesses who testified on plaintiff’s behalf, questions at the conclusion of their testimony. 

Once the plaintiff has concluded presenting his or her case, the defendant will be given an opportunity to present his or her case (defense). The defendant may testify and bring witnesses to testify on his or her behalf. The plaintiff will have the opportunity to question the defendant and any witnesses who testified on the defendant’s behalf at the conclusion of their testimony. 

If a counterclaim was filed, the defendant will be given an opportunity to testify as to the basis of the counterclaim. 

The judge, in his or her discretion, may also question witnesses who appear on either party’s behalf and the parties themselves. 

Finally, the judge will allow both the plaintiff and defendant to make final statements or questions. The length of hearings varies depending on the complexity of the cases and the amount of evidence and testimony that is introduced. 

After listening to all the testimony and reviewing the evidence, the judge will usually make a decision that day in Court. The judge may also choose to take more time to consider the case, and will notify the parties in writing of the Court’s decision at a later time.

After Judgement is Entered
After the judge makes a decision, the decision will be put into a written document called an Order or a Judgment. Once this document has been signed by the Judge, the Court will provide a copy of the decision to both parties. 

If you are the prevailing party and are awarded monies in a judgment, you may proceed and collect the monies owed to you ten (10) days after the judgment is awarded. You may be paid promptly. If you require the assistance of the Superior Court Marshal in collecting the monies awarded, you must file a Praecipe (a formal document available at the Superior Court) requesting that a Writ of Execution be issued to the party owing the debt. 

A Writ of Execution directs the Superior Court Marshal to demand payment from the losing party. A Writ of Execution is good for sixty (60) days. Please provide accurate and correct information on the Praecipe in order to assist the Deputy Marshals in collecting monies on the outstanding judgment.

Copies of Judgment
You may request a copy of a Small Claims Judgment from the Small Claims Division. The cost of each additional copy of a Judgment is $1.00 per page. The cost of a certified copy of the entire Judgment is $10.00 per document.