If you are a small business owner, it is probably inevitable that you will eventually have a dispute with a customer. If that dispute involves $3,000.00 or less, you may want to file a suit in small claims court.
Can I Do That?
It is a common misconception that corporations and limited liability companies cannot use the small claims process. Michigan law allows a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation to be represented in court by an officer or employee of the business who has direct and personal knowledge of the facts. (A limited liability company is considered a partnership and the Affidavit and Claim form, which starts the small claims process, should be completed that way). If the officer or employee is no longer employed or is medically unavailable, then the representation can be made by that person’s supervisor, the sole proprietor or an officer or member of the board of directors of a corporation.
How Do I Do It?
The Michigan courts have created a very helpful “How-To” Guide to answer your questions about the small claims process. As noted in the guide, the parties in a small claim action may not be represented, in court, by an attorney. However, you may still consult with an attorney before the court hearing, so that you are well informed about how the hearing will proceed, which evidence to bring with you to court, whether to subpoena witnesses to come to the hearing and what will be expected of you.
Questions? Contact us for a free consultation!