How can I file suit against someone for $8500 without hiring an attorney?

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How can I file suit against someone for $8500 without hiring an attorney?

I invested in a business to increase inventory. According to our contract the original investment plus 15% of the profit was to be paid when merchandise was sold. The merchandise has been sold but the other party refuses to pay the last 1/3rd of what he owes me. To hire an lawyer would cost the majority of what is owed, $8500. How can I sue myself and is there any legal people who can procedural/filing advise? Thanks

Asked on March 1, 2012 under Business Law, Massachusetts


Trevor Clement / Law Office of Trevor A. Clement, LLC

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You can file a lawsuit in the District Court or the Small Claims Court.  Small claims is much easier and faster, but the limit you can sue for is $7,000.

Whichever path you take, you need to know which court to sue in.  You will be suing in the District Court which has jurisdiction over the town you live in.  Go here to find it:

If you are going to sue in small claims, then you need to go to the Civil Clerk's Office at the courthouse and get a small claims form.  Fill it out and file it.  It will cost you a small fee.

Then have the form served according to the directions on it.  You will need to mail it certified mail to the defendant.  Then come back to court on the day they tell you.  If everyone appears, you have a trial.  If they don't show, you win.

Helpful small claims info:

 A regular civil case (not small claims) is more complicated.  You will need to file a Complaint and have it served according to the Rules of Civil Procedure.  I can't tell you how to do an entire civil case; it's simply too much to type out. But you will need to know the rules of the court:

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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