If I sue in small claims court, can I sue for my lost wages for the time I’m taking off to go to court?

UPDATED: Feb 18, 2012

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If I sue in small claims court, can I sue for my lost wages for the time I’m taking off to go to court?

The person who accepted my holding deposit breached her contract (written) with me, and so I want to sue for the amount of that stop payment (she originally said she was going to return it to me but has not and refuses to). If I put a stop payment on the check, can I sue her in small claims court for the amount of the stop payment, plus my time off work for going to court?

Asked on February 18, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No, the law does not allow a plaintiff to recover his or her lost wages for  the time spent in court; this is something which instead the plaintiff must weigh, in determining whether it is worthwhile to sue--if the opportunity cost from the time spent on the litigation, such as lost wages for time spent in court, exceeeds what you hope to recover,  then it does not make any economic sense to sue.

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