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Utilizing Small Claims Court For A Breach Of Contract Lawsuit

Utilizing Small Claims Court For A Breach Of Contract LawsuitIn this article, you can discover:

  • How to file a breach of contract claim in small claims court
  • The benefits of filing your claim in small claims court
  • An overview of breach of contract claims in Illinois

What Is Small Claims Court?

Small claims court is a division within the circuit court system in Illinois where claims that fall under a certain monetary threshold are heard. The limit on how much money you can recover in small claims is usually $10,000. Parties frequently proceed without attorneys in small claims court and instead present their cases themselves directly to a judge.

Why Would An Unpaid Contractor Utilize Small Claims Court To File A Breach Of Contract Lawsuit?

If the amount of money you’re seeking falls within the limits, small claims court could be a great option. Small claims court can be efficient and beneficial because the parties can speak directly with the judge. This could result in receiving a relatively quick disposition. You can also save money on attorney’s fees, which can add up quickly and diminish the amount you recover.

What Are The Steps Of Filing A Case In Small Claims Court As An Unpaid Contractor?

The steps for filing a case in small claims court can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The best way to find this information is by looking at the website for the courthouse where you intend to file.

If you’re interested in representing yourself in small claims court but need help getting started, our firm can still assist you. We can guide you through the filing process to make sure it is done correctly. This could significantly reduce your attorneys’ fees.

What Constitutes A Breach Of Contract In Illinois?

Whether you’re a contractor or a tradesman providing a service, every breach of contract case is treated the same. You need to prove there was an offer, an acceptance and consideration.

When a party does not follow the terms of the contract, you have a potential breach of contract action. As a contractor, you ideally want to have a contract in writing that includes:

  1. The scope of the project,
  2. The expected payment amount,
  3. When you’re going to be paid, and
  4. How the parties are going to communicate with one another.

How Do I Initiate A Breach Of Contract Lawsuit?

If the amount you’re owed is significant enough that it doesn’t qualify for small claims court, our firm can assist you in filing a breach of contract claim. Straightforward breach of contract claims are relatively inexpensive to file.

What Evidence Do I Need For Small Claims Court Or To File A Breach Of Contract Lawsuit?

To have a strong breach of contract claim, you need to have documentation that clearly demonstrates how much you are owed and why. This is true whether you’re filing in small claims court or in regular civil court. Helpful documentation may include:

  • Contractor agreements,
  • Receipts,
  • Copies of checks that were paid to others,
  • Proof of expenses
  • Proof of the payment schedules.

What Outcomes Are Available In Small Claims Court And Breach Of Contract Claims?

The potential outcome in either type of case are generally the same. The law states that you are entitled to the benefit of your bargain. In other words, you’re entitled to the benefits of what you were supposed to have been paid under the contract.

What Are The Differences Between Breach Of Contract Claims in Small Claims Court & Regular Court?

The primary difference between small claims court and regular civil court is the dollar value that you’re seeking. Small claims court cases also generally move faster because attorneys are not involved and the process is typically streamlined.

When it comes to the process, all breach of contract claims are generally the same. The contractor must gather information that establishes proof of what is owed. Contractors need to be aware that to protect themselves, they need to maintain a separate file for each project and maintain meticulous records.

What Is The Role Of An Attorney In The Small Claims Process?

An attorney can help you with small claims matters, but it may not be cost-efficient to hire one. For example, if you’re seeking $2,000 or some similar amount, the attorneys’ fee will likely eat up a substantial portion of your potential recovery. However, if you’re an existing client, our firm can frequently help with a small claims case for a very nominal cost.

For more information on Small Claims And Breach Of Contract In Illinois, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (630) 608-2124 today.

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