Can I Sue Someone Who Owes Me Money in Small Claims Court?
If asking in person, texting, and sending Venmo requests over and over has gotten you nowhere with someone who owes you money, it may be time to try a stronger approach. Carefully considering who owes you money, what the money's for, and how much is owed can give you a good idea of whether a lawsuit might be a helpful next step. While it's not appropriate to sue your brother over that fast food run he forgot to pay you, larger sums of money that you should have received for services from clients or expensive work-related purchases you were supposed to be reimbursed for may be grounds for suing someone who owes you money.
Reasons to File a Lawsuit Against Someone Who Owes You Money
Successfully suing someone who owes you money generally requires proving that a specific guideline or contract has been broken. Here are two key points to consider when determining whether your situation presents a strong argument for demanding your money from a legal standpoint.
|You Haven't Received Payment for a Product or Service||If you own a small business or have a side hustle, you deserve payment for your work within a reasonable amount of time. Although it is generally a good idea to provide a reasonable grace period and several reminders before considering legal action, suing a client who owes you a significant amount of money may be an acceptable last resort. This may be especially true if:
|A Contract Has Been Broken||Successfully suing someone who owes you money generally requires presenting proof that you have not received a specific payment that was agreed upon in advance. Typically, this requires more concrete evidence than a verbal agreement. You will have the best chance of succeeding if you have specific, concrete evidence, such as your client's receipt or invoice, a written contract, or a recorded conversation that states how much money is expected to be paid and for what reason. Providing this specific information shows that your client did not follow through with his or her end of an agreement and gives you a stronger argument for filing a lawsuit.|
File a Lawsuit Against Someone Who Owes You Money by Yourself
Although we recommend consulting a professional to make sure you understand what you are getting into, you can file a lawsuit against someone who owes you money by yourself. If you choose to go this route, you will need to complete the following checklist:
- Create and serve a demand letter with DoNotPay
- Submit a formal complaint that explains who you are suing, how much money that person owes you, and details surrounding what he or she owes you money for and the specific terms that he or she has not followed.
- Pay any filing fees associated with the process. These fees can vary by state and city, so make sure you have done your research.
Dangers and Issues With Filing a Lawsuit by Yourself
Although you can always file a lawsuit by yourself if you choose to do so, this is not likely to be your best move unless you have a high level of background knowledge surrounding the legal process.
The documents you will need to complete to even get started with the process of suing someone who owes you money must be completed precisely in order to be approved, and simply getting your case into a courtroom is in no way a guarantee that you will win and receive the compensation you are hoping for. Submitting paperwork that contains errors or does a poor job of explaining what someone owes you and why can result in both not receiving the money you are owed and losing any fees you have paid in the process of attempting to sue someone on your own.
How to Sue Someone Who Owes You Money With DoNotPay
Utilizing our digital service gives you a much stronger chance of succeeding than filing a lawsuit by yourself. Our robot lawyer blends the convenience of submitting paperwork whenever it works best for you with the reassurance of knowing the information you submit will be tailored to perfectly meet the needs of each party involved.
- Log into your DoNotPay account and select Sue Now
- Enter the dollar amount you are owed
- Select whether you prefer a demand letter or court filing forms
- Describe the reason for the lawsuit and submit any applicable details that support your argument, including photo proof
Once we receive this information, we can contact the person in question and submit your complaint to your local legal department for you to get the process of suing someone who owes you money started.
Your Robot Lawyer for Every Legal Need
What if the entity you need to sue isn’t an individual, though? We can do that too. Check out our resources on how to sue large companies and get the justice (and the payout) you deserve.