Can You Sue a Non-Profit in Small Claims Court?
A non-profit organization is a corporation or business that is not conducted or maintained for the purpose of making a profit. These organizations don't generate income for the founders, stakeholders, or organizers that created them. However, non-profits are typically structured as a corporation and often hire paid employees. Like all other organizations, nonprofits are responsible for conducting ethical business and liable for events that occur on the property. This means you can sue a non-profit for damages in a lawsuit.
Whether you're employed by a non-profit, seeking services from the organization, or simply visited a facility, you may have a legal reason to sue. However, suing a non-profit without a lawyer or legal background may be difficult. You must use the right legal channels to prove your claim is valid, and the organization will probably employ a lawyer. Luckily, there is a simple way to sue a non-profit in small claims court. DoNotPay can assist you with the process of filing a lawsuit against a non-profit without expensive lawyer fees or the hassles of taking care of your case alone.
Reasons to File a Lawsuit Against a Non-Profit
The three most common reasons for suing non-profits include contract disputes, employment law claims, and personal injury lawsuits. Yet, there are many lawsuits that can fall under these three categories.
Suing a Non-Profit for Employee Disputes
Employees who work for a non-profit organization have the same rights as those who work for other businesses. As an employee, you're entitled to just treatment in the workplace. The most common reasons employees sue non-profits include:
|Harassment||This may include sexual harassment, discriminatory practices, bullying, etc.|
|Wrongful Termination||If you were unjustly fired by a non-profit organization, you have the right to sue.|
|Wage/Hour Disputes||Lack of familiarity with local employment laws and limited finances can lead to poor wages or limited hours. For example, even when employees are willing to work extra hours for regular pay, overtime pay is required by law.|
Suing a Non-Profit for Contract Disputes
Like businesses that operate for a profit, non-profit organizations enter a variety of contracts for routine operations. For instance, non-profit organizations hire contractors for building projects, they have contracts with employees, contracts involving goods or services, and some types of funding are subject to contracts as well. If a non-profit organization doesn't stand by a legally binding contract and owes you money, you can sue. Some reasons plaintiffs sue non-profits for contract issues include:
- Non-payment for work completed
- Misappropriation of funds
- Fraudulent claims
- Failure to uphold employee contracts
- Property disputes involving shared or rental property
As a plaintiff, you may assume that a non-profit organization doesn't have funds to pay. However, while directors and members may not be responsible for payment, the assets for payment will come from the corporation.
How to Sue a Non-Profit by Yourself
If you don't have the money to hire a lawyer, you may want to file a lawsuit against a non-profit by yourself. If you decide to take this route, you should take care to ensure you follow the legal procedure carefully to avoid mistakes.
- Talk to the owner of the organization to see if the issue can be resolved without a lawsuit.
- Gather evidence that will support your claim.
- Pay the filing fee.
- File a complaint.
- Serve the defendant with notice of the claim.
- Subpoena witnesses.
- Show up for the trial.
Dangers and Issues With Filing a Lawsuit Against a Non-Profit by Yourself
Filing a lawsuit against a non-profit organization can be tricky. While these organizations do have to follow the same laws as other businesses, laws vary from one state to the next, and it can be difficult to prove wrongdoing. For example, even when you know you're being mistreated as an employee, it can be difficult to acquire tangible proof. These are the biggest issues that you might encounter when filing a lawsuit against a non-profit on your own:
- You fail to understand the laws the organization must abide by.
- Inaccurate procedures during the filing process can get your case dismissed.
- You fail to present your case convincingly when facing the defendant's professional lawyer.
How to Sue a Non-Profit With DoNotPay
While it's possible to sue a non-profit on your own, the process can be stressful and complex. Still, spending the money to get a lawyer might not be your best option either. Luckily, there's another option. DoNotPay can use your information to help you follow the correct procedure to sue a non-profit. The process is simple:
- Log in to DoNotPay and select the Sue Now product
- Enter the dollar amount you are owed
- Select whether you want a demand letter or court filing forms
- Describe the reason for the lawsuit and submit any applicable details, including photo proof
That's it! DoNotPay will then generate a demand letter or court filing forms for you. We'll even mail a copy of your demand letter to the individual or business you are suing!
Check out our library of resources to sue anyone from Google to Best Buy:
- Suing AT&T
- Suing Verizon
- Suing Uber
- Suing a company without a lawyer
- Suing insurance companies
- Suing an airline