How to Sue Someone

How to Sue Someone: A Quick Guide

suing ATT in small claims court with an app

Lawsuits are long and expensive. Knowing how to sue someone can be challenging especially if you’re not a lawyer. It becomes especially difficult if your case actually needs to be filed in small claims court where there is no lawyer to represent you. Just because the stakes in small claims are minimal, doesn’t mean the process is simple.

In this article, we will walk you through the crucial parts of suing someone and how to make the process more streamlined with .

Legal Terms to Know

Those who work in the legal industry (or watch legal drama series) are well-versed in legal terms. But for most of us, these legal terminologies seem familiar but have completely different legal interpretations. Even if you will be represented by a lawyer, it will be helpful to know the definitions of basic legal terms. Here is a table of the most common ones:

Contingency feeA percentage of the settlement amount paid to a lawyer when he/she can recover the damages on behalf of the client
DamagesThe dollar amount the plaintiff can recover when he/she wins the lawsuit
DefendantThe person or company being sued in the lawsuit
Deposition The written statement under oath of a witness
DiscoveryAn investigation that happens before trial where both parties gather oral or written information about the other party
MotionWhen both parties cannot agree on an issue, either party can request a judge’s ruling
PlaintiffThe person filing the lawsuit
Statute of limitationsTime limits or deadlines set by the law on when one can file the lawsuit
SummonsA written notice sent to the defendant informing him/her of the lawsuit

Where to File the Lawsuit

Finding out where to file the lawsuit can be difficult. This is crucial because if the court doesn’t have jurisdiction over the defendant, the court will not have the right to hear and issue a ruling for the person being sued. If you are not sure, you may check with the local superior court. Generally, here are some of the locations you need to consider when deciding the correct jurisdiction:

  • Defendant's principal residence
  • Where the contract was agreed upon or carried out
  • State the company is registered
  • Where the event took place
  • Where the merchandise are permanently stored

Not only that, but different courts have jurisdiction over the dollar amount of damages you are suing. Depending on the amount, you need to file the lawsuit in the correct court which are:

How to Serve the Defendant

To “serve a defendant” is to let the other party know that they are being sued. If you are the plaintiff, you cannot serve the defendant by yourself. You may enlist the help of a friend, co-worker, relatives, or anyone over the age of 18 who is not a plaintiff. There are three ways to serve the defendant as follows:

  1. Personal service – This method is a more dependable way of serving the defendant since it is done by a professional process server. The server can testify to say specifics of the serving and the court can ask the server questions if there are any problems.
  2. Service by mail – A much easier option where someone mails the summons to the defendant. However, the certainty of delivery depends on the mail service.
  3. Service by publication – This method requires the court’s permission to publish the summons in a newspaper to reach the defendant’s attention. Although it’s a legally recognized method of delivery, not all courts prefer service by publication. Usually, the court will recommend using personal service first a few times before resorting to service by publication.

How to Sue Someone with DoNotPay

In most cases, filing a lawsuit is more straightforward in theory than in practice. There is a lot of paperwork involved and bureaucracies to go through. can make the process streamlined for you. With the Sue Now product, we’ll take care of your demand letter and give you the filing forms to sue in small claims court. All you have to do is:

  1. Log in to and select the Sue Now product
  2. Enter the dollar amount you are owed
  3. Select whether you want a demand letter or court filing forms
  4. Describe the reason for the lawsuit and submit any applicable details. You also have the option to include photo proof

DoNotPay’s Sue Now product actually makes the process straightforward. Not only can we mail the demand letter for you, we can give you small claims court filing forms!

List of Companies We Have Helped Sue

BBC on DoNotPay's app to appeal parking tickets

Have you been wronged in some way? Join thousands of users who turn to DoNotPay for hassle-free litigation in small claims court. Here is a list of companies we have helped our users sue:

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