||How Do I Prepare My Case?|
In order for the Judge to decide in your favor, you must be able to prove that the Defendant owes you
a certain amount of money. This proof can be sworn testimony in court, or the sworn testimony of witnesses who will testify
that what you are saying is true. For example, a friend may have seen your neighbor drive his car over
your bicycle. Proof can also be physical objects, such as a contract, lease, receipts, bills for repairs,
photographs, or cancelled checks. For example, if you are suing a dry cleaning store because they
ruined your dress, bring the dress with you to court. You should bring with you anything that you
have that will help you prove to the Judge that your story is true.
If there is someone who would be a good witness for you, but he refused to come with you to court, you
can request the Circuit Clerk to issue a Subpoena. A Subpoena is a legal document ordering a person to appear
in court at a certain time and place. This Subpoena must be served on the witness, and you will have to pay an
additional service fee and a small witness fee. Once the Subpoena is served, the witness must appear in
court. These fees are another court cost which the Defendant will have to pay if you win your case.
It is a good idea to practice ahead of time what you are going to the Judge. You should also write out all the
questions that you want to ask your witness in court. Another good idea is to get to court a little early
so that you can watch how other cases are handled by the Judge. This will put you more at ease since you
will know what to expect when your turn comes.