Oswego County Small Claims Court
Jury Trials in Small Claims Court
Only a defendant can make the request for a jury trial. The demand must be made prior to the hearing. (The reason a plaintiff cannot demand a jury trial is because if the plaintiff files the case in small claims court the court deems the plaintiff consenting to have factual issues determined by the judge and not a jury, otherwise the case would be filed in the regular civil part). The defendant must file an affidavit stating the issues of fact the jury is to decide. The judge can either transfer the case to the regular civil part of the court (where regular evidentiary rules apply) or remain in small claims court. If it remains in small claims court, a jury will be used, but it will consist of only six members.
What are Oswego County Small Claims Court cases?
The local town or village court hears small claims court cases in Oswego County. One can sue for $3,000.00 or less in a town or village court in Oswego County. Small claims court cases are designed to be relatively informal (compared to normal civil cases). Note: If you have a claim for more than $3,000, you cannot separate it into two claims to be under the limit. A claimant or plantiff can only seek monetary relief in small claims court. A party cannot sue to ask the court to order a defendant to take action (ie. fulfill the terms of an advertisement). You can only sue to recover money. A plaintiff or claimant can also sue a public entity like a city or other agency. However, you have to file a claim with that agency before filing your small claims court action. The claim must be filed within ninety days of the incident. If you fail to follow this rule, your case will be dismissed.
Should I use arbitration for my small claims court case?
Abitration is a type of dispute resolution that is less-formal than a trial, but more formal than mediation. In arbitration, a person (called an arbitrator who is usually an attorney) will hear evidence of the case that each party presents. The arbitrator will then weigh the evidence with the law and issue a final judgment. If both parties agree to arbitration, an arbitrator will often be able to hear a claim before a judge would (because there are more arbitrators than judges). The arbitrator applies the same law to your case that the judge would. An arbitrator’s decision is final and cannot be appealed.
What is the correct name for the defendant?
For people, you will want the person’s first and last name (their real name, and not a nickname they go by). You should also be able to provide the address of the defendant. Businesses are more tricky because sometimes you do not know how the business is structured. Contact the Oswego County Clerk’s Office. They will be able to provide you with the business’s correct legal name.
Should I use mediation for my small claims case?
Mediation is one way the court offers to try and settle your case without a trial. Mediation is a confidential way to try and resolve the case. It involves a mediator who will try and bring the plaintiff and defendant together to agree on a result that is fair to all (or, more likely, somewhat fair to each party). In Oswego County, the mediation provider is: