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You may find yourself in small claims court several times throughout your life. It could be to claim money owed you by your landlord; it could be to get a television set your roommate says you gave to him; or it could be to get money your friend borrowed from you three years ago but never re-paid. Here are some tips on how to win during your trip to small claims court.

+ Do you have proof? This is the biggest question you need to ask yourself in your quest to win in small claims court. Gather any evidence you might have: any check receipts, any contracts, any lease agreements, any documentation that would support your case.
+ Find out the small claims court rules you have to live by. Go to court and ask for a list of procedural rules. Know what you can and cannot do. If you properly understand the rules, you'll be best fit to develop your strategy and win your case.
+ Send a letter to the person who you say wronged you. Write a formal letter to the person who owes you money or services. Tell them what you expect them to give you in return for wronging you. Be polite yet firm. Sometimes all it takes is a letter to get what you want.
+ Practice. Prepare what you'll be telling the judge. Your time in court will be limited to a matter of several minutes. Practice telling your case concisely. Ask a friend or relative to listen to what you're saying and act as the judge. Have that person pretend he's the judge and follow up with questions that a judge might ask. This will give you valuable experience in determining how the court proceedings will go.
+ Tell everything that happened. When you have your time in court, tell all the details that are relevant to the case. Avoid any information or insults that aren't relevant.
+ Try to settle out of court. If you can settle out of court, you avoid any court costs that may be ensued. Do everything you can to remedy the situation without going to court.