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Old 01-19-2017, 07:07 AM   #1
mushwen
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Default Can I read my statement to the judge in small claims court?

How long (how many minutes) should my statement be in small claims court and can I write it out and read it to the judge when they ask me to speak?

Is four minutes too long?
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Old 01-19-2017, 06:13 PM   #2
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Default Re: Can I read my statement to the judge in small claims court?

I wish to inform you that there is no specific time within which you may speak. Generally your content should be such which may express your situation in shortest possible time. Generally you only have few minutes to explain your view point. You may carry your speech in writing and read in court.

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Old 01-19-2017, 10:31 PM   #3
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Default Re: Can I read my statement to the judge in small claims court?

You're not giving a statement, you're proving your case. The judge will likely have questions.
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Old 01-20-2017, 08:42 AM   #4
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Default Re: Can I read my statement to the judge in small claims court?

You will get only a few minutes to present your side, so you need to present the most important points first. You are free to use a written note or outline of important points of the case at the time of hearing.
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Old 01-20-2017, 02:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: Can I read my statement to the judge in small claims court?

I concur. The idea of a small claims court was for citizens to be able to represent themselves on legal matters. Bring all your proof and expect questions form the court you may not have thought of. Being clear and concise, by having a written statement is good.
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Old 01-31-2017, 02:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Can I read my statement to the judge in small claims court?

So the court will not be irritated if I read my "opening" statement for a minute or two right?

I could even give the judge a copy after reading it.
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Old 02-01-2017, 08:33 AM   #7
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Default Re: Can I read my statement to the judge in small claims court?

The court WILL allow it so long as you don't take too much time.
You might offer the info that it will take you only one minute to read, and/or that the judge may have a copy of the opening statement as well in writing.

Then the judge can decide if he really wants to hear you read the opening, or read it himself.
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Old 02-01-2017, 12:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: Can I read my statement to the judge in small claims court?

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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
So the court will not be irritated if I read my "opening" statement for a minute or two right?

I could even give the judge a copy after reading it.
On the many occasions that I have gone to small claims court I have prepared my case in a written narrative and attached my evidence, indexing the documents within the narrative.

When I am called to state my case I hand the written presentation to the judge and give a copy to my opponent.

I briefly summarize my case, referring to each piece of evidence as I go along.

Judges appreciate that kind of thoroughness and preparedness and I have found that it often blindsides my opponent.
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Old 02-15-2017, 06:38 AM   #9
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Default Re: Can I read my statement to the judge in small claims court?

Reading a concise well organized summary for a minute or so is certainly not a problem and is probably a good idea, especially if you will be nervous there.
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