Filed Under (Small Claims) on 02-14-2013
No attorneys necessary. Yes, you read it right. Attorneys are not allowed to represent people in small claims court. There are specific rules in the law of Small Claims Court which set out who can initiate and defend against an action in that forum. The general rule is that any person may sue any other person. Corporations, partnerships, associations, and other organizations may also bring actions or defend against them, but they cannot use their attorney in court.
You are also allowed to bring Small Claims actions against state and local governmental entities including the State of Colorado, counties, cities, and special districts. However, you cannot sue federal government in Small Claims Court.
Below is a list of who can actually represent each of these players in court.
● An individual is to represent himself or herself.
● A partnership is to be represented by an active general partner or an authorized full-time employee, a union by an authorized member or a full-time employee.
● An association or other kind of organization shall be represented by an active member or full-time employee.
● For-profit corporations can be represented by a full-time officer or a full-time employee.
● Limited Liability Companies or Partnerships can be represented by a full-time officer or active general partner.
● Nonprofit corporations may be represented by an employee or an officer who is not an attorney.
● Landlords may be represented by local property managers.
There are special rules concerning the role of attorneys in Small Claims Court. The point, after all, is to afford parties an opportunity to present their cases on their own in a less formal atmosphere, and allowing attorney representation would change the whole nature of the proceedings.
What if you want to sue an attorney who paid your small business with a bad check? What if an attorney, acting on his own, wants to sue you in Small Claims Court? Attorneys are allowed to represent them¬selves as individuals in Small Claims Court in much the same way any other citizen can. If a party to a case happens to be an attorney, the case can still be heard in Small Claims Court. The attorney is merely banned from representing others. However, should an opposing party be someone who is an attorney, you may then also be represented by an attorney, even in Small Claims Court. Finally, you should also be aware that it is permissible for a party to seek the advice of an attorney before and during the course of a small claims case.
For more information about the small claims process, see “Winning Big in Colorado Small Claims Court: How to Sue and Collect ” by Charles P. Brackney, Esq.