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NCJ Number: 65940 Find in a Library
Title: SMALL CLAIMS COURTS - AN OVERVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION
Journal: UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF LAW REFORM  Volume:9  Dated:(SPRING 1976)  Pages:590-619
Author(s): A DOMANSKIS
Corporate Author: University of Michigan
Law School
United States of America
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 30
Sponsoring Agency: University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: WAYS IN WHICH SMALL CLAIMS COURTS CAN BE REFORMED TO BECOME MORE EFFECTIVE, AND THE HISTORY AND NATURE OF THESE COURTS, ARE DISCUSSED. A MODEL SMALL CLAIMS COURT STATUTE INCORPORATING REFORM PRINCIPLES IS PRESENTED.
Abstract: CURRENTLY, SMALL CLAIMS COURTS EXIST IN EVERY STATE, YET AN ESTIMATED 41 MILLION PEOPLE, LARGELY IN RURAL AREAS, HAVE NO ACCESS TO THIS TYPE OF JUDICIAL FORUM. SMALL CLAIMS COURTS SHOULD CONSTITUTE EFFECTIVE FORUMS FOR ALL PERSONS IN NEED OF REDRESS REGARDLESS OF FINANCIAL MEANS. MOREOVER, THESE COURTS MAY BEST PRODUCE EFFICIENT AND INEXPENSIVE JUSTICE WITH JUDGES ASSUMING IMPORTANT ROLES BUT WITH SOME ADVERSARIAL FEATURES. ALSO, BECAUSE PLAINTIFFS COMPLAIN THAT THE COURTS' HOURS OF OPERATION ARE SHORT AND INCONVENIENT, EVENING OR WEEKEND SESSIONS ARE RECOMMENDED. OTHER SUGGESTED CHANGES CONCERN THE COURTS' SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION, TYPES OF REMEDIES AVAILABLE, TYPES OF CLAIMANTS ALLOWED TO USE THE COURTS, THE ROLES PLAYED BY COURT PERSONNEL (ATTORNEYS, CLERKS, LEGAL PARAPROFESSIONALS, AND JUDGES), PRETRIAL PROCEDURES (VENUE, PLEADINGS, FEES, ETC.), TRIAL PROCEDURES (CONDUCT OF THE HEARING, SUBSTANTIVE LAW, CONTINUANCES, DEFAULT JUDGMENTS), AND POSTTRIAL PROCEDURES (APPEALS, ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENTS). THE APPENDED MODEL SMALL CLAIMS COURT ACT CONTAINS MOST OF THE SUGGESTED CHANGES. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Court reform; Court reorganization; Court rules; Small claims courts; Trial procedures
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65940

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