How to Dispute a Small Claims Judgment

Untitled design (2)

Usually only defendants can appeal a judgment made by small claims court.

The procedure is outlined in M.G. L. c. 218, §23.

The law states that the defendant must make his appeal within ten days of receiving the court’s “Notice of Judgment”.

The appeal form can be found online.

In your appeal you must specify what matters of law or fact you’re disputing.

You will also need to request a trial by either a judge or jury.

The cost of filing such an appeal is usually $125.

If your appeal fails to raise any genuine legal claim, then a judge may dismiss it without a trial.

This is referred to as “summary judgment”.

If your appeal does raise valid questions about the facts or laws at issue, then it will be sent to trial.

At trial, the small claims judgment against you will be prima facie evidence of the plaintiff’s claims.

This means that the judge or jury may assume that the plaintiff has already established his case against you.

The burden is now on you to show that the plaintiff’s case is unmerited or that the small claim’s judgment was incorrect.

If you have questions about the process, be sure to read the court’s “Notice of Judgment” carefully.

It informs you of your rights and explains the appeal process.

Also look over the instructions that accompany the “Claim of Appeal” form.

And, finally, if you have further questions, feel free to contact me at justin@jrmccarthy.com

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s