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Can Someone Else Represent You in Small Claims Court in New York?

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Can You Have Representation in Small Claims Court?

In New York, there are two circumstances where someone else can represent you in small claims court. You can hire an attorney, or if you’re a parent or guardian suing on behalf of a minor. This article will explore these situations in detail.

 

Hiring an Attorney for Small Claims Court

The first circumstance is hiring an attorney to represent you. You don’t need an attorney in small claims court and won’t be at a disadvantage without one. The court is designed for individuals to appear “Pro Se,” meaning on their own behalf. Most people in New York who bring cases to small claims court do so without an attorney.

However, hiring an attorney can be beneficial if you cannot present your case and evidence confidently. Attorneys provide extra support and have a deep understanding of legal procedures. Even though small claims procedures are simplified, having an attorney’s expertise can be helpful if you’re nervous about navigating the system.

 

Can Someone Else Represent You in Small Claims Court in New York?

Representation for Minors

The second circumstance involves minors. Individuals under 18 are considered minors. Parents or legal guardians must represent minors in small claims court. This means that the parent or guardian files and represents the minor in court.

 

Language Barriers and Court Interpreters

If you don’t speak English well and are worried about communicating with the judge and other parties, the court has a solution. Although this isn’t a situation where someone else can represent you, the court provides an interpreter at no cost. Inform the small claims clerk when you file your claim to access an interpreter.

 

About Cape Law

We are Cape Law, a law firm with offices in New York, New Jersey, California, Florida, Texas, Georgia, and Massachusetts (and growing)! Cape Law offers various limited-scope legal services for civil matters—consultations, case management support, document preparation, small claims court filing, and more. Cape’s mission is to provide individuals and small businesses with the tools to access and navigate the legal system, especially in civil matters where litigants often represent themselves without attorney assistance.

Cape Law stands out from the traditional legal industry’s unbundled, pay-as-you-go fee structure. We eliminate expensive retainers and billable hours filled with legal jargon. All fees are transparent, fair, and flat-rate per service. Cape’s investment in technology helps demystify the legal process and allows clients to participate in their cases at every step. Our intake process is simple and efficient, emphasizing our commitment to making legal services available, affordable, and approachable. Not tech-savvy? No worries. Our attorneys and staff treat each client with compassion, grace, and patience. There’s no such thing as too many questions.