Frequently Asked Questions

Before I File

  1. Can I use Squabble for any small claims case?
  2. Why should I use Squabble instead of filing on my own?
  3. How does Squabble work?
  4. How much does it cost to file on Squabble?
  5. How does Squabble make money?
  6. All courts require Service of Process. Does Squabble take care of that?
  7. Can I file a case against a business using Squabble?
  8. Am I giving up any rights by Squabbling?
  9. How do I know the right jurisdiction?
  10. What is the max amount I can sue for in small claims court?
  11. How do I know that Squabble is going to do this correctly in my jurisdiction with my case type?
  12. Is Squabble my lawyer?
  13. What happens if the defendant cannot be located at the address I've provided to Squabble?

After I File

  1. My case was filed! What happens now?
  2. How long will my court appearance last?
  3. Who decides whether I win or lose?
  4. How can I best prepare?
  5. What if the person being sued doesn’t show up?

Legal and Security

  1. What’s happening with the small claims courts during the COVID-19 health crisis?
  2. How do I know Squabble is legitimate?
  3. Can Squabble give me legal advice?
  4. How is my Squabble data secured?

Before I File

Q: Can I use Squabble for any small claims case?
A: Yes! Squabble is built by lawyers and we’ve got you covered. In the Squabble app, you can resolve ANY monetary dispute. Some of the most common Squabble categories are:
  • landlord-tenant disputes
  • personal injury disputes
  • stolen or damaged property disputes
  • disputes over a broken promise
  • disputes about the collection of a debt
  • auto repair disputes
  • disputes with an attorney
The app also features an “Other” option. As long as you explain your case, you’re good to go. WIth our triple-check guarantee, we’ll make sure you do it right!
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Q: Why should I use Squabble instead of filing on my own?
A:
  1. Locate the right forms for your jurisdiction and case type
  2. Correctly fill out those forms (triple-check guarantee!)
  3. Properly file those forms with the court
  4. Make payments to the court
  5. Locate and pay for someone to physically find and legally inform the defendant they are being sued. This is called “service of process” and is mandatory in all jurisdictions
  6. Properly inform the court of “Service of Process” completion
  7. Keep you updated on your case status
  8. Preparing you for your case so you feel 100% confident when you step in front of the judge
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Q: How does Squabble work?
A: Download Squabble from the Play Store or App Store and follow these 3 steps:

Step 1: You answer simple questions. We do all the legal translating.
Squabble is the easiest filing system in the USA. Click on an icon that describes the issue. Tell us the address of the person or business that owes you money. Describe what happened as if you were telling a friend. We’ll guide you through every step.

Step 2: File with Confidence
We 100% guarantee that your filing will be done right. The right jurisdiction, the right case type, the right boxes checked. We’ll triple-check your work. Any issues and we’ll contact you.

Step 3: Get Ready to Collect
We’ll keep you informed of everything you need to know from the moment you file until you step in front of a judge. Get notifications about behind-the-scenes case progress. Prepare for court in minutes with our simple guides.
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Q: How much does it cost to file on Squabble?
A: The cost of filing a case varies by jurisdiction and, sometimes, by claim amount. Download the Squabble App and start a filing by entering a few simple pieces of information – we’ll estimate your cost in less than one minute for free! No hidden fees, ever!

Here's some more good news: In most jurisdictions, you're allowed to ask for your filing costs back when you calculate your claim. Squabble does this for you automatically so that the judge knows you're requesting your fees back too!
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Q: How does Squabble make money?
A: Squabble takes a flat $95 fee for all filings. However, your total filing costs will be higher because they include:
  1. Your court filing fee and
  2. A fee to hire an independent person who physically notifies the defendant that they are being sued. This is called “service of process” and is a mandatory part of the process in every jurisdiction
Squabble passes through 100% of the cost of these two fees, making no money on them. If you filed on your own, these are the fees you would incur anyway. To get an estimated total cost in under a minute, download the Squabble App, select "File a Case", and enter a few simple pieces of information!
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Q: All courts require Service of Process. Does Squabble take care of that?
A: Yes, automatically. When you file your case through Squabble, the defendant will be provided with formal notice from a local "server" telling them that:

1. You have sued them in small claims court (the "Complaint")
2. They are are required to appear in court on your court date (the "Summons")
3. If they don't appear, they will lose the case automatically ("Default")

This official notice is called "Service of Process" and is required by all jurisdcitions in order for the court to hear your case.

If the defendant cannot be located at the address you've provided, the process server will make three additional attempts at that address to complete service (the legal standard). If these attempts fail, you may provide another address to the Squabble Support Team. At that point, four new attempts at service will then take place at this new address for an additional fee.

In the extremely rare event that the defendant cannot be located at any address you've provided (i.e. the defendant has moved to an unknown location or is actively evading service), Squabble will offer you the option to discover the defendant's location through an expert ("tracing"). Given the rarity of this situation, Squabble offers tracing as a separate service and does require a separate fee.
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Q: Can I file a case against a business using Squabble?
A: Yes. You can file a case against any business of any size using Squabble. From a local contractor to a landlord to a Fortune 500 company, Squabble has you covered. Businesses can also use Squabble to file cases against other businesses. Through the entire process, we have a 100% triple-check guarantee to ensure you do it right.

Also, when you sue a business, you're required to serve process on a designated representative from their company, i.e. their "Agent". Normally, the process of finding this person is time-consuming. On Squabble, when you enter the business you're suing, the app will automatically populate your claim with the proper legal agent to be served!
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Q: Am I giving up any rights by Squabbling?
A: No. Squabbling parties retain 100% of their rights.
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Q: How do I know the right jurisdiction?
A: Squabble will help you figure out the right jurisdiction FREE. Download the app and enter some simple information and we'll let you know what jurisdiction we recommend that you file in and the total cost in that jurisdiction. No hidden fees, ever!
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Q: What is the max amount I can sue for in small claims court?
A: Every small claims court has its own maximum amount you're allowed to sue for (i.e. $10,000 in all CA counties). Once you've entered the location of your claim, the app will automatically determine your jurisdictional max for free.

If your claim is for more than your jurisdiction's maximum, you can decide in app whether you'd still like to file with Squabble for that maximum amount or instead visit a lawyer and file complex paperwork in regular civil court.
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Q: How do I know that Squabble is going to do this correctly in my jurisdiction with my case type?
A: Squabble is linked with every small claims court system in the country. Thus, once you enter the defendant's address and/or an address related to your dispute, the app will prompt you to enter only the details required for that jurisdiction and for your specific case type. You can be confident that you're suing in the proper place, entering the proper information, for the proper amount, at the proper time, and providing proper notice to the defendant.
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Q: Is Squabble my lawyer?
A: Squabble was founded and is run by a team of lawyers, but Squabble's attorneys do not provide legal "advice" in app or in court. Indeed, most jurisdictions do not allow attorneys in small claims court. Instead our lawyers' job is to ensure two things:

1. That the app is "smart", i.e. that your claim complies 100% with the correct jurisdictional requirements for your case.
2. That your Triple Check process is executed perfectly so that your filing will be accepted by the court -- guaranteed.
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Q: What happens if the defendant cannot be located at the address I've provided to Squabble?
A: If the defendant cannot be located at the address you've provided, the process server will make three additional attempts at that address to complete service (the legal standard).

If these attempts fail, you may provide another address to the Squabble Support Team. At that point, four new attempts at service will take place at this new address for an additional fee.

In the extremely rare event that the defendant cannot be located at any address you've provided (i.e. the defendant has moved to an unknown location or is actively evading service), Squabble will offer you the option to discover the defendant's location through an expert ("tracing"). Given the rarity of this situation, Squabble offers tracing as a separate service and does require a separate fee.
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After I File

Q: My case was filed! What happens now?
A: First, you’ll receive an email confirming that your Squabble was submitted.

Then, you’ll receive an email confirming that your Squabble was filed in the appropriate court.

Next, you’ll receive an email confirming that your Squabble was accepted by the court.

Then, you’ll receive status updates about your case filing, including your court date.

Finally, you'll receive reminders that your court date is approaching.

After that, download our Official Small Claims Guide for simple pointers you'll need to make sure you're perfectly prepared.

Remember you only have to be 51% convincing!
Click here for our Small Claims Court Guide
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Q: How long will my court appearance last?
A: Many cases are usually scheduled for the same time and the calendar can be very crowded. This makes it impossible for any one case to take a lot of time because the court has to get through all the cases on the calendar. This is why it is so important to be well prepared so you can present your case quickly and efficiently. The judge will listen to both sides of the story.

The judge may make a decision at your hearing or mail it to you later. The judge may need to make additional inquiries into the facts before deciding the case, or research a legal point, so if the judge says that he or she is “taking the matter under submission,” you will get the decision in the mail.
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Q: Who decides whether I win or lose?
A: Usually a judge. Sometimes you may have a commissioner or temporary judge at your hearing. They both serve in the same role as judges. A commissioner is hired by the court to sit as a judge and hear certain types of cases that the law allows commissioners to hear, such as traffic infractions and small claims cases. A temporary judge (called a “judge pro tem” or “judge pro tempore”) is someone who has been a lawyer for at least 10 years and is specially trained to hear and decide small claims cases. If you do not want a temporary judge, you can ask the court to have a judge hear your case. You may have to come back another day.
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Q: How can I best prepare?
A: Here’s an easy checklist to follow:

1. Plan what you are going to say.

You will have to explain to the judge why you sued and what you want him or her to order. Decide what your main points are and take proof. Try to think of what the other person might say and how you will answer.

2. Prepare the proof to take to court.

Print off your Squabble info and evidence that supports your story and take 2 more copies of everything. This is called “evidence.” Evidence can be:
  • contracts
  • estimates (take at least 2)
  • bills
  • photographs
  • diagrams that show how an accident happened
  • police reports
If you need papers that someone else has, fill out a Small Claims Subpoena for Personal Appearance and Production of Documents at Trial or Hearing and Declaration county form and request these documents.

3. Take copies of all your court papers and your Proof of Service.

These are documents you have received via email from Squabble and via snail mail from the court.

4. Take people to support your story (witnesses).

Take witnesses who saw what happened or who are experts on that subject. For example, a neighbor who saw the accident or a mechanic who looked at your car.

Don’t bring people unless you know they will support you. Witnesses who are not friends or relatives may be more effective in proving your case. But sometimes the only witnesses are your friends and relatives. They should testify and present themselves in a professional manner and be objective and not emotional. If you need a witness to go to your hearing that cannot or will not go voluntarily, fill out a Small Claims Subpoena county form to order them to go.

5. If you do not speak English well, take an interpreter to help you.

Ask your court clerk at least 1 week before your hearing to see if the court can provide an interpreter for you. In some courts, they can provide interpreters for free if you qualify for a fee waiver. If not, you have to take your own interpreter. Do not ask a child or a witness to interpret for you. Please note: you have the right to get your hearing delayed so you can get an interpreter.

6. If you are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or have another disability request an accommodation.

Ask your court’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator or court clerk (check your county’s website for specific info) at least 1 week before your hearing.
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Q: What if the person being sued doesn’t show up?
A: If the person being sued (the defendant) does not show up for the hearing, the plaintiff still needs to prove his or her case. If the defendant can show a good reason for missing the court date, such as a medical emergency, the defendant may be able to get the judgment canceled and a new trial date set.
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Legal and Security

Q: What’s happening with the small claims courts during the COVID-19 health crisis?
A: The courts are still accepting cases and scheduling trial dates. In some jurisdictions, the courts are booking cases further out than usual due to a backlog created when they were closed at the beginning of the crisis and operating at lower than their peak capacity. Squabble recommends filing your case as soon as possible. This will allow you to get a date now in case the backlog grows further.
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Q: How do I know Squabble is legitimate?
A: Squabble was founded and is run by attorneys. We have deep knowledge of all aspects of the court system and have successfully submitted thousands of cases. That’s how we can offer a triple-check guarantee. We guarantee that everything we submit to the court is filled out perfectly.
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Q: Can Squabble give me legal advice?
A: Unfortunately, our team cannot provide any legal advice. That said, we are here to offer you the easiest way to file a small claims case in the USA. We back that up with our triple-check guarantee, ensuring you do everything right!
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Q: How is my Squabble data secured?
A: Squabble takes your privacy very seriously. Your data is 100% secure on Squabble’s server. The only data we gather in the Squabble process are things needed to:
  1. Ensure a proper filing of your complaint in Small Claims Court in the appropriate jurisdiction. Squabble employees are contractually and statutorily obligated to uphold the strictest confidentiality.
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