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How to Prepare for Court

Updated on October 3, 2011

Preparing for Court

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Preparing for Court

During the month of August there as the Clogs for coins contest on Hubpages. I could participate because my landlord allowed the septic system to back up into my home. I have been living in sewage since August since the landlord refused to fix the premises.

Because I asked her to clean up the mess ad fix the septic system she decided to evict me from the premises. And for the past month and a half I have been going through litigation. I would have been really upset but I really felt I was in the right.

On September 30, 2011, I spent the better part of the day in court. And while I will not discuss the merits of the case since the judge is still making his decision, I would provide a guide to help you prepare for court.

I would like to mention laws vary from state to state so outcomes will vary. I am just trying to help you prepare. This is by no means advice not to obtain a lawyer. You definitely need a lawyer as they are experts in law and they understand the statutes and case law far better then you ever could unless of course you are a lawyer.

Witness List

Always make a list of everyone and any who could be called to testify. Have all that contact information available for your lawyer and know exactly what the person can legally testify to. It amazes me how people will bold face lie to a judge in a court room under oath. I am always shocked but if you are prepared for the lies your lawyer can trap them in the lies on the stand.

Chronology of Events

I keep a chronology of events whenever i am dealng with a person I could end up in court with. A chronology of events is what happened with whom, when. And it is an ongoing list. It is very important to keep beause your memory may not be so good later.

Appicable Statutes

I try and know the law before I rent a place. So I always have printed off copies of the applicable statutes and then before I even see my lawyer I try and draft a brief so I know what my arguments are. That gives the lawyer a better idea of what the legal issues are surrounding the case is able to ask more pertinent questions to clarify what exactly happened.

Preliminary Damage Estimates

Damages are always hard to calculate. But it is important that you catalogue and assign valued to the the items damaged so you might be compensated. This was a particular grim ordeal for me because I had my dead Mother's things which had a lot of sentimental value but I was told were not of any real value. That is also true for my son's favorite childhood toys and books which he loved and valued but at most were worth $250 dollars between depreciation and time.

When asked about the damages I stipulated i wasn't an expert. I think that is the best anyone can do.

I also have a very expensive piece of furniture which I bought 5 years ago. It has since come down in price so the replacement value minus the depreciation is still much less then I had hoped for.

I haven't gottenn the finao order from the judge but I would say I am still at a financial lose even if I win the case.

Department of Health Nussiance Complaint

Any time a landlord allows a septic system to ack up into your home call the Department of Health immedately and have them condct and inspection. They will have to create a nussiance report and order the landlord to clean it up. When the land lord fails to do that keep a copy of the nussiance report. It is important when you go to court.

Building Inspectors Report

Of exceptional importantce is also a building inspectors report. The property needs to be check for code violations. Once the land lord has been notfified they have to bring the rental up to code.

Evidence

I takepictures and I keep every shred of correspondence I have had on the matter. And I have a file called evidence.

And while I like surprises and to surprise the last thing I ever want is for my lawyer to be surprised in a court room. So my lawyer gets to see it all. If she/ he neglects to read it that is on them. But every lawyer I have ever had has read everything I have presented to them.

There was no lease in this case but if I had had one it would have had its own section.

I place all the forementioned sections in a binder and create and index for my attorney. I make a copy for myself, my attorney and the defense.


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