The Plaintiff and the Defendant should bring their witnesses to the trial, along with any written documents, checks, receipts, leases, repair estimates, or papers reflecting ownership. For auto accidents, bring your damage estimate, police report if you have one and any other document that may substantiate the case.
Letters from friends and even sworn affidavits are not acceptable in court because these documents prohibit the other party from cross-examining or questioning the person who wrote the letter or who gave the affidavit. Instead, bring witnesses to court to testify on your behalf. Keep in mind: it is possible to lose because you failed to present the proper evidence to substantiate your case.
Subpoenas for Witnesses
If either the Plaintiff or the Defendant wishes to bring in a witness who cannot come or is not willing to appear for you, then you may have the Clerk of Court's Office issue a subpoena for this witness. You will be charged a service fee of approximately $30.00 (could be more if out of county) and a witness fee ($6 in county/$12 out of county). The request to the Clerk must be made at least five working days before your trial or hearing. If the request is not made at least five working days in advance of the trial and the witness is not served, the court may choose not to grant a continuance because this witness is not present to testify on your behalf.
All evidence presented at the trial will be held in the case file for at least 30 days after the date file stamped on the Final Judgment Entry. Each party may pick up their respective evidence in person at the Clerk's Office after the 30 days has expired.
For more information on Small Claims, contact the Clerk's Office Civil Division at 513-695-1370 option 6.