For my time, can I charge what my ordinary professional rate is at my occupation or how is that computed?
You are likely in front of either Anne Ollada or Christine Chauche in Arapahoe County Court's civil division. As a former County Judge myself who presided over small claims actions, I can tell you that small claims does not provide for emotional distress damages (so you will NOT get those). As far as time spent, that can be awarded in a criminal case as far as restitution. However, in a small claims case, you are not entitled to your professional rate for your occupation. Professional rates are only granted if it is a witness who is testifying as an expert in their field of expertise. It sounds as if you are not necessarily testifying at the small claims court as an expert, instead you are testifying as a litigant. So, you will NOT likely get that compensated either.
First, the amount you are seeking must be within the jurisdictional limits of the small claims court. Emotional distress normally is only awarded if there is risk of physical injury or actual physical injury. Lost wages can be recovered too. However, these issues may make your case greater than the amount of damages that can be awarded in small claims court. I would speak to an attorney about your case.
It depends on the basis for your claim, but unless you were physically injured it is very unlikely that your claim will allow you to collect for emotional distress. As for the time and stress involved in litigation, you will not recover anything for this unless you have a contract which specifically establishes and provides for such relief. Such contracts are rare. If you actually have a contract that provides for such recovery, you can charge whatever rate was provided for in the contract.
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