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Small claims process?

Tacoma, WA |

Wednesday morning, I am going to small claims court in Tacoma in the county court. This is the first court date and it is to my understanding is that at this court date it is designed so that both the plaintiff and defended try to mitigated the claim. If no resolution can be agreed on then another court date is scheduled. Is this correct?

I ask because in a claim I have against someone I am missing some information on my claim that I have been trying to obtain and probably won't have this until after the court date. Basically I am suing a contractor for work on my house and want to have other contractors stating the issues that they also agree on. Will I need this at the court date coming up or is this needed for the next date, if there is actually another date?

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Attorney answers 2


You are right. The first date is a mediation. If that doesn't work, your case will be set for trial.

Present whatever evidence you have at the mediation hearing. If an acceptable agreement is not reached, set the case for trial. You will not be prevented from presenting evidence at trial (concurring contractors' statements) because you did not present it at the mediation.


First appearance is for mediation; if mediation is not sucessful, your matter will be set for trial. I have a couple of Legal Guides attached to my profile about the Small Claims process. They are geared towards landlord-tenant disputes, but the basic process is the same.

Elizabeth Powell

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