If there are important documents which you believe exist, you can draft a written request for production of documents and send it to your opponent. These requests need to be drafted in a specific format, so you may want to retain a lawyer to assist you. I have a link below to the statute on this issue. You can also request reports and photographs through his type of request.
Determine what information you need that is non-documentary
Through the use of interrogatories, you can ask the other side relevant questions pertaining to the dispute to get their answers, under oath, for your use at trial. You can also request in writing that the other side admit certain relevant facts which you deem are undisputed. If admitted, you do not have to prove the admitted facts at trial, and can simply provide the written admissions to the judge or commissioner at your hearing. Interrogatories and Requests for Admission also need to be drafted in a specific format and properly served, and you will benefit with the help of a lawyer. I have a link on this issue as well below.
Determine if you need to take a deposition
Sometimes it is useful to take the deposition of a witness or another party prior to trial to obtain evidence that will help you present your case at trial. Depositions involve asking questions of the witness or adverse party in front of a court reporter who types the questions and answers into a transcript. The person answering the questions (called the "deponent") answers under Oath. The answers in the form of the transcript are admissible at trial. Depositions are very complicated, and I have provided a link to information below, but strongly, strongly recommend you retain a lawyer to assist with this process.
Additional resources provided by the author
The 3 methods above provide every party to a small claims lawsuit witch mechanisms to obtain information and evidence from witnesses and adversaries. Compliance with the procedural requirements is complex and while you can do it yourself if you follow the statutes, you will do it better with the help of a lawyer. The links below will provide you with additional information.
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