When dealing with a large corporation, it can be intimidating to take legal action. However, sometimes it is necessary when a company does not provide the services and products you have paid for. This is especially true for Optimum, a cable and internet provider in the United States.
Established in 1998, Optimum is a business that provides internet, TV and phone services. They also provide energy and home security services. Optimum states it's goal is to provide customers with the best options for their needs.
If you have had a bad experience with Optimum, you may wonder how to sue them and your legal rights. This guide will give you an overview of the process and all the information you need.
Step 1: Understand Your Rights
It is essential to understand your rights before you begin the process of suing Optimum. Your legal rights depend on your state, so it is best to consult a lawyer or contact your local consumer protection agency to determine the specific laws that apply to you. Generally speaking, if you have a contract with Optimum, you are entitled to the services and products that were promised in the agreement. Optimum may be held legally responsible if it fails to provide those services and products.
Step 2: Determine a Legal Reason for Suing
Before you can sue Optimum, you should consider determining a legal reason for doing so. This could include breach of contract, negligence, or fraud. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may have a better chance of success if you can point to a specific law that Optimum has violated.
Step 3: File a Complaint
Once you have determined a legal reason for suing Optimum, you will need to file a complaint with the appropriate court. This can be done online or in-person at the courthouse. You will need to provide details of your case, as well as any evidence you have to support your claims. Depending upon the type of court, you may need to consult with an attorney for assistance with filing. Below this guide will explain how to file a small claims lawsuit without an attorney.
Step 4: Serve Optimum With the Complaint
Once the court has accepted your complaint, Optimum will need to be served with the paperwork. This can be done by a process server or through the mail. It is important to note that Optimum must receive the complaint within a certain period of time to be considered legally served.
Step 5: Wait for Optimum’s Response
Once Optimum has been served with the complaint, they will have time to respond. This may involve filing an answer to the complaint or a motion to dismiss the case. Depending on the response, you may need to attend a hearing or negotiation session to resolve the dispute.
Step 6: Go to Trial
If the case is not resolved through negotiation or mediation, it may need to go to trial. Both sides will present their evidence and arguments to the judge or jury during the trial. Depending on the outcome, you may be awarded damages or compensation.
If the situation seems to be a bit smaller than hiring an attorney and filing a civil suit, you can consider small claims court. The benefit of small claims court is that lawyers aren’t required. This makes small claims less intimidating and more affordable for most Americans
With Dispute software, you can start your small claims case by generating, signing, and mailing a demand letter and small claims filing in minutes from your phone or computer. Keep reading below for more info on how to move forward.
Write a Demand Letter
A demand letter is a formal letter asking for payment. Strongly worded demand letters on professional letterhead have a better chance of reaching a settlement out of court than regular letters. At Dispute, you can generate a demand letter in minutes.
- On the top, in the address block, put in the company name and address. You can find the registered agent at the bottom of this page.
- Next, put the subject line as 'Re: Demand for Payment'
- In one sentence, tell them how much the other party owes you which you will claim in your small claims lawsuit.
- Then, in two to three sentences describe your issue.
- Finally, state in plain language that you will go to small claims court if necessary. Don't say that you will do anything else, such as speaking poorly about them.
- On the bottom, include your name and address
How to Send a Demand Letter
After you write the demand letter, you’ll want to send it to their registered agent so that it’s guaranteed to go to the legal department. Make sure that you get a tracking number for the mail you send them. It can become important evidence in your case.
Demand letters are often mailed. But if you don’t have time to find a printer, buy an envelope, and visit a post office, we can mail it for you. Send your demand letter with just a click from the comfort of your home with Dispute.
Start your Small Claims Forms
If the dealership does not pay you after receiving the demand letter, you can file a small claim to win your money back. Although this may sound complicated, small claims is actually less complicated than regular court. There are some county guidelines you’ll have to follow, but filing with Dispute can make it easier on you.
You’ll need to find and prepare your small claims form based on where you decide to sue. Usually, people sue where the defendant lives or does business.
Then, wherever you decide to sue, look up the county's small claims system. They’ll provide details on their website about what small claims forms are necessary. You can read more about the small claims process here.
Serve your Small Claims Paperwork
One of the last steps before your trial will be to physically give the small claims paperwork to the defendant. This is called “serving” the defendant. You can’t serve the defendant yourself, but you can find someone else to do it. Many people hire professional process servers. There are legal guidelines that you must follow so that your case can go to court.
Defendants may sometimes avoid service. In order to keep your court date, you should hire a professional process server so that you can be sure all legal guidelines are appropriately followed.
Attend your Small Claims Trial
On the date of your small claims trial, be sure to arrive early and well prepared. Bring at least three copies of all evidence you intend to present, and if your hearing is remote be sure to have provided copies in advance to the other party and to the court. Failure to follow the strict local guidelines can result in your case being dismissed, but if you’ve followed the rules then you can often win by default when the other party doesn’t show up.
How Much it Costs
So how much will you spend by suing in small claims court?
- Court Filing Fees: The amount you will pay to file a small claims lawsuit depends on how much you are suing for and where you are suing. You can expect to pay between $30 to $400 to file the lawsuit. If you cannot afford to pay court fees, you can ask the court to waive the fees.
- Serving Costs: Once the lawsuit is filed, you must notify the defendant that you have sued them. This is called "serving." Serving Costs can range from $20-100 depending upon the local area.
Remember, if you win, you can request that the other party pay for your court fees and serving costs.
The Benefits of Small Claims Court
- Court filing fees are cheaper in small claims than in other courts.
- The process is faster in small claims than in other courts, as your hearing will usually be scheduled 30-70 days after you file the lawsuit.
- Lawyers are generally not allowed in small claims, which helps keep the costs of suing low.
Taking the First Step in Your Lawsuit
If all of this work seems complicated or daunting, rest assured that it's easier than it initially seems. 2.7 million small claims court cases are filed annually in the US, which is only growing as more people realize how easy it is to enforce their legal rights in court.
Suing can be a complex and challenging process. It's essential to gather evidence and understand the legal process. If you believe that you have been the victim of this crime, don't hesitate to seek legal advice. By taking action, you can hold the company accountable for its actions and receive the compensation you deserve.