Q: My former boss loaned me 1500 and I haven't been able to pay it back. He's taking me to court. What should I expect?
Assuming it's small court...no attorneys are allowed. You'll have a hearing - maybe with a judge / probably a magistrate or referee, depending on how that particular court is structured. From there, it will look a lot like what you may see on those judge TV shows (without the drama and laughter). Your former boss will go first because it's his claim and burden to prove; you'll then have an opportunity to speak and tell your side. You need to bring with you everything you want the judge to consider because this will be your one and only opportunity to present it. It does you now good to say "I can show you my bank records / I have receipts / etc." if it's not there with you on paper and in court. You each will also have a chance to call witnesses. Again, you need to plan on them being present in court. Letters from folks do you no good. In short, you need to prepare similar to how an attorney would prepare for a case, although the nature of small claims court is much more relaxed.
Keep also in mind that "I can't afford to pay it back" is not a defense. If he did loan you money that you agreed at one time to pay back (as opposed to a gift), and he can convince the judge of that, then you'll get a judgment against you. Your better bet, which is often the case, is to try reaching a settlement out of court.
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