Is it possible to take someone to small claims court to resolve an issue that they should be suing you for?

UPDATED: Aug 12, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is it possible to take someone to small claims court to resolve an issue that they should be suing you for?

My brother is claiming that my husband blew up the engine in his truck by running it out of oil. He says we owe him money. I don’t think that a person can be held responsible for maintenace damage on a vehicle and that the owner should take full responsibility of all maintenace issues on the vehicle. I want to take my brother to court and have him sue us, that way the issue can be resoloved and the family fighting can stop.

Asked on August 12, 2011 Arizona


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In this country, you cannot sue a person in small claims court for "declaratory relief" which is what you are asking. Small claims courts award money judgments, not a declaration of rights and duties of individuals to one another which you are asking about since your brother has not filed suit.

However, if you brother sued your husband for monetary damages for the repair of the engine in his truck, establishes liability and damages against your husband in the small claims court, the small claims court can make an award.

For your husband to sue your brother in small claims court for a declaration that he did not cause damage to the truck's engine would not be allowed in that court's jurisdiction.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption