A question on LawGuru about filing a breach of contract lawsuit:

Hello. I hired a guy to film my wedding and produce a video. It has been a year and a half we still do not have it. We have a contract and have been attempting to contact him, but he will not return calls or anything, what legal action can I take and how do I do it?

I answer:

You can sue him in small claims court, which can award judgments up to $8,500 ($10,000 in Philadelphia). You don’t need a lawyer to do that — just go to your local municipal court (likely the same building as traffic court, possibly same building as other municipal services) and ask the clerk about filing a small claims suit.

You’ll then fill out a complaint form with a brief description of your claim and everything you know about the defendant, and you’ll pay a comparatively small filing and service fee. The court will schedule a hearing and call up the sheriff to serve the defendant with papers.

The hearing is a simple format designed to be easy for non-lawyers; it’s the same format Judge Judy (and others) adopt on television. The court generally swears you and the defendant in and asks questions about the case before making a decision.

If you have any further questions, ask the court clerk — they describe the process dozens of times a day.