An effective complaint is not necessarily a guarantee for winning the case you want to present, but a case well presented is a big advantage.
As a non- native Hebrew speaker, remember that you can present your case in Hebrew or Arabic only. If you cannot construct your case in Hebrew it is advised to ask for help from a lawyer.
As we wrote in our Complete Guide to Small Claims Court, there is a minimal amount of information about you and the defendant that you must present to the court in your complaint. It is advised to read our guide as well.
Please remember that in Israel you can only use NIS (shekels)and not dollars in your complaint, but if you have a specific problem or a specific need, it is permissible to use dollars on the condition that the total sum of your complaint is in NIS (shekels).
Describe the specific circumstances or details of your complaint and give all relevant facts concerning the case. Be exact as much as possible, especially when stating facts, names, location, and dates.
Include any relevant and necessary documentation in your complaint. Refer to any documents you are including with your complaint, including repair estimates, warranties, contracts, records, photos, receipts, etc. Try to use clear copies and keep the original documents with you to be presented in court if necessary.
Throughout the entire complaint, remain courteous and respectful, even if you feel you have been wronged. Courts in Israel will not accept under any circumstances vulgar language or behavior in court. Present yourself appropriately attired. Please remember to switch off your cell phone when in court.
Clearly state what you hope to accomplish in your complaint and ask the court to include expenses you had to expend in gathering your case. Give valid reasons why your complaint should be accepted.
My best advice to you is to be as brief as possible. Type your complaint using 12 size font and limit your complaint to no more than one page. The judge will be able to better understand and remember your case.
Remember that you cannot be represented by a lawyer in small claims court. If you decide not to present your case on your own, do not use the small claims court. You can always file your complaint in a regular court and be represented by a lawyer.
If you do choose to represent yourself but have difficulty writing the complaint, please contact us and we will guide you through the process as much as possible.
Tzvi Szajnbrum, Attorney at Law