Thanks to an arbitration clause in your 24 Hour Fitness terms of service contract, you can’t sue 24 Hour Fitness in any court except small claims court. It can be complicated and time consuming, but suing 24 Hour Fitness in small claims court usually gets plaintiffs what they want.
Are you ready to sue 24 Hour Fitness in small claims court? Small claims courts are only for certain types of claims, so your first step is to ensure your lawsuit qualifies for this type of legal process. There are two things you need to understand:
The amount of money: Every small claims court sets a maximum dollar size for the claim you can bring. In most states it’s either $5000 or $10,000, but it can be as low as $2,500 (in Kentucky and Rhode Island). You can find a list of all 50 states’ monetary limits here.
The type of relief: There are two types of awards that you can seek in a lawsuit filed in small claims court: monetary (a dollar value payment) and equitable (a non-monetary request). Most small claims courts are allowed to grant just monetary awards.
If your claim doesn’t fall within the limits of your state’s small claims court, you’ll have to arbitrate your claim instead.
Most small claims courts require that you ask the person you’re suing (the “defendant”) to fix your problem voluntarily before you file a claim. If you want to sue 24 Hour Fitness in small claims court, you need to send the company a demand letter.
The demand letter should easy to read, yet make clear points. You should inform 24 Hour Fitness who you are (your name, address, phone number and account number), what the problem is, and what you want from the company. The whole letter should read for just a few sentences. Remember that you are just checking a box on your to do list before you file the actual lawsuit.
When you’re done writing the demand letter, you need to mail a hard copy of the letter, preferably as certified mail, to the company’s legal address. 24 Hour Fitness is legally based in Delaware and it receives mail at this address :
24 HOUR FITNESS UNITED STATES, INC
LEXIS DOCUMENT SERVICES INC.
251 LITTLE FALLS DRIVE
WILMINGTON, DE 19808
If you would like examples of demand letters or more information about how to write them, you should use this online resource.
In order to sue 24 Hour Fitness in small claims court, you need to complete some paperwork.
Each state has a set of forms that need to be filled out to file a claim, and sometimes counties will want additional forms. The correct forms for your location will be available for free on your state court website.
Make sure you fill out enough forms Most states that require you to file forms by mail or in-person ask for 3 or 4 copies. If you don’t have the right number of copies, you can expect the court clerk to dismiss your lawsuit
When you’re done filling out the court forms, it’s time to submit the forms. This process called “filing” can be a bit confusing.
Many courts require plaintiffs deliver court forms in person during certain times of the day. Other courts allow plaintiffs to submit court forms by fax, mail or online.
All courts require plaintiffs to pay a filing fee before they permit a lawsuit to move forward against 24 Hour Fitness. The filing fee is published on the court website and it is sometimes waived for low income plaintiffs.
When you file your forms, the court clerk provides you with a stamped copy of each form, which you need to bring with you on the court date established by the clerk.
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! Suing 24 Hour Fitness in small claims is a long and difficult process.
Now that you’ve filed the papers required to start your case against 24 Hour Fitness, you need to tell 24 Hour Fitness about the lawsuit. This is a called “serving” 24 Hour Fitness. To do this, you need to deliver the copies of your filed papers to 24 Hour Fitness.
Look at your court’s website for instructions on how to properly deliver your forms to 24 Hour Fitness, or search for “[your state] small claims service of process”. Courts have many must follow rules about how to serve a defendant. If you forget to follow just one rule, the court clerk has the power to throw out your lawsuit.
When the court clerk gives you a court date, make sure to put it on your calendar. Write down the location of the courthouse where the hearing is scheduled to take place. Bring copies of your filed forms, and any other evidence that bolsters your case against 24 Hour Fitness. Sometimes, 24 Hour Fitness does not show up to oppose plaintiffs. If that happens to you, take advantage of the situation to highlight your side of the story.
Are you ready to sue 24 Hour Fitness in small claims court?
If this sounds too hard and expensive, try consumer arbitration instead…
Best of the Best. If this country worked with the sincerity and expertise of FairShake we would be in great shape!Allie, real FairShake customer
They got more done in a few weeks than I did in over two years.John, real FairShake customer
I can’t say enough good about this company! They are really a light for us in a very hard time.Mark, real FairShake customer
Thank you FairShake for representing the little people screwed over by corporations.Amanda, real FairShake customer
I was having problems with the company for months. That you could make it resolved in a few days is wonderful.Marisol, real FairShake customer
It's not right what Big Business can get away with if we let them. People need to know someone is out there to help!Virgil, real FairShake customer