Looking to sue CenturyLink? Small claims court is an option, and you may have others…
At FairShake we’ve helped thousands of users with claims against CenturyLink and other big companies that ripped them off get over $5 million in settlement offers… [continued below]
Either way, you might think you know how suing CenturyLink works. Especially if a bunch of people have the same problem, wouldn’t you find a lawyer and bring a class action suit against CenturyLink?
Well, that’s where an obscure term of company contracts comes in — it’s called consumer arbitration — and it’s incredibly common.
If there’s a consumer arbitration clause in your contract with CenturyLink then you probably can’t sue CenturyLink in a “real” court — like state or federal court. And you probably can’t sue CenturyLink as part of a class action.
So what can you do?
The first way to sue CenturyLink is through consumer arbitration. If your contract has an arbitration clause it gives you the right take legal action against CenturyLink through an officially-designated, independent dispute process that’s not a court and won’t require showing up in person. This can be a better option for a lot of regular people.
The second way to sue CenturyLink, if you have the time and dedication, is to use Small Claims Court. If you’re ready to sue CenturyLink in Small Claims Court, read on below:
Ready to sue CenturyLink in small claims court? First you need to make sure your claim qualifies. Small claims courts are only for certain types of claims, so first you need to check the following:
How much are you asking for? There are limits to small claims court for how much you can ask for when you sue CenturyLink. For most states it is between $5,000 or $10,0009, but you can find a list of all 50 states’ monetary limits here.
What are you asking for? The type of compensation you are asking for matters too. There are two types of awards that you can seek in a lawsuit – monetary (a dollar value payment) and equitable (any non-monetary request). Most small claims courts can only grant monetary awards so you need to come with a monetary value in mind when you sue CenturyLink.
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 sue CenturyLink. This is to ensure you’ve done your part to fix it outside of the court system.
This letter can be simple, just a few sentences where you tell CenturyLink who you are (your name, address, phone number and account number), what the problem is, and what you want from them. The goal here is just to check the legal box before you officially sue CenturyLink.
When you’re done writing, you need to mail a hard copy of the letter, preferably as certified mail or some other service that allows you to confirm delivery, to:
Attn: Litigation Department
931 14th Street
Denver, CO 80202
If you would like examples of demand letters or more information about how to write them, you can find an excellent guide here.
In order to sue CenturyLink in small claims court, assuming they did not respond to the demand letter, you have to fill out the right court documents.
Each state has a set of forms that need to be filled out to sue CenturyLink in small claims courts, and sometimes counties will provide additional forms.
You can locate the correct forms for your location for free on your state court’s website.
Make sure you fill out enough forms too. Most courts require 3 or 4 for the next step, and if you don’t have enough, you won’t be able to sue CenturyLink today.
When you’re done filling out the court forms, it’s time to give those forms to the court. This is a legal process called “filing” and like the forms themselves, different courts have different rules.
Many courts will require you to physically come to the courthouse during specific hours and days to hand-deliver the forms to the court’s clerk in order to sue CenturyLink. If you are very lucky, you might live in an area where the courts allow you to file by mail, fax or (for a few courts) online.
Regardless, you will need to pay a small claims court filing fee before they allow your to sue CenturyLink in small claims. The amount for this fee will be published on your court’s website, and it can sometimes be waved if you are a low income plaintiff.
When you file your forms, the court clerk will provide you with a stamped copy of the forms and assign you a court date. Keep all of that safe for the next steps…
With one of those stamped copies, you now have to “serve” CenturyLink which is just a legal way of officially notifying them that you have taken the steps to sue CenturyLink..
To do this, you need to deliver a copy of your filed papers to CenturyLink in accordance with the rules for where you live. Check out the court website for instructions on how to do this, or search for “[your state] small claims service of process”.
Every court is different, and some courts have many strange rules about how to serve a defendant, but if you don’t follow each of them, your claim will be dropped.So be careful!
You’ve reached the final step! Remember when the court clerk gave you a court date after you filed your forms? That’s the date of your hearing.
Make sure you go to the right courthouse, with your copy of your filed forms, and any other evidence that backs up your case for why you decided to sue CenturyLink.
Sometimes they won’t show up to oppose you, other times CenturyLink will send representation. Either way, use the time to focus on your side of the story.