Your contract with Charter Spectrum (aka Time Warner Cable) says you can’t sue Charter Spectrum in any court except Small Claims Court. Below, you will find the steps to take Charter Spectrum to Small Claims Court. But, there may be a faster and cheaper way: Consumer arbitration could help you hold Charter Spectrum accountable.
Ready to sue Spectrum in small claims court? Small claims courts are only for certain types of claims, so your first step is to make sure your claim can be filed. There are two things you need to pay attention to:
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 your claim. So if you want to sue Charter Spectrum in small claims court, you need to send them a demand letter first.
Your demand letter can be simple and straightforward – tell Spectrum who you are (your name, address, phone number and account number), what the problem is, and what you want from them. The whole letter can be a few sentences – remember that you are just checking a box before you file your actual claim.
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:
VP and Associate General Counsel, Litigation
12405 Powerscourt Drive
St. Louis, MO, 63131
If you would like examples of demand letters or more information about how to write them, you can find an excellent guide here.
(This address is taken from the Spectrum subscriber agreement here.)
In order to sue Spectrum in small claims court, you’re going to need to fill out some paper work.
Each state has a set of forms that need to be filled out to file a claim, and sometimes counties will provide additional forms. The correct forms for your location will be available for free on your state court’s website.
Make sure you fill out enough forms – most states that require you to file forms by mail or in-person (see Step 3) will ask for 3 or 4 copies. If you don’t have the right number, they will not accept your claim.
When you’re done filling out the court forms, it’s time to give those forms to the court. This process, called “filing” can be a bit tricky.
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. Other courts may allow you to file by mail, fax or (for a few courts) online.
All courts will require you to pay a filing fee before they allow your to sue Charter Spectrum in small claims. This fee, which will be published on your court’s website, 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 a court date. Keep it safe and bring it with you on the day of your hearing.
If you’ve made it this far – good work! Suing Spectrum in small claims is a long and tough process.
Now that you’ve filed the papers required to start your case against Spectrum, you need to tell Spectrum that it’s been sued. This is a called “serving” Spectrum. To do this, you need to deliver a copy of your filed papers to Spectrum.
Look at your court’s website for instructions on how to properly deliver your forms to Spectrum, or search for “[your state] small claims service of process”. Courts have many strange rules about how to serve a defendant, and your claim will be dropped if you do not follow them perfectly. So be careful!
When the court clerk gives you a court date (after you file your forms), make sure to put it on your calendar.
Make sure you know which courthouse to go to. Bring your copy of your filed forms, and any other evidence that backs up your case as to why you sought to sue Spectrum, and what they did to you.
Sometimes, Spectrum will not show up to oppose you. If that happens, take advantage of the situation to focus on your side of the story.
Ready to sue Spectrum in small claims court?
If this sounds too hard and expensive, try consumer arbitration instead…
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