Want to sue Enterprise in small claims court?

Your Guide to Sue Enterprise Rent A Car in Small Claims Court

Your Enterprise Contract probably says you can’t sue Enterprise in any court except Small Claims Court, thanks to an arbitration clause. So can you even do it? Well, it can be complicated and time consuming, but suing Enterprise in small claims court is possible, and it usually gets you what you want.

1

Does your case qualify to sue Enterprise in small claims court?

Just because you are ready to sue Enterprise in small claims court doesn’t mean you can.

Why is that? Because 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:

  1. The type of claim: When you sue Enterprise you can only do so for one of two things in normal court. That is either money (known as a monetary claim) or property (known as an equitable claim). Small claims courts typically only offer monetary compensation so you can only sue Enterprise for money.
  2. The amount of money: Every small claims court has a maximum dollar size for the claim you present, which means when you sue Enterprise you can only ask for so much (or so little). 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.

If your claim doesn’t fall within the limits of your state’s small claims court, you’ll have to arbitrate your claim instead.

2

Send Enterprise a Demand Letter

You should always ask nicely for things, and in the case of small claims courts, you are required to ask nicely.

In this case you have to ask Enterprise to fix the problem voluntarily before you sue Enterprise. So if you want to sue Enterprise in small claims court, you need to send them a demand letter first.

Your demand letter can be simple and straightforward, just a few sentences where you tell Enterprise who you are (your name, address, phone number and account number), what the problem is, and what you want from them.

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 their legal address. Enterprise is legally based in Delaware and receives mail at this address :

EAN Services, LLC
THE CORPORATION TRUST COMPANY
CORPORATION TRUST CENTER 1209 ORANGE ST
WILMINGTON, DE 19801

If you would like examples of demand letters or more information about how to write them, you can find an excellent guide here.

3

Fill out court forms.

In order to sue Enterprise in small claims court, you’re going to need to fill out some paper work. Each state is different too, and sometimes your county will tack on extra 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 will ask for 3 or 4 copies. If you don’t have the right number, they will not accept your claim.

4

File the complaint with your court.

When you’re done filling out the court forms, it’s time to give those forms to the court officially through a process called “filing”.

Many courts will require you to physically head down to the court house and hand the papers to the county clerk during specific hours and days. Other courts may allow you to file by mail, fax or (for a few courts) online.

All courts will require you to pay a small claims court filing fee before they allow your to sue Enterprise 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.

5

“Serve” your forms on Enterprise.

With so many copies, there has to be a reason. There is. You now need to send one of those copies to Enterprise. This is a legal process where you tell them you are suing them, known as “serving”.

To do this, you need to deliver a copy of your filed papers to Enterprise.

Look at your court’s website for instructions on how to properly deliver your forms to Enterprise, 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!

6

Go to court.

Now you have to go back to court, going to the courthouse at the right date and time given to you by the clerk when you first filed.

Bring your copy of your filed forms, and any other evidence that backs up your case against Enterprise.

Sometimes, Enterprise 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 Enterprise in small claims court?
If this sounds too hard and expensive, try consumer arbitration instead…

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