Thanks to an arbitration clause in your Fidelity terms of service contract, you probably can’t sue Fidelity in any court except Small Claims Court . The small claims court process can be complicated and time consuming, but suing Fidelity in small claims court usually gets you what you want.
Are you ready to sue Fidelity in small claims court? Small claims court cases are only for certain types of claims. Your first step is to make sure your claim qualifies for a filing. There are two things you need to focus on when you decide whether to file a lawsuit in small claims court:
If your claim doesn’t fall within the limits of your state’s small claims court, you’ll have to arbitrate your claim instead.
Your demand letter can be simple and straightforward. Tell Fidelity 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.
When you’re done writing the demand letter for Fidelity, 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. Fidelity is legally based in Delaware and receives mail at this address :
Fidelity Brokerage 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.
Each state has a set of forms that need to be filled out to file a claim, and sometimes counties will require the submission of 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 will ask for 3 or 4 copies. If you don’t have the right number of copies, then they will not accept your claim.
When you’re done filling out the court forms, it’s time to submit the forms to the court.
All courts require plaintiffs to pay a filing fee before they allow you to sue Fidelity in small claims court. The fee, which publishes on the court website, is sometimes waived for low income plaintiffs.
When you submit your forms, the court clerk provides you with a stamped copy of the forms and a court date. Write down the date of your hearing and organize the forms in a manila folder.
Now that you’ve filed the papers required to start your case against Fidelity, you need to tell Fidelity about the lawsuit. This is a called “serving” Fidelity. To do this, you need to deliver a copy of your filed papers to Fidelity.
Look at your court’s website for instructions on how to properly deliver your forms to Fidelity, or search for “[your state] small claims service of process”. Courts have many rules about how to serve a defendant, and your claim might not get approved if you do not follow the rules perfectly.
Make sure you know which courthouse is holding the hearing. Bring your copy of your filed forms, and any other evidence that backs up your case against Fidelity.
Sometimes, Fidelity does not show up to oppose plaintiffs. If that happens to you, take advantage of Fidelity’s absence by presenting your side of the story.
Ready to sue Fidelity in small claims court?
If this sounds too hard and expensive, try consumer arbitration instead…
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