As many of you know, I worked at the Circuit Clerk’s office for 13 years. People would come to me to sue other people. If the party of the first part (hereinafter known as “plaintiff”) was suing the party of the second part (hereinafter known as “defendant”) for less than $3,000, the plaintiff could file it themselves without benefit of legal counsel.
A lot of suits were filed in what’s known as Small Claims Court. Each plaintiff had a reason(s) for bringing suit against the defendant(s).
I generally handed a form to a potential plaintiff, briefly explained how to fill it out, and left them to it.
Legal forms are kind of intimidating, often in a language that would appear to be English and yet not making a whole lot of sense. It’s confusing.
One day a potential plaintiff filled out her form and paid the filing fee, thus making her a real-life plaintiff. I would usually just glance at the space reserved for giving the reason for the suit. It’s important that that’s filled out, otherwise the defendant(s) doesn’t know why he’s getting sued.
I invariably heard the plaintiff’s story and how the defendant done them wrong. I was always very busy and didn’t have time to listen to everybody’s story, but I heard enough of this one to know it had something to do with her truck.
Her reason for the suit: “Damage to truck $3,000 and mintle angus.”
Mintle angus? At first I thought maybe the truck had hit a cow. Then I realized that what she was trying to say was “mental anguish.”
Alas and alack, she would not be awarded for anything mintle or mental because punitive damages are not allowed in Small Claims Court.
Fortunately, the plaintiff had left my window before I read her reasons for bringing suit. It was LOL (formerly known as Laugh Out Loud) for the rest of the day!