COURTS AND COURT OFFICIALS
SMALL CLAIMS DEPARTMENT OF THE MAGISTRATE DIVISION
1-2307. Attorneys at law — Collection agencies — Witnesses and evidence — Judgment. [(1)] It shall not be necessary to summon witnesses, but the plaintiff and defendant in any claim shall have the privilege of offering evidence in their behalf, themselves and witnesses appearing at such hearing, and being duly sworn as in other cases, and the magistrate shall render and enter judgment as in other cases. No attorney at law shall appear before the court on behalf of any party at any trial, pretrial matter or posttrial motion in the small claims department; provided however, that nothing herein shall be construed to prevent an attorney at law from providing a party with legal advice concerning the issues in a case or the preparation or presentation of the case, including the preparation of exhibits, affidavits, or memoranda to be presented by the party to the action. An attorney may appear in any proceeding after entry of a small claims judgment relating to the execution of the judgment, including any proceeding for the examination of the judgment debtor in aid of execution of the judgment. Any attorney at law or law firm may be a party to a small claims proceeding and may prosecute any claim the attorney or law firm may have, except any claim obtained by assignment, and may appear before the court as any other plaintiff or defendant in the case.
(2) In any case in which a business organization is a party including, without limitation, a corporation, whether nonprofit or for profit, partnership, professional association or sole proprietorship, no person shall represent the organization except an owner of a substantial interest in the organization or any nonattorney employee of the organization. At the option of the business organization, the same owner or nonattorney employee may represent the business organization in any trial de novo on appeal to the magistrate division and the organization shall not be required to appear through an attorney at law.
(3) Any assignee of a debt or claim triable in the small claims department, including any licensed collection agency, may bring an action in small claims court; provided however, that no attorney at law who is an assignee of the debt or claim may appear before the small claims court.
[(1-2307) 1-2308, added 1969, ch. 103, sec. 8, p. 348; am. 1991, ch. 291, sec. 1, p. 751; am. 1996, ch. 373, sec. 3, p. 1270; am. and redesig. 2000, ch. 250, sec. 10, p. 707.]