Contact for Sue a business over a consumer complaint
Superior Court, Boston Municipal Court, and District Court locations
The Details of Sue a business over a consumer complaint
What you need for Sue a business over a consumer complaint
Before you can begin the process of suing a business, you need to find out if you have an eligible claim under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Law. Next, you must send a detailed 30 day demand letter that lets the business know about your complaint.
If you have sent the 30 day demand letter and were not able to fix the problem with the business, you can sue the business. You may want to get legal advice if you’re going to court. Learn more about how to find an attorney.
Everyone who files a civil complaint must follow the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure (and other court department rules and standing orders).To begin a civil case in court, you must:
- Draft the complaint yourself (there is no pre-printed form)
- If the claim is for $7000 or less — You can file a form called a “Statement of Claim and Notice” (rather than a complaint) in the small claims department of the District Court, Boston Municipal Court (BMC), or Housing Court, where the court procedures are simpler and easier to follow. See Small Claims for information on filing a small claims case
Fees for Sue a business over a consumer complaint
You'll need to pay a filing fee. The filing fee will vary depending on which court department you file your complaint in.
How to sue Sue a business over a consumer complaint
More info for Sue a business over a consumer complaint
In civil cases other than a small claims case, after the answer is filed, the court will set case management deadlines for the filing of discovery and other motions and set dates for a pretrial conference and a trial. The Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure and other court department rules and standing orders govern the process for how a court manages a case.
Settlements & awards
In general, a court may award you $25 or the amount of money you can prove you lost. However, there are some exceptions:
- The business may offer you a settlement in response to your 30-day demand letter. If the business makes a reasonable offer and you turn it down, a court may limit your award to what the business offered.
- The law allows additional awards when a business “knowingly” or “willfully” does something wrong. A business acts knowingly or willfully when it knows it broke a law or doesn’t fix a problem after being told that it’s breaking the law. If a business acted knowingly or willfully, you might receive an award of double or triple (“treble”) damages. This means that you can receive up to 3 times the amount that you lost to the business. The business might also be required to pay your legal fees.