Small claims is designed to be a summary and expedited procedure, so many of the litigation tools of a full trial process are not available to the parties. The rules of Evidence are relaxed (at the judge’s discretion), but many procedural tools are limited or unavailable—such as “Discovery” and motion practice. There is usually only one hearing and its” do or die”. Be sure to have all your evidence and witnesses ready on the hearing date. You can object to statements made by the opposing party “on the stand”, and you have limited cross examination (only of the issues raised on direct examination).
This link may be helpful, if you live in Massachusetts (each state has a comparable site):
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