It seems like it would be a simple enough question to answer and on the one hand it is. Yes. If you are suing someone you have to show up to the hearing and prove you’re entitled to be the winner. That makes sense really because you’re the one who is going to know the most about your case.
However, if for example “you” are a corporation, you may appear at the hearing “only through a regular employee, or a duly appointed or elected officer or director, who is employed, appointed, or elected for purposes other than solely representing the corporation in small claims court.”
Simply put you cannot hire someome whose job it is to defennd the corporation in small claims court.
Now if you are a plaintiff and you are also in the United States Armed Forces, you do not need to show up at the small claims hearing but you must also meet these requirements:
1. You are serving on active duty in the United States Armed Forces outside of California and;
2. You were assigned to your duty station after your claim arose, and;
3. The assignment is for more than six months.
If you meet all of these requirements you can have someone represent you in the small claims hearing but that person cannot be paid to represent you.
Finally, the person who represents you cannot have appeared in small claims actions on behalf of others more than four times during the calendar year.