For a small claims suit, you will have to file in the county where the property is located, so you will have to travel back to the area once the court date is set, then even if you get a judgment that is not the end of it, you will have to then take that judgment and find her assets if she has any to attach, this can be a tedious process at best, and she maybe what the law calls judgment proof i.e. no assets then no monies to collect
Remember judgment is the easy part collection is the hard part, so you will have to weigh the time and effort to sue this woman versus the potential of not being able to collect on the judgment esp. if she is not paying the rent
You can ask for court fees but it’s up to the judge to award it, and no you do not get monies for missing work to sue the person, not sure about other expenses related to the suit it may part of doing business so to speak
But once again the main thing you must consider is, can I even collect on the judgment? Or are you throwing good money after bad
Get an attorney.
THE best way to find a lawyer is by word of mouth. Ask your: family, friends, coworkers, anyone you might know in the same situation, etc.
Call your local (usually county) bar association. Ask for names of attorneys that handle your type of matter. (If money is a BIG problem, you could also ask for the phone number of your local LegalAid office. - the attorneys at LegalAid are "real" attorneys, but sometimes in the field of Law, how much you are willing to pay does affect the quality you get.)
When you call the law office(s), insist on speaking with the Lawyer. Just tell the Secretary the main idea of your matter - do not tell all the little details of your matter to the Secretary - save the details for the Attorney. When you get the Lawyer on the phone line, ask him/her:
- Do they give >>>FREE, initial consultations for the FIRST meeting? (most do, but not all - you have to ask, don't assume)
- How much do they charge?
- Could you make payments on your account?
- Can they help you? OR Refer you to someone who can help you?
(This is based on my knowledge, information, belief, and life experiences. This was intended as personal opinion, and not intended to be used as legal advice. Seeking advice over the Internet is not a good idea - the field of Law is too complex for that. Please be careful and do your research.)