Unfortunately, I've had to resort to small claims a few times over the years. It can work. It's up to the judge and how clearly you present your case. Documentation is huge, so having that well organized means a lot more to a judge than just your word against his. It sucks to have to do it, but when deadbeats don't take responsibility for their actions, sometimes you have to hold them responsible. I've won and lost, but even when I lost, I still felt good, knowing that I dragged that POS into court and made him squirm. Just keep your expectations low and don't let yourself lose sleep over it. -you'll come out alright. Good luck.