In small claims court, if the plaintiff knows what the defendant will likely say, should the plaintiff address these in the initial application? This makes sense to me because usually someone going to court has tried (and failed) to resolve the dispute with the other party.
For example my ex-landlord owes me my damage deposit. He said he won't give it back because a hallway was left messy. I disagree with this because 1) the hall way was shared 2) the landlord never mentioned this during the inspection 3) cleaning the hallway can't possibly be worth the entire damage deposit. Should I bring this up or in my initial application should I just say "landlord hasn't returned my damage deposit".
A lot of what I'd like to submit as evidence is the landlord claiming that I did x so the landlord retailiated by doing y...though I don't necessarily agree (or at least have a different interpretation of) that I did x, if I was to submit the whole email thread as evidence it would sort of be like submitting evidence against me at the same time. Hope that made sense.
Additionally, should evidence be submitted if the claim is not yet being disputed? For example I could include photos of my room being cleaned, but the landlord never claimed that it wasn't.