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Anyone ever go to small claims court?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by bigpern23, May 8, 2008.

  1. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    So my former roommate is a psycho and I'm thinking about suing her to get back some stuff she stole when she moved out and the money for utilities she never paid us.

    Unfortunately, the total value of everything is probably no more than $100.

    I'm wondering how much it costs to go to small claims court and if she would have to pay the court fees if she loses (which she will considering I have emails from her admitting she has our stuff and owes us money).

    Frankly, since she's been such a bitch lately (actually called the cops on me for no reason), I'm considering suing even it would cost more than the stuff is actually worth. I'm that pissed (and I really don't want her to win) and, yes, I'm that petty.

    If court costs too much, I might just have to decide that $100 is worth it to never see her again. Just wanted to see if anyone knows anything about it.
  2. Trey Beamon

    Trey Beamon Active Member

    Cue the music! :D

  3. Philosopher

    Philosopher Member

    This varies from state to state. You should just do some searches and find out.

    Generally the paperwork is simple and the fees are low. You'll both just show up with whatever evidence you have and will tell your story to the Judge, who will try to do some rough justice. (It's about the closest you'll get to Judge Judy in a real life courtroom.)

    For just $100, seems like a waste of time to me. But it's certainly a viable option. Good luck.
  4. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    Oh, I have no doubt it's a waste of time. But after she called the cops on me, I don't mind wasting her time one bit.
  5. Guy_Incognito

    Guy_Incognito Well-Known Member

    Once sued a company & settled out of court, but it was for alot more than $100 - hardly seems worth it. Once threatened to sue another company (or report them to the better business bureau & got hem to give me $50, but I would probably have let it go if they hadn't.
  6. Philosopher

    Philosopher Member

    One thing to be aware of is that she might make counter-claims against you as part of the same proceeding. If the Judge believes whatever she has to say, you might end up owing her money (instead of vice versa).

    In sum, I wouldn't take the risk of opening this can of worms. Let sleeping dogs lie.
  7. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Once took a former landlord to court to get my security deposit (over $600) back. He countersued me for $2,000, claiming I owed him for another month's rent, and that I damaged the bathroom.

    It cost me $10 to file. It's like the TV shows. Bring every bit of evidence you can. I brought papers, pictures of the apartment when I moved out (which showed the bathroom floor damage wasn't my fault).

    If you don't have evidence, the judge will toss your case out. You probably won't get extra money for having the cops called on you, unless you file a false arrest complaint against her with the police.

    End summary: I won my case, and the judge chewed out the landlord for trying to pull a fast one.
  8. Rosie

    Rosie Active Member

    I recently filed in small claims court for money owed for work I did. It was $55 to file. I brought stacks of papers, emails, copies of checks issued to me in the past for the same work.

    I won.

    Like someone else said, it varies state to state. In my case, there was a four-week appeal window, after which I recorded the judgment at the courthouse ($30), which they were responsible for, in addition to the filing fee. They did make good. If they hadn't then I could have turned the judgment over to the sheriff (another fee, don't remember what that would have been) and give them all the info I could to aid them in collecting the money. In my case, since I had copies of checks, I had their bank info and the sheriff's department could have seized whatever money was in that account up to the amount owed and turn it over to me.

    They paid up a day after the appeal window had closed. What they don't know is they were a day or two away from me turning it over to the sheriff's department.

    Before court, the judge asked everyone who had both parties present to go out in the hall and try to settle. That didn't work in my case, not even close. (It's pretty bad when the bailiff comes out to see who's too loud.)

    For $100, I don't know that I'd want to go through the whole court thing. If she stole stuff and you have emails she sent, why don't you turn it over to law enforcement? (Yeah, my small townishness is showing again.)
  9. Sxysprtswrtr

    Sxysprtswrtr Active Member

    I have used small claims court one time, and after several negotiations with a jerkoff lawyer who told me on more than one occasion that I was an "ignorant broad," it worked out in my favor.

    Didn't get all I was asking for; however, by the time the defendant paid the $5,000+ for his lawyer to represent him in small claims, I felt it was justified karma in a way.

    The cost to file was in the neighborhood of $75.

    I recommend small claims for something more than $100. Anything that price or less - to me - just isn't worth your time, energy and the filing cost.
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