Anyone ever had to take somoneone to court?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Spartan Pride, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. Spartan Pride

    Spartan Pride LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    I recently actually had to take a client to court over non-payment. Pretty sad and I didn't want to, but they were flat out lying to me about having the money.

    With the economy taking a downturn, you'd like to be understanding, but deception is just not something I can put up with.

    Anyway, it wasn't for that much, just wondering if anyone has had a similar experience. Oh and we won the full judgment in case anyone was interested.
     
  2. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,649

    I have a judgement against a womens property for $400.00 and will keep increasing every year. She had me level up for a swimming pool and said she was short and would pay in 2 weeks. 2 weeks went to 4 months, i contacted a local collection thru my attorneys office. Deal is they keep 1/3 collected did all the dirty work. I didn't even have to show up in court, got a lien against her property. That means if she wants to sell or borrow more money i will get paid. Also company will keep on picking at her in the legal way because they dont get paid until i do. I have to stop at a red light in front of her house almost every day and it pissed me off to take action for this kind of money.
    Mike
     
  3. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    My court day is this coming Monday. This lady is into us for 1000.00. Her actual bill was well over 100 bucks LESS than her estimate with additional work :confused: My original court date was 1 month ago but she continued it to form a defense. One question, did you get payment in full right after or did the Judge arrange payments?
     
  4. Spartan Pride

    Spartan Pride LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    They way it works where I'm at(Michigan). They give the person 21 days to pay via a check in the mail. After that, I have the option to go to their employer to garnish wages or to the bank where they have their savings.

    Not sure how tricky that part is, but hopefully it won't come to that.

    My advice for your case is to just come prepared with all documentation and anything else you can use. Being well prepared is important in establishing credibility. I'd even bring a list of satisfied customers or whatever you can get your hands on.
     
  5. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    I'm pretty well prepared. I have all of the letters, estimats/bill etc. I didnt think of a list of saticfied customer's. I just think mine is going to be a simple in and out thing but you never know. Thanks.
     
  6. Spartan Pride

    Spartan Pride LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    Anytime. Be sure to let us know how it turns out. Best of luck.
     
  7. ARGOS

    ARGOS LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,808

    I have been to court twice. I won both cases. Obviously I was in the right position. In both cases I brought a copious journal of events in chronological order. I kept it to the events and conversations and avoided my personal opinions and/or insights. The events and conversations speak for them selves if they are accurate. Both times the judge thoroughly looked over my journal. In one of the cases I brought a witness. I have several friends that are attorneys and they say that 90% of the time people incriminate themselves. Don't volunteer more information then necessary to make your point.
     
  8. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,649

    The problem i had was this women was a dead beat. I didn't know it at the time but she did this to every one. You can win a judgement easy but collecting is another thing. She runs a day care business and probably files a business loss so how do you draw blood from a turnip. I left the collection agency do the legal work and 1 day i will get 2/3 of what was owed to me.
    mike
     
  9. Spartan Pride

    Spartan Pride LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    Exactly. I presented my case and I was short and sweet. I thought the guy was a jerk, but I kept it strictly business. Just presented the facts and that was all. He on the other hand called my associate a thug and a bully (just because he called him a few times a week trying to figure out where our money was).

    The magistrate was not thrilled at his name calling and it hurt his credibility while making us look good. He also proceeded to contradict himself on several other points. You'll do just fine.
     
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,654

    No but I have to go next week for driving on expired registration,
    there wasn't much I could do since the other vehicle is expired too,
    so does that count?
     

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