Small Claims Question

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by T.E., Dec 3, 2007.

  1. T.E.

    T.E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 799

    I sued a woman in SMC for non payment. After she was served, she sent payment. This morning I received an email saying, since I haven't cashed the check, (I have not cashed it) she will see me in court.

    The question is. At this point can I expect to get my fees in court? The process server tells me yes. Just wanting to hear some of your experiences.

    Thanks, Tony
     
  2. humble1

    humble1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MA
    Posts: 2,499

    If you win in court you get associated costs of service. Why didnt you just cash it and write off the court fees?
     
  3. alneville

    alneville LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    It all comes down to what its worth to you. If it's worth a couple of hundred dollars is it worth the bad experience that this person will tell everyone she knows about (regardless of her failure to pay) her bad experience. Over the years we had a small claims filed against us, we lost even though it was we were clearly not in the wrong. So we adopted a do whatever it takes to avoid court at all cost because you as a business owner have far greater to lose that a home owner who has nothing to lose. A good attorney friend of mine always reminds me to not avoid going to court for principle. I'd maybe contact her and see if you can't work it out (esspecially since she sent payment), you may have to swallow your pride a little bit nobdy said this business was easy unfortunitly.....
     
  4. T.E.

    T.E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 799

    Because that means I'm losing money! If I wanted to lose money I wouldn't have filed suit in the first place.

    I don't see how I can lose. She sent payment after she was served. I also have all of the emails she sent saying she was going to pay, and when, but never did.

    Later, Tony
     
  5. T.E.

    T.E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 799

    She sent me an email this morning, and I replied that once I got incurred fees it would be over. She, by the tone of the email thinks she can win. She said I never contacted her, that she overlooked it. I sent a copy of HER email to me acknowleding my phone calls, and email. In this email she said payment would go out on such and such day. That day was in Aug. of this yr. I filed suit on 10/31/07. This was also for work done in April. I think I have been more than fair.
     
  6. alneville

    alneville LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    I'm sure you have been extremely fair. You just have to ask yourself what will you gain out of it. It may cost you some (new) business, possilby some current because of the bad mouthing of your company. What happens if you lose then you get both sides of the double edged sword. Judges are not to keen on business going after consumers, if it's a large dollar amount that your business if rellying on then go for it. But if it's just a couple of hundred dollars I'd walk away and take my losses. It better to have a customer that has nothing good or bad to say compared to someone who is more than likely willing to bury your companies reputation.
     
  7. humble1

    humble1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MA
    Posts: 2,499

    If you cashed the check you can write off the "expenses" of the court service, the judge is not going to look at you in a favorable manner (wasting the courts time) when he finds out she paid you but you are taking her to court anyway.
     
  8. T.E.

    T.E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 799

    You may be right. My question to you is this. What do you base that statement on? She should've paid "BEFORE" she was served. Why legally should I eat my collection fees?

    Just looking at all of the options. Thanks for the opinions, Tony
     
  9. T.E.

    T.E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 799

    One thing I forgot to mention is, I have to be in court for another case the same day. No matter what I decide on this case.

    Thanks, Tony
     
  10. shane mapes

    shane mapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    would it he better to just write it off and forget about it ?? if you push the issue and the judge finds out you could have and should have deposited the check it's not going to look to professional.. the fees can't be that high that it break you you know.
     

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