Have you successfully sued someone in small claims court?

  1. Hi all, I'm getting ready to sue someone in small claims court in a different state for ripping me off last year. I sent her a money order for an LV bag and never got the bag. I completed the auction outside of eBay so I can't ask for their help. I am also currently working with law enforcement because she has multiple criminal and civil convictions, and I can't believe she's still walking around free on the street.

    I will do an asset search on her so I can determine what she has and possibly have a better chance of getting my money back. I'll also do an employment search so if needed I can garnish her wages. I will also be suing her for all the costs I incurred in tracking her down.

    Could you please share your experiences and any tips, hints, words of wisdom? Many thanks!
  2. hey lori, you've done alot of work and i'm glad to hear you are getting somewhere!

    I hear that if you come prepared with all your backup evidence, and show that you tried to settle it prior, you should be able to get something back. at least the cost of the bag. don't know if they will garnish wages though. I haven't gone through the system myself, but that's what i read...

    LOTS OF good vibes and good luck to you!! let us know how it goes! :heart: bubbles
  3. My mother and I sued a restaurant owner a few years ago. In our case, the defendant did not show, which is an automatic win essentially. But I had to sit in the courtroom for hours hearing every case before ours and I would agree with Bubbles: most people who had done their research and showed that they had tried to settle out of court won. Collecting is a whole different issue though, but I'm not entirely familiar with it since our guy just paid up and we didn't have any issues.
  4. i don't think you can garnish wages for a judgement in small claims court, but i could be wrong.
  5. My husband won a judgement against a company (2 people) that did not pay him commissions owed. He took them to court, he won and did not get a penny from the judgement. It actually cost us money to take them to court and have a lawyer help. So just because you win does not make it easier to collect any money.
    It was a waste of time for us.
  6. Hi Lori, I do not have any experience in this so I do not have much to contribute other than to wish you well going after her. It sounds like you've got things mobilized really well so far.

    Please keep us posted on how it's going. You've been a tremendous help to me and I just wanted to thank you! I'll post more if I come across more info.

  7. I am not sure but if they dont pay up cant they be sent to collections??????

    I think I remember my aunt saying something about this (she took someone to small claims) but she not in the states now so I cant ask her.

    Sorry this happen to you!!! I hate criminals!!!!
  8. Good luck and good for you for standing up and fighting back!!!

    I successfully sued twice in small claims court, both automotive in nature LOL, in fact, one of the guys just got indicted on 16 counts of fraud, why am I not surprised!!! http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/12/16/BAEBDIGEST4.DTL)

    Anyway, as far as tips:

    • Be organized: you will need to move/think fast as the judges are cranking through these cases
    • Be prepared: bring every tiny little thing you might need
    • Be respectful of the judge (it's always Your Honor, and not sir, I learned that the hard way!) and of the other party no matter how mad they make you (if they even show up)
    • Be brief and succinct whenever possible and always stick to the facts

    If you win and they don't pay: you can hire a US Marshall to collect your winnings as well as their fee :yes:

    Good luck :heart:
  9. Even if you win a civil case, the defendant will never pay for the money you paid to track him/her down. It's a civil case not a criminal case. You will probably pay more in lawyer's fees than anything else. Is it going to be a summary judgment?
  10. Sheesh, thanks for the positive reinforcement! :rolleyes:
  11. UPDATE: I am sending a packet of all my paperwork to the police chief, the sheriff and the district attorney. This woman has criminal AND civil convictions in multiple states. She's obviously slipped through the cracks until now.

    Yes, I have incurred costs to track her down but it's WORTH IT. If I can get her prosecuted and in jail, finally, I'm keeping her from swindling others. I am doing the right thing and that's all that matters.
  12. Thank you so much for the tips! I didn't know about hiring a US Marshall ... I will keep that in mind! I have every piece of paperwork so I am ready -- bring it on!
  13. I know re car accident claims you can get their license suspended until they pay if they were uninsured. Not sure about other judgments.
    Small claims courts are set up so you don't need a lawyer and can do it yourself. Good luck. (And like ^^ said, be super respectful of the court, wait your turn to talk, etc.)
  14. Good luck Lori! You are doing the right thing!!! Thank you and good luck!
  15. Good luck to you!