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View Full Version : Life Has anyone ever gone to small claims court?


Pestilence
10-03-2008, 10:39 AM
Either as a defendant or plaintiff?

I might be taking someone to small claims court in the near future and I'm looking for experiences and advice.

Thanks.

Buck
10-03-2008, 10:41 AM
Yes, as a plaintiff, and I lost.

The judge decided that instead of listening to everything, he'd rather just take all our paper work and decide who was at fault.

I got the results by mail, and I was pissed.

MOhillbilly
10-03-2008, 10:43 AM
two words. strong arm.

blueballs
10-03-2008, 10:44 AM
small clams court
get over yourself

Pestilence
10-03-2008, 10:49 AM
Ok....so basically this is my case.

A while back I adopted a dog from a shelter and 6 days later it tested positive for parvo. I took it to the vet where it stayed for 7 days before I had to put him down. My medical bills totaled over $4000. I worked with the lady who I adopted him from and she said that she would take it in front of the board to get reimbursed. She e-mailed me back stating that the board agreed to reimburse me the $4250 in medical bills even though the contract stated that they are not responsible for medical bills incurred because of an illness. After I received that e-mail she stopped contacting me.

So do I even have a case? It only costs me $50 and a day off from work to go to court....so the cost is no big deal. I'm just wondering if I have a chance.

seclark
10-03-2008, 10:50 AM
yes
defendant
i lost, but i made the plaintiff cry. i had to pay $125 and give her back her blanket.
she's a bitch, and she knows it.
hope this helps.
sec

Phobia
10-03-2008, 10:52 AM
Ok....so basically this is my case.

A while back I adopted a dog from a shelter and 6 days later it tested positive for parvo. I took it to the vet where it stayed for 7 days before I had to put him down. My medical bills totaled over $4000. I worked with the lady who I adopted him from and she said that she would take it in front of the board to get reimbursed. She e-mailed me back stating that the board agreed to reimburse me the $4250 in medical bills even though the contract stated that they are not responsible for medical bills incurred because of an illness. After I received that e-mail she stopped contacting me.

So do I even have a case? It only costs me $50 and a day off from work to go to court....so the cost is no big deal. I'm just wondering if I have a chance.

So, what you have is a piece of paper that says they'll pay you $4250 in medical bills.

If the judge finds in your favor he will give you a piece of paper that says they owe you $4250.

Pestilence
10-03-2008, 10:54 AM
So, what you have is a piece of paper that says they'll pay you $4250 in medical bills.

If the judge finds in your favor he will give you a piece of paper that says they owe you $4250.

Yeah and I talked to the small claims court advisor....and all I have to do is take the writ of execution from the judge....down to the sherrifs office and they can either garnish her wages, bank accounts or tax returns.

Phobia
10-03-2008, 10:58 AM
Yeah and I talked to the small claims court advisor....and all I have to do is take the writ of execution from the judge....down to the sherrifs office and they can either garnish her wages, bank accounts or tax returns.

That varies state to state but it sounds promising.

Pestilence
10-03-2008, 11:01 AM
That varies state to state but it sounds promising.

Yeah I'm just wondering how exactly the judge is going to look at it. Will he think that the contract out weighs the e-mail? Vice versa? What happens if she doesn't show up? Does that give me more credibility?

'Hamas' Jenkins
10-03-2008, 11:03 AM
Yes. My roommate and I beat the piss outta bitch who left us high and dry on some duckets.

Phobia
10-03-2008, 11:06 AM
Yeah I'm just wondering how exactly the judge is going to look at it. Will he think that the contract out weighs the e-mail? Vice versa? What happens if she doesn't show up? Does that give me more credibility?

If she doesn't show up then you'll get a judgment by default. The contract is the ultimate deciding factor but if she later made claims amending the contract then that will be factored as well.

Ultimately, the lesson is to be aware of what a vet is charging. Any time I've ever taken an animal to a vet I explain my cap which is in most cases no more than $500. If the bill is going to be more than $500 then it's time for a tough decision because there are no guarantees and who wants to pay a $4200 vet bill for a dead animal?

Deberg_1990
10-03-2008, 11:08 AM
Yea, id never pay over $500 for any animal.

Sounds cruel, but i have to have priorities.

Fairplay
10-03-2008, 11:13 AM
I would have had it put to sleep.

But thats just me.

Pestilence
10-03-2008, 11:15 AM
Yeah....I'm not saying that I didn't let my emotions get the best of me....and I ended up with $4000 of debt and the ashes of a dead dog. But that's in the past....so I could care less.

Chiefnj2
10-03-2008, 11:20 AM
Suing the dog shelter? I'd be willing to bet someone from the shelter would show up and deny ever approving the payment and just try to rely upon the contract.

Fairplay
10-03-2008, 11:20 AM
Show the Judge a picture of the pup.

That will help with the emotional ties to the case. Wear black clothes also.

Pestilence
10-03-2008, 11:28 AM
Suing the dog shelter? I'd be willing to bet someone from the shelter would show up and deny ever approving the payment and just try to rely upon the contract.

I'm suing the lady that I adopted the dog from because she isn't giving me the contact information for the shelter. So it's on her. I figure if the judge says that I'm suing the wrong person then I'll just have him get the contact information for me.

Pestilence
10-03-2008, 11:28 AM
Show the Judge a picture of the pup.

That will help with the emotional ties to the case. Wear black clothes also.

Check....thanks.

Phobia
10-03-2008, 11:29 AM
I'd buy a wolf shirt too.

Pestilence
10-03-2008, 11:30 AM
I'd buy a wolf shirt too.

Great idea! That way the judge would have to side with me....and if it turns out to be a lady judge...I'd get laid too!

Pestilence
10-03-2008, 11:45 AM
So...bring a picture of the dog, grow a mustache and wear all black.

MOhillbilly
10-03-2008, 11:57 AM
yes
defendant
i lost, but i made the plaintiff cry. i had to pay $125 and give her back her blanket.
she's a bitch, and she knows it.
hope this helps.
sec
do tell.

Chiefnj2
10-03-2008, 12:04 PM
I'm suing the lady that I adopted the dog from because she isn't giving me the contact information for the shelter. So it's on her. I figure if the judge says that I'm suing the wrong person then I'll just have him get the contact information for me.

What information do you need about the shelter that you can't get from the internet or going there in person?

Baconeater
10-03-2008, 12:12 PM
$4,250 for vet bills? Where did you take this dog, the friggin' Mayo Clinic? I didn't know that was even possible.

Anyway, both times I tried to take someone to SC court they settled up with me as soon as they received the summons.

Redrum_69
10-03-2008, 12:15 PM
Yea, id never pay over $500 for any animal.

Sounds cruel, but i have to have priorities.



a person is an animal...so you are saying youd never spend over $500 on family?

Pestilence
10-03-2008, 12:16 PM
$4,250 for vet bills? Where did you take this dog, the friggin' Mayo Clinic? I didn't know that was even possible.

Anyway, both times I tried to take someone to SC court they settled up with me as soon as they received the summons.

13 days in a vet clinic. 6 days of that was in an emergency vet clinic over the July 4th holiday weekend.

Pestilence
10-03-2008, 12:17 PM
What information do you need about the shelter that you can't get from the internet or going there in person?

The way it's set up is fucking retarded if you ask me. It's a foster shelter. So basically the "shelter" is a board made up of 5 people who own the shelter. Everything else is run out of foster homes because there is no physical shelter. A dog is at a foster home until someone adopts it. The only contact I've had is with the lady I adopted the dog from.

ziggysocki
10-03-2008, 12:19 PM
I think you would have a chance, but I think you are suing the wrong party. Your original contract was with the shelter and the email referenced the shelter's board, I would think you have very little chance of getting a judgment against anyone other than the shelter. You should refile against the shelter or it could cost you $100 and 2 days off work. (not like that would be bad)

Baconeater
10-03-2008, 12:21 PM
13 days in a vet clinic. 6 days of that was in an emergency vet clinic over the July 4th holiday weekend.

Unreal. :shake:

What scares me is that you used the word "contract", more than likely whatever is stated in that is how the judge is going to rule. Good luck.

Pestilence
10-03-2008, 12:23 PM
Unreal. :shake:

What scares me is that you used the word "contract", more than likely whatever is stated in that is how the judge is going to rule. Good luck.

That's what scares me as well. Thanks.

Pestilence
10-03-2008, 12:24 PM
I think you would have a chance, but I think you are suing the wrong party. Your original contract was with the shelter and the email referenced the shelter's board, I would think you have very little chance of getting a judgment against anyone other than the shelter. You should refile against the shelter or it could cost you $100 and 2 days off work. (not like that would be bad)

I haven't filed as of yet. I'm trying to find out some contact information for the board before I do anything.

MOhillbilly
10-03-2008, 12:59 PM
The way it's set up is f***ing retarded if you ask me. It's a foster shelter. So basically the "shelter" is a board made up of 5 people who own the shelter. Everything else is run out of foster homes because there is no physical shelter. A dog is at a foster home until someone adopts it. The only contact I've had is with the lady I adopted the dog from.

nexttime use a hammer and move on.

Pestilence
10-03-2008, 01:02 PM
nexttime use a hammer and move on.

A hammer to kill my dog?

MOhillbilly
10-03-2008, 01:07 PM
A hammer to kill my dog?

its what i use.

if i were you id go to a law office that gives free consultants and run it by them first. if you have a lawyer youve used before even better.

mikeyis4dcats.
10-03-2008, 01:35 PM
I'm suing the lady that I adopted the dog from because she isn't giving me the contact information for the shelter. So it's on her. I figure if the judge says that I'm suing the wrong person then I'll just have him get the contact information for me.

he won't. and you will have wasted all your time and court fees.

mikeyis4dcats.
10-03-2008, 01:36 PM
BTW, I don't think you have a case, they will produce a copy of the written signed contract. What someone may have told you after that is not really relevant.

Coach
10-03-2008, 01:41 PM
Ok....so basically this is my case.

A while back I adopted a dog from a shelter and 6 days later it tested positive for parvo. I took it to the vet where it stayed for 7 days before I had to put him down. My medical bills totaled over $4000. I worked with the lady who I adopted him from and she said that she would take it in front of the board to get reimbursed. She e-mailed me back stating that the board agreed to reimburse me the $4250 in medical bills even though the contract stated that they are not responsible for medical bills incurred because of an illness. After I received that e-mail she stopped contacting me.

So do I even have a case? It only costs me $50 and a day off from work to go to court....so the cost is no big deal. I'm just wondering if I have a chance.


Did the shelter provide any document(s) that dog was given a shot to prevent those things (if they exsist) or perhaps that they withheld that information of the dog being positively tested for parvo?

Something to think about.

Pestilence
10-03-2008, 01:45 PM
Did the shelter provide any document(s) that dog was given a shot to prevent those things (if they exsist) or perhaps that they withheld that information of the dog being positively tested for parvo?

Something to think about.

I have the shot records that he got the parvo shot twice before I adopted him. He's not fully immune until he receives 4 shots. Both vets that I talked to told me that it takes 6-12 days before you see any symptoms of parvo. I had him for 6 days before I took him to the vet.

Iowanian
10-03-2008, 01:45 PM
Why someone would spend $4k on a dog they've owned less than a week I'll never comprehend.

Pestilence
10-03-2008, 01:46 PM
Why someone would spend $4k on a dog they've owned less than a week I'll never comprehend.

:clap:

Iowanian
10-03-2008, 01:51 PM
We agree on step 1.

Step 2. Why did you leave a dog you'd owned less than a week at the vet for 7 days?

Step 3. How can the Vet justify $4k to house and medicate 1 dog for a week?

Pestilence
10-03-2008, 01:53 PM
We agree on step 1.

Step 2. Why did you leave a dog you'd owned less than a week at the vet for 7 days?

Step 3. How can the Vet justify $4k to house and medicate 1 dog for a week?

2. Because they gave him a good chance of survival.....which obviously wasn't true.

3. The first 3 days were at an emergency vet clinic....where they charge out the ass.


So I'm assuming that the answer to my question in the thread topic is......

Should have let your dog die. Cool thanks for the answers instead of staying on the fucking topic at hand.

cosmo20002
10-03-2008, 02:08 PM
This may seem overly obvious, but the person you have to sue is the person who actually owned the dog, be it the shelter or the foster lady, someone owned that dog. You can sue both at the same time just to be safe.

Second, that e-mail saying they would reimburse you is completely irrelevant because it came AFTER you had voluntarily incurred the expenses. IF you had asked about expenses, THEN got the e-mail saying they would cover it, THEN incurred the expenses because you relied on the e-mail, then you might have a shot.

You are not out anything BECAUSE OF the e-mail. The e-mail was basically an unenforceable promise.

I'm not saying you have no chance of winning--that will largely depend on the original contract and any details about warranties, what to do about illnesses, etc. But what won't matter is that e-mail--it was after the fact and didn't actually impact anything.

Iowanian
10-03-2008, 02:10 PM
2
Should have let your dog die. Cool thanks for the answers instead of staying on the f***ing topic at hand.

Since you're going that route, let me say.....You're the one who sent the dog to the vet. Enjoy that $4300 worm ranch.

Unless they guaranteed in writing that it wasn't sick, or had been **treated for Parvo...you're screwed.


**I would have used the word "vaccinated" but everyone knows those are stupid and have no place in today's society.

Fairplay
10-03-2008, 02:16 PM
Get back with us on what happens when after you go to court.

Best of luck.

Pestilence
10-03-2008, 02:26 PM
Since you're going that route, let me say.....You're the one who sent the dog to the vet. Enjoy that $4300 worm ranch.

Unless they guaranteed in writing that it wasn't sick, or had been **treated for Parvo...you're screwed.


**I would have used the word "vaccinated" but everyone knows those are stupid and have no place in today's society.

Since I'm going what route? Last time I read the thread starter....I didn't ask for anyone's opinion on whether I should have put the dog down.....did I? I asked for experiences in small claims. So your opinion on my "worm ranch" has no bearing...

Mr. Flopnuts
10-03-2008, 06:13 PM
Yeah and I talked to the small claims court advisor....and all I have to do is take the writ of execution from the judge....down to the sherrifs office and they can either garnish her wages, bank accounts or tax returns.

It's a little more difficult than that, but if you get judgment send me a PM. I know how you can legally collect it. It's one of the things I do in the real world everyday.

gblowfish
10-03-2008, 06:24 PM
My wife was driving my car and got hit by an uninsured driver. He did about $2000 damage to my car. He ran from the accident. The car he was driving had expired plates, he had a suspended license. They found him a few days later. Put him in jail for less than 24 hours when he bailed out, skipped trial over and over. Finally got a civil ruling against him. He didn't own shit. Every job he had was minimum wage, and everytime I got a lean on his wages, he'd just move from one Taco Bell to Burger King or whatever. And you have to pay like $40 or $50 in court costs EACH TIME to chase the scumball. Only got about $400 bucks out of him then let it go. The system makes it hard to chase him. He didn't even do time for driving without a license or insurance. They suspended his sentence in both cases. This was around 1994.

kstater
10-03-2008, 06:24 PM
It's a little more difficult than that, but if you get judgment send me a PM. I know how you can legally collect it. It's one of the things I do in the real world everyday.

What, you can't bust in there OJ style and get it?