Looking for some Sherdog Lawyer advice

Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by TripLikeIDo, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. TripLikeIDo

    TripLikeIDo Green Belt

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    I'll try to keep the summary short.

    I own/operate a small bakery. For four years I supplied a local restaurant with baked goods that they bought directly for their business. For the first three years, everything was fine and business as usual. New owners took over, became behind with paying everyone and started to run the restaurant into the ground.

    Anyway, I pulled out after one year (with the new owners), then won a civil suit against them for what they owed me. They paid about two-thirds of the judgement, then proceeded to stop payment, close the business, change their phone numbers, and move out of state. Obviously they don't answer their emails anymore either.

    WTF recourse do I have at this point? They still owe me $1200 and I'm sure I'm not the only one who they've fucked over.

    Thanks.
     
  2. weich

    weich Silver Belt

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    IANAL, but I don't think you provided enough details for an attorney to give you a good answer.
     
  3. Kevin Rudd

    Kevin Rudd Banned Banned

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    $1200? Let it go. Write it off as a bad debt. The cost of further legal action will be a lot higher than that. It simply isn't worth it imo.
     
  4. TripLikeIDo

    TripLikeIDo Green Belt

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    I'd be happy to elaborate if I knew what other details are necessary.
     
  5. FierceRedBelt

    FierceRedBelt Red Belt

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    No Lawyer here but sorry to hear that.

    1k is chump change in Lawyer fees as I understand it so I doubt you're getting the money back either way.
     
  6. TripLikeIDo

    TripLikeIDo Green Belt

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    Hey that's why I'm asking, thanks for your opinion.
     
  7. Oblivian

    Oblivian Aging Platinum Member

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    Here you would do a motion for proceedings supplemental to go after bank accounts, wages, etc. This obviously varies by state. Judgments also cloud title for any real estate they own in the same county, but again, that varies by state.

    Not an attorney btw, but I work in the title industry where we deal with the courts and judgments a lot.
     
  8. Mayhem Man

    Mayhem Man White Belt

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    Surely there has to be some summary process where the court will freeze their assets and judge in your favour seeing as you have it in black and white? No clue about U.S. law though sorry.
     
  9. weich

    weich Silver Belt

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    Again, I'm not a lawyer, but the type of business they have established, and the amount of debt they owe, and the type of debt they owe, will make a big difference.
     
  10. TripLikeIDo

    TripLikeIDo Green Belt

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    I had two options with the civil suit, to go directly to their bank account, or garnish their wages. I was advised to go directly to their bank account since, as owners, they could (and did) potentially say that their business was not making money and they weren't paying themselves wages.
    Knowing this was coming down the pike, they cleaned out their bank account, so there was no $ for me to receive initially. The judgement was for me to receive a fixed amount each month over the course of 8 months, plus 10% interest. They paid about 5 months worth, then closed the business and skipped town.

    I don't know if I'm using the correct legal terminology, but that's basically it.
     
  11. CardonaLJ**

    CardonaLJ** Banned Banned

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    Lawshuit!!!
     
  12. Oblivian

    Oblivian Aging Platinum Member

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    That's not uncommon. With proceedings supplemental here, it doesn't mean you are going to collect. For example, after they grant the proceedings supplemental, you can send out interrogatories to whatever banks you think they have $ in. When they respond, it's not uncommon for the accounts to be drained. Similarly, chasing their workplace can often result in interrogatories saying "no longer employed".

    People have judgments for a reason. Sure, there are some that hide their money or disguise their wages while being able to pay, but most literally can't pay. Are you sure these people are in the former and not the latter? If you are sure they are in the former, I'd probably exhaust all efforts because I'm stubborn. If it's the latter, just write it off.
     
  13. panamaican

    panamaican Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    This was my first opinion.
     
  14. TripLikeIDo

    TripLikeIDo Green Belt

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    I don't honestly know if they can pay or not. They seem like the borrow-as-much-money-as-fuck-all type that probably has a lot of debt. Just a guess, since I can't imagine that someone who took a successful restaurant and ran it into the ground, could be too good with his money.
     
  15. panamaican

    panamaican Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    My longer opinion is this.

    If they're out of state then you're going to have to first track down which state. Then get your judgment entered in the new state. Then follow the new state's procedures for attaching their accounts or placing liens on their property. Unless you're doing it all yourself, you're hiring an attorney.

    After you pay the legal fees, how much are you really going to get? Unless your judgment allowed for the inclusion of legal fees. If you're doing it yourself, how much time do you think this will take? And can you be away from your business long enough to get it done?

    Take the loss against your income and whatever tax benefit it creates.
     
  16. Oblivian

    Oblivian Aging Platinum Member

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    They may be on their way to bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is one of the biggest scams in the US. Once you get in trouble to where you are pretty sure you can't get out, run up as much debt as you can. Get it discharged - profit. I could go on and on about all of the fucked up bankruptcies that I've looked at.
     
  17. TripLikeIDo

    TripLikeIDo Green Belt

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    I did all the shit for the civil suit myself with some advice from friends and some people at the justice department. The judgement didn't include legal fees, just the fees that were required each time a new form/paper was being served by the sheriff to them.
    Yeah, it takes a ton of time, especially since I have no background in this type of thing.
    Thanks for the feedback.
     
  18. TripLikeIDo

    TripLikeIDo Green Belt

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    Thanks a lot.
     
  19. Snakesolidsnake

    Snakesolidsnake Purple Belt

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    This is exactly what I was thinking. Chances are you will probably pay close to that much if not more to get the money back, so it's not even worth the effort. To be honest that is one of the reasons that so many corporations settle out of court. It's not that they are necessarily admitting guilt, it is just cheaper to pay someone to go away than it is to pay the legal fees.

    The only possible action you have is to go back to the court that awarded you the lawshuit in the first place. It might not be much time and money to get the court to force them to pay (since they already sided in your favor), the hard part might be finding them. It shouldn't cost you much (although I am guessing here, not a lawyer) since you already won in the first place. You shouldn't need to get a lawyer and file a bunch of expensive fees to get the money you were already awarded. Might be worth an afternoon/days worth of work to find out, but I certainly wouldn't spend weeks/months on this; just not worth the potential reward.
     
  20. countswagula

    countswagula Gold Belt

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    Not versed in US law, can't you take it to Small Causes? Although I doubt they'd have the jurisdiction to reach them over another state. As previous posters said, you may want to just cut your losses.
     

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