- File Small Claims Court Nyc
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- Structure Of The Courts
- Small Claims Court Serves Individuals Across New York
File Small Claims Court Nyc – People are surprised when I tell them about my trials. Well, I’ve sued a few people, and I’m going to do it again. Even if you are broke and busy, if you are skilled in the law, you are not powerless.
It is my hope that someone reads this, and the next time they feel they are being exploited or screwed by a system, they will look up the law, try to understand their rights, and if they are violated use the Act to make it right. This is the mechanism by which exploitation is corrected.
File Small Claims Court Nyc
The first, my owner in NYC. I lived in this little box of an apartment for two years. It was in the East Village, I liked it a lot to be honest. It was old and beat up, and was that way when I moved. After my lease expired, my landlord neglected to send me a new one, so it’s standardized from month to month, which is fine by me. Finally, the time came for me to call it quits in New York.
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I gave my landlord a month heads up, which is not required for a month to month lease, and requested an inspection to see what I could patch to get my full deposit back. Didn’t take it anyway. I move out and hang out with my buddy George for a month to save cash before hopping on my bike to cross the country. The owner is dragging his feet to get my deposit back. Text messages below.
So, I google “New York, security deposit law”. And, wouldn’t you like it, there is a great law that protects the rights of tenants. When you move, the landlord has two weeks to give you a detailed deposit or they lose the right to deduct money from it. If you don’t, you can sue for double the cost of the deposit.
The two weeks come and go, and the owner hasn’t paid. Finally he gets back to me and tells me that he will deduct $600 from the deposit for damage that was already there. Motherfucker. I politely make him aware of the law, he is persistent, he decided to try me. So this is where the law comes in.
Small claims court is an inefficient, but powerful tool for correcting these types of wrongs. It depends on what state you are in, but the amount you can sue for someone can be up to tens of thousands of dollars. The process should go like this:
Structure Of The Courts
· Send a demand letter to the person you are having problems with. Or, lend a hand when you want them to see the fire in your eyes. The letter should include the law that protects your rights in that situation and the evidence you have it was violated. You want to convince the person that if they don’t come around to your point of view, you will sue them, you will win, and it will cost them more than what they owe you.
· If they don’t, it’s time to file a lawsuit. Find the county court where your case will be filed. Find an address for the person or business you are trying to sue.
· Go to the courthouse, and talk to the small claim, tell them you are filing a case, and pay the fee. You will receive papers with the information of your trial, and you must let the other person know when the court date is.
· Now the next step depends on the situation. If you think the person is slippery, it is better to serve them the papers before they know the suit has started. If not, just knowing the legal gears are in motion is a powerful motivating force to get it out.
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· Service paper depends on the state, in CA one that you do not have to bring them to the person on your behalf. You can pay a sheriff to do this, which is fun. With a friend works too. There are also processes for mailing the letters.
· Now it is best to try to settle down. The standard of proof in small claims court is a “preponderance of evidence”. This means that if the judge believes that your version is closer to the truth, and your rights have been violated, you win the money. This is very different from “Beyond a reasonable doubt”. You don’t really need all that much evidence if it’s a simple case.
· If you are sure that you can prove your case, there is a good chance that you will win. But it takes time to go to court, it’s not a good vibe, and is best avoided.
· If you win, hopefully they pay up, because the implementation of a judgment can be complicated. You have to get an execution from the court (just file a few more papers), and either find out where they bank and withdraw directly from there, file for wage garnishment, or other unpleasant measures.
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In the end the NYC landlord paid after I filed a lawsuit and gave him evidence that he was wrong.
The next suit was someone who hit me on my motorcycle. It was idiotic, I was driving on a two-way street, he pulled out of a parking space on the other side. I’m not sure what he did, but he crossed a traffic lane to hit the left side of my motorcycle. The bike went down, I had a few small scratches, and the bike had a few bigger scratches. I got his license info, and number, and he said he has Geico insurance.
I filed a claim with insurance, but after many phone calls it was clear to me that he did not have an insurance policy that would cover this. Fuck. I will try to text him about it to find out how he will pay me. He blocked my number. Fuck. Message him on Instagram, block, fuck. I have friends message him, blocked. (Thanks Max).
So I get a quote for the repair from a business that would work with insurance, write a claim letter and file a claim. It takes 3 attempts to serve him and get a court date. I win in court, of course, and still blocked. The judge was cool, he also had a motorcycle, and basically agreed with everything I said. Open and close. Here is what I prepared for court.
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The next step is to obtain an execution that will allow us to enforce the judgment. This is a little aside, the person who enforces the writ is the sheriff’s office. The sheriff in the county is an elected position, and they were very professional. This position is responsible for doing all the civil procedure things, it has a lot of power.
I receive an order for wage garnishment from his tattoo shop, they deliver it, no response. Now the tattoo shop has opened itself up to legal liability, and I am writing them a letter of demand. The next day I woke up, we set a time and he pays me the judgment.
There is an empty parking lot of a closed grocery store behind my place, I have an underground space, but it takes a lot of maneuvering to get in. I had people park there for months. I told a girl I saw that she could park there. We hang out, etc, she leaves my place around 2 am, we go out and the car is gone. Fuck! I call the towing company, they towed it, they say I have to pay cash to get it back. $400. Sketchy, but she wanted her car back, it was my fault and I wanted to sleep so I got the bar, put her on my bike and we are into it.
I go home, unhappy, and I read up on the towing laws in CA. They broke up a couple. For one, in CA towing companies are legally required to use your credit. Two, towing companies need a written authorization from the owner, who has the time you arrive, pictures, a signature of the owner. They must give it to you before paying. Considering it was 2 AM I doubt they had it and even if they did they didn’t give it to me.
Small Claims Court Serves Individuals Across New York
Each infraction is a misdemeanor, which means the city can prosecute for $5k for each and 3 months in jail. They are also a civil violation which means I can sue for 4x the cost of the towing for each, the $400 dollar towing fee is worth $3,200 if I go after it.
I call and tell them that they messed up and I want my money back. They are not happy. I write up a demand letter, and deliver it by hand.
At this point they start yelling at the girl because I am too “hostile and aggressive”. They offer their half, I say no deal, it all comes back. They fail, I get the money.
Every time I see people walking around
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