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Small Claims in California

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  • hvadney
    Good afternoon! I am considering filing a claim against a client in Palo Alto California to obtain a judgment and collection enforcement of seriously overdue
    Message 1 of 3 , May 1, 2007
      Good afternoon!

      I am considering filing a claim against a client in Palo Alto
      California to obtain a judgment and collection enforcement of
      seriously overdue payments for services provided in 2005 and 2006.

      The company is a technology company, registeredin CA as a corporation.

      I have the corporation registration details and the name and address
      of the corporate officer for receiving service.

      As I mentioned the company owes more than USD 9,000.00 for
      translation work requested by them, delivered by us, and used by them
      in their marketing and sales activities.

      While the person originally requesting the services has since left
      the company, the company has not disputed the charges nor outright
      refused to pay but has on numerous occasions said that it has put all
      contractor payments on hold pending injection of investor funds.

      I have provided the customer with all communications documenting the
      charges and I have provided a breakdown for each request showing the
      date, the files processed, the requestor, the languages done and the
      amount due.

      The customer has reviewed the documentation and has not disputed the
      charges.

      I have demanded payment numerous times and the customer has responded
      to my demands that contractor payments are on hold.

      I have issued invoices for the principle as well as final invoices
      including interest to date.

      I have offered to accept partial payment. I have offered a discount
      for immediate payment. I have waited.

      But two weeks ago, when I made one of my regular inquiries as to the
      status of payment I receive the rather ballsy response: "Keep
      checking back with us every four weeks or so." That was it!

      I have a couple of questions regarding prosecuting this in CA small
      claims court:

      1) Does it make a difference if I as plaintiff am a sole proprietor
      and the defendant is a corporation.

      2) What is the legal rate of interest I can charge for the amounts
      due and when can I start charging that interest? After all, I have
      had to pay my people and I have not had the use of my money for quite
      a few months now.

      3) Can I compound the interest? In other words, the principle and
      first month's interest gives a total; the interest rate is applied to
      that total for the second month to obtain a new total; the rate is
      applied to the second month's total to obtain the new 3rd month's
      total, etc.

      4) What is a legal and reasonable fee for carrying the debt from
      month to month? I would like to recover for carrying the debt, the
      administration of writing and communicating with these people, etc.
      Is this admissible in CA small claims?

      5) What is a legal and reasonable late charge penalty per month that
      would be admissible in CA courts?

      6) I must appear in person in court in CA. I live in NY. How can I
      claim my reasonable travel expenses and hotel/meals. After all, I
      must travel to assert my rights and I would not have to do so had the
      customer paid its debts.

      7) Whereas this case concerns only one defendant who has not paid for
      projects done in 2005 and 2006 and the amount for 2005 is well over
      the USD 7,500 ceiling for small claims, I intend to file two claims:
      one for outstanding debt for jobs done in 2005 and a second claim for
      the money due for jobs done in 2006.

      Since the max I can claim for 2005 is USD 7,500 my strategy is to
      roll over some of the additional penalty charges to the 2006
      receivables and to include in that claim also my costs at least in
      that manner I can recoup some of the amount over the 7,500 and my
      costs. Is that feasible in CA?

      Thanks very, very much for your help!

      Harold W. Vadney
    • tthor.geo
      FIRST, it sounds like you better find out if the company has filed in Federal Bankruptcy Court. If so, you can forget the rest of your plan and file as a
      Message 2 of 3 , May 1, 2007
        FIRST, it sounds like you better find out if the company has filed
        in Federal Bankruptcy Court.

        If so, you can forget the rest of your plan and file as a 'unsecured
        creditor' in the Bankruptcy case.

        The California Small Claims courts I know about have a 'ceiling' of
        $5,000 for Small Claims cases [and you cannot 'split' your claim].

        You may also have problems with California Statutes of Limitations.

        http://www.leginfo.ca.gov has California law available on-line.

        Also check court.info.ca.gov for [statewide] Rules of Court.

        "hvadney" <hvadney@...> wrote:
        >
        > Good afternoon!
        >
        > I am considering filing a claim against a client in Palo Alto
        > California to obtain a judgment and collection enforcement of
        > seriously overdue payments for services provided in 2005 and 2006.
        >
      • WW011@aol.com
        Cal (fresno)is now $7,500 and I believe a two year stat for damages of the like Info = small claims advisor ************************************** See what s
        Message 3 of 3 , May 1, 2007
          Cal (fresno)is now $7,500 and I believe a two year stat for damages of the 
          like
          Info = small claims advisor


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          See what's free at http://www.aol.com.
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