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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years practicing law
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We are a retail store in Los Angeles California. On October

Customer Question

We are a retail store in Los Angeles California. On October of last year a customer from Dorchester Massachusetts placed several orders for custom made designer hats. The due date was Nov. first. We ordered the hats and receive them on time. We called the customer and asked her to send us the balance so we can ship them. Up to this date we have not receive the balance. What do you recommend in order for us to collect the balance. The hats can not be resold since they are custom made.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Richard replied 5 years ago.

Good afternoon. I would send the customer a certified letter demanding payment within a short specified period of time. Inform them that otherwise you will have no choice but to file a suit for collection, which will result in them not only being liable for the balance of the cost of the hats, but also the cost of the lawsuit and legal fees. If they don't pay you, file your suit.

 

 

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The information given here is not legal advice. As all states have different intricacies in their laws, the information given is general only. This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship with you. I hope this answer has been helpful to you.

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
We do not want to accept this answer. We have already sent certified mail to the customer. The question is that the customer lives out of state and we are not sure how to take her to court. The small claim courts in Los Angeles has refused to let us file in Los Angeles. It is not cost effective for us to travel to Massachusetts to file there.
Expert:  Richard replied 5 years ago.
I will happily opt out. You will have to file the suit in MA. I'm sorry you don't like the alternatives, but if they are not going to pay you voluntarily, you really have no choice but to either let it go or file suit to collect. You can file a negative credit report. You can have someone file this in MA for you...filing the suit is likely all it will take because typically when people get served with a lawsuit summons they pay up. Take care.
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 5 years ago.
Your other expert is correct and this is the law in all states. You must file the suit where the defendant is located and this is why the small claims court will not accept the case. We lawyers do not make the laws and we can only offer information as to what the laws are, not the way you or us want them to be. You certainly don't have to accept our answers but we can only answer honestly and professionally and your expert answered the question correctly.
Dave Kennett, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience: 25 years practicing law
Dave Kennett and other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

How do we go about that

Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 5 years ago.

You need to locate the court in the city or county where the defendant lives which you can probably do on line. If the amount is within the jurisdictional limits of the small claims court the court should have the necessary forms available to send to you or to copy from their website. You can file the suit by mail but if and when there is a trial you would have to appear in court in order to testify. I know it's a problem and may cost more to travel than the case is worth but I know of no other way to do this.

Of course you can hire a collection agency to see if they can get the money without a suit being filed and if this causes the defendant's credit to be damaged they may come up with the money.

If you are selling products that cannot be returned it is probably a good idea to get the money paid up front to avoid this type of situation.

Dave Kennett, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience: 25 years practicing law
Dave Kennett and other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you