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Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4884
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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(not duplicate) I am trying to figure our a complicated issue.. I have

Customer Question

I am trying to figure our a complicated issue.. I have a business in puerto rico.. I just had a former employee file a false claim with the "work Commission" in Pr sing I fired her unjustly and did not pay her.. now they are saying I owe her $3,000.. I know you're not a PR licensed lawyer.. just trying to figure out if I can incorporate the business from a sole proprietorship and walk away since I am a resident of Texas and this is a "civil matter" and all the " work commission" has is my first and last name and Business name.. any thoughts?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: I still need help.
Expert:  Fran-mod replied 1 year ago.
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Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

Unfortunately, since the judgment has already been entered against you as a sole proprietor, you would not be able to escape liability by incorporating your business. Incorporating a business would only protect you against future liability not past liability.

However, since the judgment is in Puerto Rico it can only be enforced in Puerto Rico against you, so if you are planning on never returning to Puerto Rico and do not have any assets that are there, then it would be virtually impossible for your former employer to ever collect on this false claim.

In order to be enforced against you in Texas, the person would need to have the order transferred and get a court order for it to be enforced against you in Texas. Otherwise, although the judgment is valid, it is virtually impossible for the former employer to actually collect anything against you on the judgment.

Please let me know if you have any follow up questions or need any additional information.

Thanks and best of luck!
Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4884
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work!

If you don't rate my answer, the website recoups your entire deposit and I get nothing for assisting you. Trust me when I tell you I need the money WAY more than they do, so I would greatly appreciate if you accept my answer!

Again, if you have any follow up questions or need any additional information, please don't hesitate to ask.

Thanks again and best of luck!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

also.. since its not a judical judgement yet.. its just a "Finding" or judgement from some one in that particular department.. would it do me any good to incorporate now.. before it turns into a judical ruling/finding etc? or does that not matter at all? I am trying to find the best way to protect the business from the work commission if I sell it.. ?

Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
No, unfortunately, it would not do you any good to incorporate now, since the claim itself occurred when you were not incorporated and is against you individually (as a sole proprietor).

Since you were a sole proprietor at the time, the only way to eliminate all liability would be to go through personal bankruptcy. Even if you were to sell the business, the judgment can still be collected against you since you were sole proprietor at the time.
Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4884
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok thanks. So the new business owner Or business itself would not be liable? And essentially if I stay out of puerto Rico I am more or less fine?

Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
That depends on the wording. Was the judgment just entered against you and/or did it include your business entity at the time?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It says "Jeff Fatherree hnc the palace hostel". Not sure what the hnc means?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If that's a bad thing.. What do you recommend doing besides paying her??
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
I'm not sure what 'hnc' either, since it may be a Spanish acnkronym, it could be like doing business as, dba in the United States. (Maybe 'hacer nombre como' if that makes sense that would be close to dba).

Anyway, that means the judgment is against you and the business (although since you were sole proprietor, there really isn't any distinction between you and the business), so you wouldn't be able to escape liability by selling the business.

Regardless of who owns the business, both you and the business will still be (technically) liable for the debt. Although, as I mentioned before, if you don't return to Puerto Rico and the order (if it even is one) is not transferred to Texas, you don't really have anything to worry about.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
so even thou the "business" is liable the work commission can't take any action against the business like shutting it down etc?

Thanks for your help I will rate you very high..
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
No, the work commission definitely could not take any action like shutting the business down or seizing any assets of the business.

Only a court would have the authority to do something like seize the business' assets to satisfy a judgment. (Only a bankruptcy court can do something like order the business to shut down and be liquidated, and that would certainly not happen for a $3k debt).

And in order for that to take place the judgment would need to be made where you and the business are located, so it would need to be transferred to Texas first.

From what you wrote before, the work commission order itself would probably need to be entered into a judgment in a Puerto Rico court before it could even be transferred to Texas.

Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4884
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your positive rating of my service!

Please contact me on JustAnswer should you have any further legal issues.

You can contact me by placing ‘To Joseph’ at the beginning of your question and/or requesting me directly in the California Employment Law category.

Thanks again and best of luck!

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