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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 111637
Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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I appreciate confirmation of the possibility to address this

Customer Question

I appreciate confirmation of the possibility to address this issue in Small Claims Court. I was almost assuming this, given the small amount to the actual monetary verbal contract. The other questions implied in my lengthy description of the incidents
related to and ramifications of the non-paid loan remain: FEASIBILITY - Time-wise, is it possible to bring up and settle these issues in a Small Claims court in either Livingston or Washtenaw Counties (MI) WITHIN THE WEEK? I will be leaving after this Friday.
- Location: Must we appear together at a specific court in order for the case to be considered & decided? How is the location determined? Can such a matter be handled if I am not physically in this area? Online? Does it matter that the incident occurred in
Italy? I am in the process of changing my USA address to another state... can it still be handled in MI? AMOUNT AND BASIS FOR CLAIM The amount of the verbal contract is c. $1,000. However, the resultant costs to me in terms of time, "stress & strain," and
expenditures beyond what I had reasonably planned, are MUCH GREATER. Can these facets be included in the case, along with a a dollar amount? DOCUMENTATION - The agreement was verbal/ unwritten, however, I refer to it in my later emails. Would a copy of these
be useful to present? - The amount and date of the cash withdrawal are indicated on my bank statement, however, no specific purpose. Would a copy of the statement have any value in the case? - What other documentation might be needed/ useful? TEXT OF QUESTION
Is it still possible to edit my question? If so, how? I did not realize that it would be "searchable" on the internet, otherwise I would not have given my last name (or Kathy's). Thank you very much.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Small claims court is where this is filed and it is filed in the county where SHE resides, not where you reside. You would have to appear on the court date, which is usually set within 30-60 days, so you will have to come back to remain in the US until the matter is settled.
The fact you have emails and other evidence would make the verbal agreement enforceable.
I can request your questions be locked on our site when we are done.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I realize that you give general information only. However, your answers have been less than minimal in relation to the DETAILED questions that I presented. This 4-message exchange alone has cost me valuable time with NO substantial help at all. You simply disregard the greater part of my concerns.For one instance, I stated in my initial question that I live OUTSIDE the country/ area and the ONE-WEEK TIME FRAME that I have; now, in your SECOND answer you casually mention the 1-2 months that I would have to devote to this effort here in Michigan. Instead of responding to my "feasibility" question, with its MULTIPLE, SPECIFIC points, you just state ONE GENERAL ASPECT of the Small Claims process that would rule it out for me right now.It is clear that, while you can provide expert advice, I have NOT received even an acknowledgement of the OVERALL, COMPLEX situation that I took such pains to describe to you. Your two cursory answers could not have taken you over 2 minutes to write.Given this experience, I now know that it is not worth my time to continue corresponding with you. At first I had been "assigned" a different lawyer, "Dimitri;" perhaps he or other "Just Answer" lawyers would give a more wholehearted service?I would like to have the questions locked, if this were the ONLY possibility -- I had asked whether I could still EDIT my first question. I don't really expect any further effort on your part, however.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
First, I do not know exactly what information you want to know unless you tell me specifically, I cannot just guess.
I also cannot change the court process to speed it up. I know you are in a hurry to return to Italy, but if you want to pursue this matter legally to recover your money, you will have to appear in court to pursue your case and that means waiting the time it takes to give the defendant to respond to the case and how busy the court docket is.. The way the legal process works in MI, you file your complaint and have the other party served, they the court then sets a date a minimum of 30 days from that date you file. Here is the MI Small Claims Complaint and Affidavit: http://courts.mi.gov/Administration/SCAO/Forms/courtforms/smallclaims/dc84.pdf
You have to sue the defendant in the small claims court in the county where the defendant resides. That is the court where you must appear for trial as well. Even if you move, your case still has to be filed in the small claims court in the county where the defendant resides, that is the court with personal jurisdiction over her.
The amount of your claims is only your actual losses, no emotional distress or punitive damages. So all you can sue her for is the actual money you gave her plus the costs of filing the small claims case in court.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks!I guess I was looking for some "yes or no" answers with regard to the many aspects I mentioned in my "questions" ... sorry they were not specifically formulated as such.Clearly, the time and expense of staying here to deal with this through Small Claims court vastly exceeds $1000.I have now sent a personal appeal to the proprietor of the rental apartment in Florence, cc'ng Kathy. Of course, this owner is not responsible, but she was at the center of the experience; her disregard of my voicemails allowed things to turn out the way they did. She is a medical doctor, and one might think that she would be more considerate.Anyway, perhaps some good will come of this, in term of personal relationships.Good luck to all.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
I understand that many times people want black and white responses to their legal issues as well as speedy resolutions. Unfortunately, in law, there are many situations where the answers are not so clear cut and certainly not able to be resolved in a speedy manner.
If she will not repay you money she owes you, your choices are fairly limited. You can sue in small claims court, as we discussed. You can send a letter demanding payment, but if she does not respond you are back left to suing in small claims court and that takes a little time to complete. Finally, if you do not want to take that time and she will not pay, your only remaining recourse is to let the matter go and walk away.
If the money really is an issue for you and this is an important matter for you to resolve, then I would suggest taking the time to file the small claims action to get the justice you are seeking.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I kind of thought so... Should have just clicked on the websites of the Small Claims Court itself, that resulted from my initial online search, and I could have seen the requirements of time and location for this process.As mentioned, I have sent a copy of a message to Kathy today ... it was my third and last attempt to get her to at least "share" the expense of her selfish decision. I had already talked about "Judge Judy" and "Channel 7 Action News" as nonsensical solutions. Perhaps an "outing" on social media would be effective. In fact, Kathy took only a TABLET to Europe last fall (opted AGAINST cellphone service, to save $) because of her primary NEED to be on FB -- which I believe she was, at least half of her time.I certainly have no hesitation to "walk away" from the situation, as well as from KATHY, if continuing my efforts would "cost me" even more down the line. She apparently doesn't realize that this applies to her as well: Poverina!
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
We cannot make up your mind as to which direction you take, that is a choice you have to make and live with. Send her another demand and then you can decide whether to walk away or not.