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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
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I was dating a man,(Ill call him Tony), for about 6 months

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I was dating a man,(Ill call him Tony), for about 6 months and I was involved in an accident on 2-28-10. Tony was given his 6th DUI, (not all in the same state). He was driving my vcehicle with my permission as I was unaware he was intoxicated 2 times past the legal limit. My injuries were life threatening. Shortly after the accident, while I was still recovering in a nursing facility and still medicated, I was sent a Victims Rights document. Tony convinced me not to sign the document, assuring me that everything will "be alright." It took me over a year to recover from my injuries and during that time Tony was sentenced to jail time, a fine and federal probation for 5 years. He lived on and off with me up until about 6 months ago, when I finally realized he was a con man and moved to another state. My question is, can I sue this person for retrobution still, even though I didnt sign and return the Victims Right doc? What is the statue of limitations for a case like this? Also, I paid $5000 to bail him out of jail, which was inturn used towards his fines owed to the state of Wyoming. He, in text messages, promised to repay me, paying $500 a month until it was paid. He has not paid anything towards this debt. How and where do I file to recoup this money?
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your situation. Can you please tell me:

1) What state did this accident occur in?
2) What state are you in now?
3) What state is he in now?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Accident occured in Wyoming


I live in California


He lives in Montana

Thank you, L.

What state did this accident occur in?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


That would be Wyoming


 

Thank you for your reply and my apologies for the wait. I had already gone offline when you replied.

On this website, I do not always get to give good news, and I am afraid that this is one of these times.

My question is, can I sue this person for retrobution still, even though I didnt sign and return the Victims Right doc?

The answer is no, you cannot. But this is not because you did not sign the victims rights document. Please understand that the Victims Right document was simply an element of the criminal case. It had nothing to do with the civil case, and not signing it did not "waive" your right to still pursue him civilly in any way. However, you are still out of statute, I am afraid. See below.

What is the statue of limitations for a case like this?

The best jurisdiction for this is Wyoming because this is where the incident occurred. California (where you are) may also be used. But in any way, you are out of statute in any state:

CA - two years per Civ. Proc. §335.1;
WY - one year per §1-3-105(a)(v),(B);
MT - two years per §27-2-204(3).

This is all from the time of the incident. Ergo, it is too late, I am sorry to say.

Also, I paid $5000 to bail him out of jail, which was inturn used towards his fines owed to the state of Wyoming. He, in text messages, promised to repay me, paying $500 a month until it was paid. He has not paid anything towards this debt. How and where do I file to recoup this money?

This is different. Provided you still have the text message (this is crucial, or else the Court likely will consider it a gift if he claims it was), you can file a small claims court action for breach of contract.

I am assuming both of you were in WY when this had occurred. If so, you would have file a small claims court in WY or MT. Under WY statute of limitations, a breach of contract can be brought within 8 years of default - §1-3-105(a)(ii)(A). MT has five years from date of default. §27-2-202(2).

Someone in your situation would have to bring a small claims court in either state. See here for MT's small claims court, and here for small claims court information on WY.

This simply involves filling out a small complaint that the small claims court will have handy, sending him a copy, and having a hearing. Most small claim courts will provide basic directions and forms.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I have one more question for you, can someone represent me in small claims court? I prefer not to be face to face with the person Im going to sue and I now live in another state.

Thank you for your follow up.

In Wyoming, you are allowed to have attorneys represent you in small claims court. In Montana, however, you are not.
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