How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask JB Umphrey Your Own Question

JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20232
Experience:  Explains legal matters based on 14+ years experience.
14211116
Type Your Legal Question Here...
JB Umphrey is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Since asking the above question, I have filed a small claims

Resolved Question:

Since asking the above question, I have filed a small claims case in the jurisdiction in which my boyfriend lives. I had been open and honest with him about this and he knew he was going to be served papers. After trying to avoid service for a period of time he was finally served last Friday and we have a court date on August 29th.

The previous expert didn't make me feel all that convinced that I have a strong case by saying "my boyfriend could be responsible". I have taken photos, have physical evidence, repair bills, a chemist's report on the carpet stains (urine), etc., but I would like to know the best way to present this case. I realize small claims court is suppose to be brief and to the point.

Secondly, when he was served by the Police Officer, he told the officer that the only thing the dog had done was peed on the carpets. Can I get an affidavit from the officer and present that in court?

Lastly, where can I search for similiar cases and rulings?

This entire situation has pretty much destroyed the one year relationship and I just don't want this to come accross to the courts as a vindictive break up thing. He had been promising me all along that he would have the carpets cleaned and my wood repaired but of course he is now denying this fact.

When checking out this gentleman's previous court history he is certainly not new to the courts system and although he has a good pension he continuously moves his bank accounts arround so that when his wages have been garnished in the past - his pension cheques aren't going into the same account. (P.S. Is that a form of fraud??)

Thank you I look forward to your answers and will be available to provide any clarificationn you might require!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for using JustAnswer!

I am sorry to learn of your circumstances. Do you know if your small claims case will be heard by a magistrate, a district court judge, or will it go to mediation first?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

There has been no mediation set up nor offered for that matter. Quite frankly knowing him like I do, we would just be wasting the time of a mediator.

 

I filed the suit in the 67th District Court Genesee County. My understanding is before the hearing begins, have the right to have the case ehard by a district court judge if the hearing is scheduled before an attorney magistrate. If the case is heard by an attorney magistrate, either of have the right to appeal it within seven days.

 

What would you recommend that I do in this case?

Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 3 years ago.
The site rules of JustAnswer do not allow for the experts to make recommendations of such a nature. Your procedural understanding is correct, however.

In terms of presenting one's case, simply bring all of the "evidence" that you have and explain/present it in an organized fashion. Understand that the judge/magistrate will be seeing this for the first time and they probably will not have read your small claims file beforehand, so you want to explain it as you were sharing the story with your friend and walking them through it step-by-step. You may find it helpful to write out an organized outline beforehand for ease of reference.

You can ask the officer to complete an affidavit. Most likely the officer won't do it. But you can always ask. From the facts you've described, what your ex- told the officer is not relevant/critical to your case.

You will not be able to search similar cases and rulings. This is because small claims cases in Michigan are informal. They are not on the record. So, there is no point of research reference.

If you have a follow-up question, please reply and ask it.

If you are satisfied that your question has been answered, kindly select the ACCEPT button to close this thread and so that I receive credit for assisting you today.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

In regards XXXXX XXXXX time period that the damages occured, the peeing on the carpets and some of the chewing occured February through May, but the majority of the damage occured during the 2 1/2 to 3 week time frame I agreed to babysit her for "the week". I have had someone suggest that if I knew the puppy was so distructive why did I agree to watch her for that week and therefore I should be responsible for the damages. Once again I know you can't give specific legal advice, but should this factor be an issue and if so - should I specifically focus just on the 2 1/2 week period of time I babysat her.

 

Thank you for your time and expertise

Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 3 years ago.
It should not be a factor if the damage was already done.

JB Umphrey, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20232
Experience: Explains legal matters based on 14+ years experience.
JB Umphrey and 13 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Again,

 

You had asked me yesterday whether my small claims case would be heard before a district court judge or a district court magistrate. I understand that an appeal can only be launched within seven days if heard before a magistrate. Section(NNN) NNN-NNNNsubsection (4) of the Michigan Legislature, "Before commencement of a trial, the plaintiff or defendant may, upon deman, require that the trial be conducted before a district court judge and not a magistrate, or may remove the case from the small claims division to the general civil division of the district court".

 

Knowing the facts in my case, would there be any benefit of one over the other hearing my case?

Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 3 years ago.
Not from the facts you've described.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Because of the Defendant's past and recent history paying the orders of judgement, it was suggested to me that it might be in my best interest to do a Title Search on the Defendant prior to the court case. In a recent default judgment against him in May 2011, the Plaintiff had filed a Garnishment of Wages only for it to come back "GARN DISC DEN. LIABILITY INSUFFICIENT INCOME". I am aware that he has a healthy pension income, yet is constantly moving accounts around. Does this in itself constitute a "fraud" of sort? Apparently by doing a Title Search and if I learn he owns any property, cars, boats, etc., I can make application to have my judgement paid through those means. May I request your legal opinion on this fact?

 

 

Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 3 years ago.
No, it's not necessarily a fraud. Different ways to go about collecting on a judgment in Michigan are explained by the State Court Administrative Office at this link: http://courts.michigan.gov/scao/selfhelp/collection/collect_help.htm
One approach that he can't get around is to garnish his state income tax refund: http://courts.michigan.gov/scao/courtforms/garnishment/mc52.pdf
JB Umphrey, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20232
Experience: Explains legal matters based on 14+ years experience.
JB Umphrey and 13 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

One last question for you, I have attempted to contact the Defendant (I guess my ex-boyfriend now), in order to determine how he plans to proceed with this case.

 

The day prior to him being served, he told me that we would settle it up out of court.

 

Now he won't respond to my text or phone messages and it appears that I will have to take a day off work without pay in order to attend court. If he doesn't appear, am I able to request costs for the day I missed from work?

Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 3 years ago.
No you are not. You can only request the default judgment and show the judge the proof of the damages to support the dollar amount you are requesting. The court will then enter the judgment.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Good Morning JB,

 

Since the above court case is three weeks away, I am just wondering if I was to make a written offer to the defendant for a responable amount of the original claim cost, and he turns it down, assuming I win my case, how will this impact the judgement?

Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 3 years ago.
It will not affect it in any way whatsoever.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Since I am Canadian, I am unaware of the property damage laws in Michigan with the exception of Automobile Accidents which determining fault is usually not an issue.

 

With your expertise and experience, I am missing anything that the defendant could use as a defense which makes him NOT responsible for his dog causing the property damage?

Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 3 years ago.
From the facts that you've described, it does not appear that you are missing anything. Best of wishes to you!
JB Umphrey, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20232
Experience: Explains legal matters based on 14+ years experience.
JB Umphrey and 13 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    19941
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    8189
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jespoag/2008-12-17_222355_jessepic.jpg JPEsq's Avatar

    JPEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2132
    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsenmartin/2008-04-22_214950_me1.jpg Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    110
    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/PaulmoJD/2013-10-10_195858_JAImage.64x64.jpg Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    31621
    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    15975
    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.