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Attorney Wayne
Attorney Wayne, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1506
Experience:  Practicing law since 2000.
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My friend a designer, added me to her firm as a consultant.

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My friend a designer, added me to her firm as a consultant. I bought health insurance through her co. Recently I cancelled my insurance and got back 2 payments - an overpayment. My refund check had the name of her co. and not my name, although I paid the co. directly. She deposited it and withheld about $700 for expenses she said occurred by having me as a partner. Is it legal? Thanks
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Hello. Thanks for contacting us. The key to a matter like this is to review what the original agreement was for the arrangement. If there was no agreement, then there could be a legal argument that the expenses are legitimate and due.

The other piece to look at is quantification of the expenses. Onpassing of expenses, absent an agreement defining them, would usually require documentation as to the expenses. Otherwise, it could be considered income to the business and it would be required to account for it on taxes. Tax evasion is risky business!

The other thing is the definition of friend in a case like this. Friends will usually talk things through -- not simply help themselves to a sum of money without any prior agreement or discussion. If the friendship is important to both parties, it would be normal to talk it through and reach some fair agreement based on actual expenses, not on an arbitrary amount.

If there is something else at play, and the friendship is for naught, it could be possible to sue in small claims for return of the premiums. But suing is probably the last thing on the list. Talking it out, reasoning, etc should come first.

I wish you resolution in this matter with all dispatch!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm confused. We had no agreement, so she can help herself? I should ask for an accounting at least.

If no agreement, then there is a possible case to bring to small claims court for taking the money. Certainly, an accounting would be useful to understand what the expenses were, and if they are legitimate (a court would ask the same question). So I would begin there. If nothing is provided, one can consider a small claims case. Here are some helpful links:

http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-smallclaims.htm


http://www.courts.ca.gov/forms.htm?filter=SC


http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/small_claims/
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