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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
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Experience:  Attorney experienced in numerous areas of law.
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My friend and two of hers worked for sixteen months cleaning out a live in school for disa

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My friend and two of hers worked for sixteen months cleaning out a live in school for disabled children that had closed down and needed to be cleaned out. The agreement they had was with an elderly woman who offered them 1/2 of the proceeds from the contents once sold. The whole thing went south when one of the people who had been working took a video of this woman's son and two his friends selling off the contents in a yard sale. When they took the video to the woman's house to show her what was going on she all of a sudden could no longer recognize any of them and threw them off her property. There are several witnesses to the fact that they cleaned out the school including the police who were called out to see if they had authorization to be there. but nothing in writing. Is there anything they can do about it? Do they have fee waiver in small claims court.
Hello there:

Thank you for your question. Approximately how much do you believe is owed by this woman?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It's hard to say for sure because the property needed to be sold they had coke machines, brand new dishes by the case, cases and cases of cleaning supplies, creates and creates of new bedding, commercial rolls of angora yarn to make sweaters, make-up, office supplies by the case, cd's, new ice chests. It may have very easily been over the limit for small claims if that's what you are thinking. They worked everyday but 3 days in 16months empting this school out. The woman ran a charity and what she did was get all kinds of donations from all over the world to help the disabled children. She had walls and walls of this very expensive angora sweater supplies and computers that ran sewing machines which she was teaching these disabled children to make sweaters on. I know this woman she had several homes in where I live and one is just up the street she has garage sales every weekend and sells all of this stuff she gets donated.

Well, the question is whether anything can be done about what happened. To start, you've described a situation where the victims were promised compensation for their work, and now the promissor is essentially pretending that they're strangers to avoid payment. This could constitute a criminal matter under California Penal Code section 484 subd.(a). So one option would be to contact law enforcement and ask them to investigate it as a theft of labor and services.

Disputes of payment can also be resolved in the civil courts. Where the dispute is $7,500 or less, it can be handled in small claims court. Usually, small claims is the preferred option for folks because it is quick and the filing costs are low. Amounts exceeding $7,500 can be resolved in the general civil courts, for which most folks need to hire an attorney.
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And I do apologize for missing the last question. Yes, there is a fee waiver for small claims court if the person suing meets the income requirements. Thanks.

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