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 Lucy, Esq. Your Own Question

Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 19907
Experience:  Lawyer
26798026
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Lucy, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

OK. Friend of mine needed help. I offered help to him on

Resolved Question:

OK.
Friend of mine needed help. I offered help to him on specific conditions which I would consider a contract albeit a verbal one. He accepted the terms very clearly. I would provide him with airfare, assist him in obtaining clothing, glasses, etc. to seek out a job and get back on his feet. In exchange he had to obtain and keep a job, get into counseling, start budgeting, set up a payment plan with the court system to pay off his 2 year old delinquent fines from the second of two DUI's, start a budget and begin to pay off his other debts and establish himself with some independence. This was a 6 month commitment. After 6 weeks and me spending nearly 3000.00 in airline tickets, clothing, room, board, etc, he went back on an "emergency" and was to return within 30 days.

Not only did he not return within 30 days but I later learned that while he was living with me he was spreading (he admitted to it), malicious and patently false rumors about me (to make himself look like a victim), to people back where he came from. This resulted in me receiving abusive phone calls and threats at work as well as a host of nasty emails, and other communications. He initially had told me that these rumors were being spread by other people from where he used to live. That turned out to be untrue. In the process of him needing to go back for his "emergency" I had also loaned him some items, camera, watch, bluetooth, phone, that he has refused to return although I have made attempts for the past 5 months to get these items back going as far as sending him a box. He also stole items from my home when he left on his "emergency". Now that he has gotten what he was looking for financially he has decided he is not returning and remaining where he started. Do I have no recourse in small claims court against him. He clearly violated the terms of our very clearly understood agreement. I feel that I should be entitled to be reimbursed for any money that I spent on him that I can provide a receipt for, i.e. airfare, glasses, clothing, etc. In addition if I do go to small claims court do I need to itemize each item I'm seeking restitution for in the initial complaint or just give a figure and general explanation. Do I pursue defamation as well, knowing it's hard to prove. It turns out his "fiance" told me that he came out to where I was living to "take me for all he could". It also became known that when he agreed to the 6 months he told people as he was leaving, after this agreement was made that he would be back within 3 weeks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm very sorry to hear that this happened.

Yes, you can sue in Small Claims Court, as long as your damages do not exceed $10,000. An oral agreement is enforceable, although it can be difficult to prove. You may also be able to collect based on a theory of unjust enrichment, which states that when a person confers a benefit upon someone, and the person accepts that benefit knowing that the other expects something in exchange, that creates an obligation. Essentially, the law deems it unjust for one person to benefit himself at someone else's expense.

If he took your belongings, that is conversion, which is the civil equivalent of theft. You can also sue for the value of those items at the time they were taken. With intentional wrongful acts, the judge can impose punitive damages, beyond the value of the items.

Defamation of character requires an untrue statement of fact, made to a third party, that harms the reputation of the person about whom the statement is made. If he is spreading lies that make people think less of you, that is another claim that you can file. These can all be filed together, as long as the total is less than $10,000. You can also file the contracts claim separately from the other claims and ask the judge to hear both cases together. A judge can also award punitive damages in a defamation case.

You don't need to itemize everything in the Complaint, but you do need to outline the different causes of action and state how much money you are seeking. It can be grouped - for example "$1,000 for unpaid rent and utilities." In court, you'll have to produce evidence and prove every amount.

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

OK, Thank you. I have to clarify a couple of points. If I am seeking punitive damages for the defamation as well as the theft of my belongings do I ask for a specific monetary award for that?

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Yes. If you want to stay in Small Claims, you can just ask for up to the maximum. If you go into the Superior Court, then you can ask for an amount you believe is fair, and the judge or jury will decide whether to award that or some lesser amount.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I understand that. I don't think I'm asking the question correctly. what I'm trying to clarify is do I put a number on what I believe would be appropriate for punitive damages, or do I stick with what I have receipts and can prove and just request that I'm awarded punitive damages and leave that up to the magistrate or judge. for example do I say, He refused to return items that were loaned to him with a worth of 400.00 and I would like to recover 1000.00 in punitive damages due to his refusing to return the items or do I just say I'm seeking 400.00 plus punitive damages as awarded by the court? Thanks.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
People typically state the amount of punitive damages they are asking for. The judge can award less, but isn't likely to award more.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 19907
Experience: Lawyer
Lucy, Esq. and 12 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.