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Ask Barrister Your Own Question

Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 21275
Experience:  13 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 24+ yrs
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I purchased a laptop from a female friend of mine. She is having

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I purchased a laptop from a female friend of mine. She is having financial trouble and asked to borrow money. I make it a practice not to loan friends money. That is the quickest way to loose both. She asked me if I would in the way of buying her laptop. I agreed and paid her cash. Being that I have known her 10+ years I didn't think to make a receipt I never expected this to happen; Please help! 7/14/13 I purchased a used 2012 Mac Book Pro for $800.00. She has since then harassed me nonstop calling and txting me to bring it back and threatening me that she is going to get the authorities involved. The worst part is she is denying gave her any money! What would you advise?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.
Hello and thank you for using JA! My goal is to provide you with excellent service and help with your legal problem.
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Do you have any documentation to support that you purchased the computer? (receipt, owner's manual, withdrawal receipt from bank, etc.)
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Has she offered to buy it back or is she just telling you that she wants you to return it without her tendering any money?
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What is she threatening to do?...to sue you....physical harm.?
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

No, I didn't insist on a receipt due to the fact I have known her for over 10 years. I also didn't want to make the situation any more awkward. I planned on getting any manuals/support online. I keep a small amount of cash with my important docs in my personal safe.


Yes, she is threatening me with involving the authorities. It being Sunday I can't pull that amount out of the ATM. She she was late already on her rent; the deadline was by 12:00 A.M. on 7//7/13. As I type this it's very clear what has happened. I'm an ASS, and I have been hustled?

Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.
Ok, at this point, you have two options, you can give in and return the laptop or you can stand your ground and tell her "tough, a deal is a deal" and see what she does. It is pretty unlikely that the police would act on this as they would tell her that it is a civil matter and to take it up in small claims court.
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If she did file in small claims, it would take a week or two and she would have to prove that the laptop was hers and that you didn't buy it from her. If you have any kind of communications like texts or emails where you have told her that you aren't returning it since you bought it, those could be admissible in court to demonstrate that there was a sale.
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So you have two options, stand your ground or return it and either sue her for the money or take the loss....
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Thanks.

Barrister

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If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

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I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.


Customer: replied 9 months ago.

I would like to stand my ground, and cut all points of contact. If she tries to involve the authorities do I have the option to deny this whole matter? Or is there a way to verify I have it such track, search warrant, etc? Or is that a wrong turn from the word "option"? I feel snookered; I can handle my pride being hurt, but I will not jeopardize my freedom, or loose my career. Does she has to take me to court in order for any legal action?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

If the authorities can't come arrest me or search my house Ill take my chances. She can't pay her rent let alone hire an attorney and try to sue me in court.

Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.
Sure, you can deny the entire thing but if for some reason they took it so far as to get a search warrant (which I highly doubt) and they found the laptop, then you look guilty because you denied the whole thing. It would be better to just tell them if they called or stopped by that you bought it from her for $800 cash since she needed money for XXXX. That should satisfy them enough to tell her to take it to small claims court.
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As long as you calmly explain the entire transaction, the police will understand what is going on and refer her to small claims court. They try to move civil matters to civil court rather than criminal court since it is a lot more work for them.
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Then if she actually files in civil court, the burden is on her to prove her case.
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This is all assuming that she actually does anything at all.
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One thing you may consider is filing a pre-emptive complaint against her for harassment for the texts and messages. If you file a complaint first, that gets your story on paper as the first one. Then if she tries something, it looks like retaliation on her part. So if you filed a complaint and said she is harassing you about a computer you bought from her, the presumption would be that you are telling the truth because otherwise, why would you file a complaint.
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Once I have filed a pre-emptive complaint does that pretty much shut down any credibility she might have if she goes to the authorities? If she can't get passed them she will never take me to court. What is the best place to file this?

Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.
Once I have filed a pre-emptive complaint does that pretty much shut down any credibility she might have if she goes to the authorities?
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That is exactly what I think. You would need to go down to your local police or District Attorney's office and tell them that you wanted to file a formal complaint for harassment. Even it if never goes anywhere, you have it on record and have acted first. Most often, the first one to act gets the benefit of the doubt.
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Once filed would you say it is beneficial to let her know, to call her bluff or keep it as an ace in the hole should I need it at a later date?


 


Thank you for all your time and information! stellar feedback will be left! Best regards~

Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.
I wouldn't say a thing. Once the complaint is filed, the police will contact her about it if just to let her know that it has been filed and not to contact you any more.
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Then she will know you are serious about her leaving you alone.
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Thanks
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 21275
Experience: 13 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 24+ yrs
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