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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10220
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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I ran an Assisted Living Business in Pa. for 18 years; got

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I ran an Assisted Living Business in Pa. for 18 years; got injured in an accident; lost my business due to being hospitalized for 2.5 months... now on Disability Income. THE PROBLEM: During the six months after this lady's husband passed away, my business was loosing $ so bad that I would of filed for bankruptcy, but shut the business down due to my accident...I can't stand or more then 30 min and have a hard time walking very far. I was overpaid by one of my residents; she pre-paid on a regular basis in order to receive a 5 % discount; but her husband passed away. Because I was disabled in May of 2012, she has waited to be repaid but now wants her money. The contract did in fact state that I would refund a resident's money if there was money due them, within 30 days.

She "feels" that she pre-paid for 2 months in advance ($6,666.50) but my records show that she was pre-paid by $1,980. I offered her a prom note with an offer that she could hold 2 acres until I repaid. She didn't accept my prom note and filed a civil action suite. We went to court, I presented proof of where the discrepancy in our records was. The judge said she would make a decision via. mail in 5 days.

That day after the hearing, I found an error I had made in her favor of $1,400. which would bring the balance I owe her, from $1,980 up to $ 3,380. but NOT $6,666.50. so I called the place; left a message for the Judge that I had made an error in her favor but was told that they could not accept any information from me out of court. I think she would of ruled in my favor had I not been honest and called the Judge; but she probably received the note and assumed I meant that the lady's records were right. We were told we could appeal if either of us were not satisfied with the Judge's decision. I want to appeal but need to know just one question.

Because I made an error in my records (both before the hearing and after the hearing) does that mean that I could loose the case again? Or did I loose because I didn't refund her in 30 days....the judge never said why she ruled in the lady's favor.
Dear Customer,

Thank you for choosing Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I would like to assist you today.

I am sorry to learn about this unfortunate series of events. Regarding the potential for an appeal in this matter, the major consideration for the appeal is the standard of review. The matter before the Court in your case was one of fact, not one of law. What this means is that both you and the other party agreed that the contract provided a reimbursement under certain conditions (the question of law). The dispute was over the value in question (this was a question of fact).

The reason this is important is that the judge in the case is given considerable discretion over this as the "trier of fact". An appellate Court will review the judge's decision for an abuse of discretion when it comes to a question of fact (unlike a question of law, where the appellate court can examine the issue for itself), and will usually not change the judge's decision unless there is a clear abuse of discretion. The idea is that the appellate court is not present at trial and able to determine the demeanor of the parties and the witnesses, while the trial judge is and can examine the evidence.

I do not have all of your issues in front of me, and do not know all of the facts of your case, but if your appeal is based on a dispute over fact, and the trial court was able to make a decision between two parties and their interpretation of the facts, it is not usual for the appellate justices to reverse that decision.

I must caution you that I cannot practice law through this site, I cannot give you specific legal advice or instruction, and I cannot make the determination as to whether or not an appeal would be worthwhile for you, but the above are some of the considerations that would be worthwhile in these types of matters.

I hope the above is helpful, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns, and I wish you the best of luck in this matter.
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