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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 35790
Experience:  16 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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I lost a small claims case for $7,000. I have a small pension

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I lost a small claims case for $7,000. I have a small pension of $565, and work as an independent contractor part time. I have severe arthritis in both knees and also restless leg syndrome which requires me to take medication that creates a sleepy effect. This case involved a former coworker who lent me the money but due to a layoff I could not pay her, so she took me to court. Before I even had a chance to speak the plantiff stated I had a job.
I said yes, as an independent contractor and there was no steady paycheck. I made about $400 the previous month.
The magistrate proceeded to berate me and say I should be giving her any extra money that comes into my pocket to the plantiff. He said I could live off my mother and brother.
He need saying the next time we were in court I was to have paid the plantiff "a substantial" amount, he did not specify.
A month later I received a document from the court stating I would have to pay the plantiff $50 a month by the first of the month. The paper work said I would have to pay by the first of June but was dated June 3. I have paid her the $50 and it may have reached her on the 3rd of the month. But was dated the 31st usually if not sooner.
I have to now go back to court and I wonder why. It says for financial assessment.
Since the magistrate clearly is prejudicial toward me I am a bit worried as to what may happen.
I have no monies and my meds have increased, yet I do not wish to detail in open court my health issues.
So, what is my best defense. It is not that I wish to cheat ths woman out of her money, it is just I cannot fathom what the magistrate will do, he called me names, harassed me, up yelled at me to get me to say I would sign over my pension and I would not.
I am going to file an ethic complaint on him that I am sure will do no good but it will be documented of his unprofessional demeanor. There were lawyers in the courtroom all hanging with their mouths open with this guys loss of control
I live in Massachusetts
Hello and welcome! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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I can say after reading your comments that the judge's behavior was highly unethical for a judge to engage in. The judge typically will simply grant a judgment and then it is up to the plaintiff to collect on it. It is not the judge's place to berate you in public and try to shame you into signing over your pension which is exempt under federal law from any type of forced garnishment.
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With that said, the reason you are being called back to court if the plaintiff is asking the court to make an inquiry in to your financial assets to see if you have anything they could seize and sell to collect on the judgment. They will ask about bank accounts, vehicles, real estate, savings, and personal property like motorcycles, boats, RVs, etc. that the sheriff could seize and sell to pay on the judgment.
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But the simple fact of it is that if you don't have the disposable income to pay the debt, then the judge can't force you to use your pension as it is exempt.
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As for filing a complaint against the judge for judicial misconduct, I would agree that it sounds like it may be warranted in this case.
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As an aside, you may not want to consider this, but if you were to file bankruptcy, the debt would be discharged and that would end the matter. The judge couldn't take any further action against you and the plaintiff would be legally prohibited from trying to collect on the judgment. Just something to think about...
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I did give a list of my assests. A 2003 VW beetle I bought in 2005 , off the road needs great repair, new tires, battery, engine issues, and is worth 2300 which I believe is exempt , that is anything to 7500 for a car is.
I am on a Living trust for my mothers house but in order to get the homestead on it ( the law changed) that she would have to sign it over to me which she will not, although when we did this the law stated that I too was covered. Would that be grandfathered?
We went over this in court and be gave her legal advice as to how to get me which would mean her paying an attorney ( I would think) she stated she wanted me to fix my car and then hand it over to her, put a lien on my house and supeona my bank records. He said she would have to go to another court to get those things.
I did consult an attorney about bankruptcy, but would not she have to agree to the debt being cancelled?that is my Ace so to speak.
I am on a Living trust for my mothers house but in order to get the homestead on it ( the law changed) that she would have to sign it over to me which she will not, although when we did this the law stated that I too was covered. Would that be grandfathered?
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If the house is not in your name, then it can't be liened.
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but would not she have to agree to the debt being cancelled?
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No, not at all. If creditors had to agree to allow a bankruptcy, then no one would ever be able to file them. The entire purpose of a BK is to erase all a person's debts so they can get a clean slate to start over with. She can complain about you filing BK, but she can't prevent you from doing so. And if you don't have any assets that aren't exempt, then she will get nothing and you will keep what you have and the debt will be wiped out.
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Oh, and the judge telling the plaintiff what to do to collect is legal advice and is completely inappropriate for a judge to do.
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Thanks
Barrister
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