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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33793
Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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How to beat a small claims court summons on statute of

Customer Question

How to beat a small claims court summons on statute of limitations in USVI?
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Customer: I need to come up with a defense, what do you sugget?
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Customer: suggest
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 10 months ago.

Hello! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney with more than 18 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. Please understand that if I ask you for additional information, you are NOT charged again and our communications are NOT timed. So please see this as a relaxed conversation between friends. I am here to help

Also, if you would like to chat on the phone, let me know and I can make that happen.

I am sorry for this dilemma. But not sure I understand your specific question. Do you have a question regarding this?

Are you asking the statute of limitations?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
the Statute of Limitations in the USVI is 6 years. That statute was updated in 2001 and there is no indication that is it retroactive. What happens to contracts signed prior to that? Say in 1997,
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 10 months ago.

A statue of limitations is an "affirmative defense"

That means it is the burden of the defendant to raise this issue, to the court, during the proceeding.

If the statute of limitations has expired? Then you would want to raise this with the judge at the hearing.

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
How do I beat a charge in a small claims court for delinquent payments in USVI?What would constitute a material breach in contracts signed in USVI? Can I use statute of limitation for contracts that were signed over a 10 years ago?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 10 months ago.

The "breach" is when the payments are missed. SO, say you signed the contract in 97 but stopped paying in 99...that is when the statute of limitations starts to run.

Its not the day it was signed that counts...its the day that you stopped paying.

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Ok, what if I made a full payment upfront and now I am being assessed for back payment for additional maintenance fees, and being asked to pay that amount for the last six years?
The USVI statute for small claims states: The statute of limitations in small claims involving injuring personal property is six (6) years. The statute of limitations in small claims regarding actions for debt is ten (10) years.What does this mean?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
if I never paid any of the maintenance fees, never received an invoice for over ten years and now I am being asked to pay back pay, does that still mean that there was "breach" of contract which would then start running the Statute of limitation?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 10 months ago.

It means that if more than 6 years have elapsed since the alleged "breach" (when you owed the money but failed to pay) then you can raise statute of limitations as a defense.

SO if the money was due 10 years ago and you have not paid?? IT is too late to collect (the statute of limitations has expired)

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
My question is this exactly, sorry for not being on point:
There was a contract I signed in USVI, over 10 years ago. I paid that in full, however, there were maintenance fees that were due that begun on a future day and to be collected monthly for the upkeep of whatever I purchased. I never received any invoice for over ten years. This year, I receive a summons to appear in small claims court to pay the maintenance charges that accumulated over the years. I was told there is long arm jurisdiction that would apply to me, even though I have not been there for over 10 years. A default judgement would be set against me, so what is my possible defense?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 10 months ago.

Thanks

Easy...the statute begins to "run" the day you missed the first "fees" payment. If that was over 6 years from the day they filed the suit?? Then the statute of limitations has expired.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Adverse party says it is still a valid and enforceable contract because they never terminated it, and are entitled to collect the money? How is that possible?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
What does full faith and credit mean?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I would like to just ask via this forum if that's ok with you?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 10 months ago.

The fact they never terminated is not relevant.

The issue will be IF you had an obligation to pay and did not pay, when required. DId that happen?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
that is what happened. It was a maintenance fee that was going to be billed at a later date. I never paid any of it and more than 10 years later, I have a summons to appear in small claims court and I am being asked to pay back for the last 6 years because of Statute of limitation. Not sure I understand that.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 10 months ago.

If more than 6 years have passed since the payment was due? Then the statute has expired...you can tell the judge this and ask them to dismiss the case

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
basically, even if I signed the contract, and paid the full price, but never paid the maintainance fees for over ten years I can raise the SOL defense? How do I do that? Can you give me a break down?What are the US rules on SOL? Where can I look up that information?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 10 months ago.

Correct. If more than 6 years have passed since the money was due?? The statue has run.

Period.

You would raise this issue with the judge during the trial. So you ask the judge to dismiss this case based on the statute of limitations

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
How about venue? Can I have the case moved to US state versus going to the USVI? what is the process?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I am reading this right now:The six year statute limitations, 5 V.I. Code Ann. § 31(3)(A), begins to run from the date of the defendants' breach, that is, from the date of the last payment on the contract. 5 V.I. Code Ann. § 40. Birnbaum v. Zenda, 1978 V.I. LEXIS 6 (V.I. Terr. Ct. 1978). So would this work for me?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I am reading the USVI code, 5 VIC section 31, 33 and 40. I think I might have an argument for SOL. Any advice?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Did you get my last questions?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 10 months ago.

I have opted out to allow others to assist you, if they are willing. I wish you thebest of luck

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Are you serious? I was just charged $ 36 for nothing! Wow...
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 10 months ago.

Sorry...I am unwilling to go back and forth on this further. I had offered a phone can but it seems you are not interested...that is fine. It may be someone else here is willing to work with you...there are other experts who can see this and can weigh in if they like.

If you are not satisfied with the service you can contact customer service here

1-***-***-****

and they will refund your deposit

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
A phone call at an additional expense, no thank you. You are right, I am unsatisfied by your service. You basically just told me what I could find online. No worries, I will contact customer service.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 10 months ago.

Best of luck to you