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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10220
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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A pre-law student at U C Berkeley asked to come with me on a

Customer Question

A pre-law student at U C Berkeley asked to come with me on a trip to Chiapas, Mexico, last August, promising to repay his expenses put on my Credit Union Visa Cards. After we returned, he became evasive and finally on March 11th refused to pay. I had him served for Small Claims court at his classroom, but he didn't show up in court. I neglected to provide the judge with proof of service. He currently owes around $1800, increasing monthly with interest charges. I don't have his address, but will go to the Northern California Tibetian Association tomorrow - his wife is Tibetian and his daughter, who came with us, is 1/2 Tibetian. He plans to attend UCLA Law School, but my friends there can block that. Can you help me get my money?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Asad Rahman replied 2 months ago.

Unfortunately we do not take cases for representation. We are merely for legal information. You need to proceed with the small claims court suit and get a judgement. Once you have the judgement you can ask the court to garnish his wages or put a lien on his property or accounts. Since he was married you can go after the spouse as well.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
We don't have an address - he was served for small claims in a classroom at UCB. His wife is Tibetan, so I tried the Northern California Tibetan Association, but the building is being refurbished and no one was there. He is on line all over the internet, and spent the Summer in Java. Try Russell G. Wilson and you will find lots of information but no address. The UCB Chancellor and a member of the Board of Regents have not helped. Should I write off the $1800?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
He hopes to go to UCLA Law School, where I have friends, who have been alerted. Any other ideas?
Expert:  Asad Rahman replied 2 months ago.

I understand. I think if you can somehow get him served then that will be optimal, but writing it off is your choice. I still say get the judgement if you can and then your options open up.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
No phone. No address for Russell G. Wilson.
Expert:  Asad Rahman replied 2 months ago.
Will he start school in the fall
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I am very unhappy about being charged $116 for no practical advice regarding my legal problem. I do not have an address for the person, so cannot have him served! Please give my account a refund. Thank you, ***** ***** R. Anderson P.S. I do not have a telephone at the moment.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 months ago.

Dear Customer,

Thank you for using our forum. My name is***** am another expert on the forum.

I am sorry to learn about your situation. Based on what you posted, it appears you have already successfully served the defendant, but are having trouble with your matter due to a problem with (1) the proof of service (this can be remedied by having whoever served the summons and complaint provide a declaration and filing that document); and (2) actually locating the defendant so that you can enforce your judgment.

Dealing with the second problem is probably the more critical issue - it doesn't do you a lot of good to have a judgment if you cannot find the individual to enforce it. The easiest and most efficient way to do this is to hire a process server or a private investigator to assist you. Either one of these professionals can run what we call a "skip trace" using proprietary databases using government and financial records to locate individuals for legal purposes. This information is not available to the public and online services that claim to offer these services are either not conforming to the rules for the databases (as noted above, access is highly restricted), or they are not legitimate searches (you may find this information by luck - a lot is online, but if you want the best, ***** ***** to pay for it).

A skip trace will usually run you about $50-$75, and you can get referrals to private investigators or process servers from your local bar association (so try the Alameda Bar Association or the Bar Association of San Francisco).