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Jane Doe Deer
Jane Doe Deer, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 3896
Experience:  Atty since 1986. Real estate, tax, and other business law questions
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i paid an auto body technician to replace parts on my car (i

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i paid an auto body technician to replace parts on my car (i provided all the parts), and he promised to be done in 2-3 weeks but had my car for over 2 months. he would either not answer or would give me the run around about the state of my car. after MANY attempts, i was able to retrieve my car but not the money i paid for the service. i have since written a new promissory note that he signed in order to get my money back. he has breached this agreement as well. i would like to file a small claims suit. Besides the $690 that i am entitled to, can i sue for any additional damages? i feel as though i am owed something more for all this trouble. it has been well over 4 months now and i tried to handle this amicably. Please advise.

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Answer: You can sue for, and ask for, whatever you want in Small Claims Court, but the judge may not have the authority to give you a financial award for everything you request. Given your situation and frustration, I would DEFINITELY take this to Small Claims Court. When you file your request/complaint, be sure to request reimbursement for the costs of filing your complaint and for service of process.


In Texas, there is limited online information about SCC (but I see the JustAnswer ad on the same page). Try here:


When you file your complaint, you can attach exhibits, such as a copy of the promissory note. Only use copies, and number them in order, so you can easily refer to them. Bring the originals with you to court in case there's an argument about the copies.


Good luck to you, and don't hesitate to write back.


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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
is there a legal term for the trouble i have had to endure due to his bad business practices?

In both instances - failing to do the agreed-upon repair work AND the promissory note - they're both breaches of contract.


BTW, if you can, see if you can get the judge to order the guy to pay you no later than a certain time on a certain date. Ask the judge for interest on the money you paid for the repairs, too.


So - say that the guy breached your contract to repair your vehicle.


You've done a very, very smart thing getting the promissory note. I hope it included interest. Congrats on being brilliant!

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

i didnt include interest...should have thought of that. i hate to keep asking questions, as you can see i am very frustrated by this, can i add it to my claim?


and last, what is a fair amount of interest to add?

Yes, add interest to your claim. I don't know what the usury limit is now in CA. I'd ask for 12%, and you can expect the judge to cut it down to something lower.


(I always ask for more than I'm willing to settle for - basic flea market strategy!)

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
ok, i am in Texas. does that change the usury limit?
Oops, sorry - same thing for Texas!
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

you're awesome! this is so worth it.


ok, i swear this is the last thing i am concerned about: serving him. i am worried that the constable may not be able to catch him to serve him. it was so hard for me to do so just to ask about my money. i know where he lives but i believe he is being elusive to avoid something like this. what happens if they cannot serve him? this is the only address i have for him.

Use a service of process company, rather than law enforcement. They generally do a better job. Plus, they're not as obvious.


If personal service fails, there are other ways to "serve" notice, such as publication in the newspaper. That really is a whole separate question, and you should wait to worry about that.


I'm really glad you like JustAnswer. I just came back a few weeks ago and started answering questions again.


I hope you have a great Labor Day. You're not the only one this has happened to. I think your mistake, however, may have been in paying in advance. Mechanics with a legitimate business generally charge you at the end of everything.





Jane Doe Deer and 3 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
ok, thank you!
Thank YOU!

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