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You unfortunately cannot request $16,000 in Small Claims Court. The claims can be filed together in the Court of Common Pleas, or you can file them separately as two small claims cases.
The statute of limitations starts to run when he stopped paying, because that's when he breached the agreement. You couldn't have sued before that.
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Do you have any questions about this?
No, there isn't. You could even file them at the same time, as two separate lawsuits. They just have to be based on different sets of facts to be filed separately.
The judge will look at whether the lawsuits arise out of the same "Transaction or occurrence." That starts with a look at all the facts of each case. The judge will also consider whether the same evidence is used to prove both cases, the same witnesses, and things like that.
The money from the settlement for a client you sued doesn't sound related to the original contract between you and your partner.
Bank statements are very common in business disputes. But if you're looking at different line items on the statements, you can argue that it's a separate transaction or occurrence.
You could also avoid any issues and file both cases at once in the general civil court.