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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I am planning to file a small claims suit against my 12 year

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I am planning to file a small claims suit against my 12 year old son's baseball sports club in the Small Claims Court, Precinct One, Collin County, Texas. We paid $1,600 for a tournament season and the team fell apart and we did not receive what we were promised. On 6/20/13 I delivered a written resignation (effective 6/30/13) and demand for refund of $850.00. I sent the same letter via email to the owner on 7/2/13. On 7/4/13 he wrote back saying he never received the letter and would "look at the file on our team".

Can I file claiming treble damages on the $850.00?
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Under Texas law, in order to seek treble damages, you must have a statutory basis for doing so. Breach of contract alone would not be a statutory basis for you to seek treble damages and nothing you have stated above would indicate any grounds to seek such damages.

You would be able to sue for treble damages under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act if you can prove the team made intentional misrepresentations as to the members as to what they would receive. To avail yourself of a claim under the DTPA, you must send a letter giving them 60 days to settle your claim and specify that you are making the claim under the DTPA and that the failure to settle in 60 days would result in suit and you would under that Act be entitled to up to treble damages.

However, if they decide to settle, under Texas Code section 17.5052(d) of the DTPA, a settlement offer must include an offer to pay the following amounts of money, separately stated:
(i) an amount of money or other consideration reduced to its cash value (settlement in kind), as settlement of the consumer’s damages; and
(ii) an amount of money to compensate the consumer for the consumer’s reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred as of the date of the offer.

If they do not settle in 60 days then you can sue for triple damages plus attorney's fees.

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