Legal

Ask a Lawyer and Get Answers to Your Legal Questions

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Legal

I recently informed someone that I would no longer be

Customer Question
involved in any further work...
I recently informed someone that I would no longer be involved in any further work for a start-up company that we had been working on creating. He paid me $1000 2 months ago as an incentive to join him in forming an LLC. No contract was signed and I am not listed as an partner on the LLC. I believe there was a verbal understanding that the payment was for me to create a website for the company. Initially, he wanted to pay me with a large percentage stake in the future profits and ownership of the LLC instead of paying me more more money to work for him. We discussed the future weekly payments for labor in exchange for a reduced ownership percentage. After working hundreds of hours over a 5 week period, the arrangement has implicitly changed: I has to set up an enterprise-level IT hardware and software system instead of developing a website for the company. In the process, I did spend some time developing a website, which remains in existence, for the company, that may not be worth $1,000, but then again, I never signed a contract for the development of a website - in fact, on a check that he wrote to pay me for half of the $1,000, he wrote "Consultant Fees" in the "Memo" section. I never received any future payment for my over 300 hours of labor based on the premise that since I would be a primary owner of the LLC, I shouldn't be paid to help establish it. Over time, I endured constant verbal harrassment from the other party. Finally, I decided to quit working with him. Upon notification of my decision, I request that we arrange a time for me to retrieve some of personal property that was being used at his house, which is where we conducted business. He told me that if I attempted to enter his house, then he would shoot me and that he would not return my personal property, which I would value at $1500 or so. He is now preemptively attempting to sue me for not refunding his $1000 payment, which I earned 20x over in labor costs, and is harrassing me with SMS messages attempting to scare me into not calling the sheriff in order to escort me so that I may obtain the property that he legally robbed robbed from me at this point. I d o not want to sue him for unpaid wages or file criminal charges; I just want my property back. He is intent on "making me pay" for leaving the "company" that I essentially never was even an employee of or owner of. He has claimed to have talked to his lawyer and that he has so much money that I would never be able to win in either civil or criminal court. If I file criminal robbery charges, he will retaliate with a civil suit claiming that he paid me $1000 for a website which I did not provide. Technically, I never signed anything regarding the development of a website in exchange for a website, and the check the wrote to me states that he is paying me for "Consultant Fees." I could counter-sue him for unpaid contract labor, which would like total over $30,000. Furthermore, I did in fact design a website for him. Moreover, theh value of my relinquishment of any percentage of ownership in the LLC is not being accounted for in as refunding his $1000. What should I do? All I want is my personal property returned. He is refusing to allow me to do so. He is threatening me with physical harm, further financial loss for legal fees, and is willing to involve me in an extended criminal and civil battle just to exhibit dominance over me. He would lose all criminal and civil court judgments, but he doesn't even care. I don't want to spend the time, effort, and cost to press charges or sue him. Please help me understand the best course of action that I should take.
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Legal
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Answered in 9 minutes by:
9/12/2015
Lawyer: CalAttorney2, Attorney replied 2 years ago
CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10,244
Experience: Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
Verified

Dear Customer,

I am very sorry to learn of this situation.

  • You are correct in that the claim that he has against you is frivolous. If you were paid a fee ($1.00, $1,000.00, or $1,000,000.00) as an incentive, with no contractual obligation, you earned that money as soon as you came to work, you have no obligation to return it.
  • You also have a claim for the return of your belongings. This is a civil claim, not a criminal claim (the Sheriff will not assist you in getting your property back until you get a civil court judgment). But you are entitled to the return of your belongings. (The civil claim is for "conversion" - this is the civil equivalent of theft). You can file this claim in small claims court - see: http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-smallclaims.htm
  • The claim for compensation for your labor is a little more difficult. Without a fee agreement, or employment agreement, you can pursue compensation under what are called "equitable" theories. (These are quasi-contractual theories that the court uses to compensate parties that perform work when there is no contract in place in order to prevent unfair outcomes). You would be looking at "quantum meruit" and "unjust enrichment" as two equitable theories to support your cause of action. Depending on how much you are looking for, you could sue in small claims (up to $10,000.00), limited civil (up to $25,000.00), or unlimited civil (anything above that, and where an attorney is highly recommended).
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I called the county sheriff's office yesterday and was told that I should contact the sheriff's department again during daylight hours in order to request help in obtaining my belongings. So instead, you believe that I must file a small claim for whatever value I determine that my property is worth before his actions (robbery) is recognized by a judge as being criminal and then directing a sheriff to - what - obtain a warrant for his arrest?
Lawyer: CalAttorney2, Attorney replied 2 years ago

You can ask the sheriff. They might help (if they don't you will only have wasted a phone call).

But in general, this is not a criminal matter, it is a civil matter.

This is not "Robbery" you left your belongings there at work. He failed to return them. It is "conversion." This is dealt with in civil court.

(I understand that this doesn't seem fair, but you can get your belongings back, you just need to use the proper part of the system).

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Ask CalAttorney2 Your Own Question
CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10,244
10,244 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.

CalAttorney2 is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it.

LeeMichigan

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Tina

Tina

Lawyer

8,775 satisfied customers

JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

24,218 satisfied customers

Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

INFOLAWYER

INFOLAWYER

Attorney

20,218 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses

JPEsq

JPEsq

Attorney

2,132 satisfied customers

Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor

Law Educator, Esq.

Law Educator, Esq.

Attorney

41,455 satisfied customers

JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law

Ellen

Ellen

Lawyer, Consultant

8,238 satisfied customers

25 years of experience helping people like you.

Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

Attorney

287 satisfied customers

7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.

< Previous | Next >

Related Legal Questions
It's about my probability in winning a small claims case.
hi it's about my probability in winning a small claims case. could you help me with that … read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,959 satisfied customers
I am the defendant in a small claim in Wisconsin, the
I am the defendant in a small claim in Wisconsin, the Defendant and her lawyer did not appear on the scheduled court date - the court dismissed the case. They want to reopen the case, and have a heari… read more
Roy Hadavi
Roy Hadavi
Attorney
Juris Doctorate
896 satisfied customers
I had a small claims case. A witness was not sworn in by the
I had a small claims case. A witness was not sworn in by the judge before answering questions and told lies. Can I request a new hearing because she didn't take the oath first … read more
Bill Attorney
Bill Attorney
law
1,421 satisfied customers
If I lose in small claims court, will I be responsible for
If I lose in small claims court, will I be responsible for plaintiff's court fees? … read more
Barrister
Barrister
Attorney/Landlord/Realtor
Doctoral Degree
34,659 satisfied customers
Small claims for business. California Orange County. No. Im
1. Is it defense if there is not a signed agreement in place… read more
Barrister
Barrister
Attorney/Landlord/Realtor
Doctoral Degree
34,659 satisfied customers
I went to small claims court and was able to reach a
I went to small claims court and was able to reach a settlement out of court for 10K from my previous employers. Can they tax it? … read more
Roy Hadavi
Roy Hadavi
Attorney
Juris Doctorate
896 satisfied customers
I am the victim of mistaken identity in a small claims
I am the victim of mistaken identity in a small claims judgement against my son Darral Lee Spurgeon Jr., I am Darral Lee Spurgeon Sr.. Summit Judgement Recovery LLC (Ronald Richards) has filed a Levyi… read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
41,455 satisfied customers
Small claims. Small cliam on flooring compamy 2,000. No not
small claims would b good to waste your time, do u have any thoughswhat what I can… read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,959 satisfied customers
Can a person take someone to small claims for under the
Can a person take someone to small claims for under the table cash for hrs they think they have coming ? … read more
Roy Hadavi
Roy Hadavi
Attorney
Juris Doctorate
896 satisfied customers
Can a person file a small claims complaint against an
Can a person file a small claims complaint against an insurance company whose home base is out of state and demand their presence in Texas. … read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,959 satisfied customers
I represented myself in small claims. (This happened
I represented myself in small claims. (This happened yesterday) The Attorney called me today and said I lost. I owe them 1600.00.The Attorney called me three times at work and was harassing me to pay.… read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
10,196 satisfied customers
What is the statues of limitations at small claims court for
What is the statues of limitations at small claims court for an auto claim … read more
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B.
Juris Doctor
28,499 satisfied customers
Is is possible for a small claims judge to also issue a
Is is possible for a small claims judge to also issue a cease and desist order? or are they separate jurisdiction? San Bernadino county, California … read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,959 satisfied customers
I will be suing an individual in Small Claims Court in NYC
I will be suing an individual in Small Claims Court in NYC for breach of contract. My claim is for about $4100 plus about $500 interest for the non-payment, calculated at 9%, which I believe is the ra… read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,959 satisfied customers
I wanted to file in small claims court, but the contract
I wanted to file in small claims court, but the contract agreement I have is my corporation with an LLC. The template only gives me the option of filing against an individual or a corporation. Do you … read more
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B.
Juris Doctor
28,499 satisfied customers
Small Claims, A Situation With A Person Dealing With The
Small Claims, A Situation With A Person Dealing With The Western Union, And A Investment Firm.. … read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
20,218 satisfied customers
There was a small claims suit. we filed to employee and
There was a small claims suit. we filed to employee and company. The judgement states "Employee Name; Business Name". We got a writ of execution. The constable said it could not be executed because th… read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,959 satisfied customers
I am trying to file a small claims against a former employee
I am trying to file a small claims against a former employee who owes us money for being overpaid and leaving before his time. I have tried to send him a letter via certified mail and the letter was r… read more
Ely
Ely
Counselor at Law
Juris Doctor
24,218 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x