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Recently I had a customer "stiff" me for a VERY small amount…

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Recently I had a...

Recently I had a customer "stiff" me for a VERY small amount of money ($23.40) on a necklace repair that was done for her. She didn't want to pay, grabbed the necklace, got in her car and drove away. I realize that I will have to pay a whole lot more than I will get in return, but I don't think she should be allowed to get away with stealing. What are the fees for such a claim in small claims court.

Lawyer's Assistant: What state is this in? And how old is the car?

California. A relatively new Lexus convertible. I have the license number, her full name, and phone number.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Called the sheriff, a deputy came out and took the report.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I have a small business that is struggling. Don't have a lot of money..Can I handle this myself?

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 27 minutes by:
11/12/2017
Lawyer: Gerald, Esq, Lawyer replied 8 months ago
Gerald, Esq
Gerald, Esq, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 5,366
Experience: Over 30 years of experience
Verified

Hello,
Thank you for using Just Answer. Please bear with me while I review your question. I will respond fully shortly. Thank you for your patience.

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Lawyer: Gerald, Esq, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Hello,

Thank you for your patience and thank you for using Just Answer. I want to provide you the best service I can. Please feel free to ask any follow-up questions you have.

I am an attorney with 30 years of experience; I hope to provide you information that will help you in resolving your question.

1) Yes, you can do this yourself. California has an excellent self help system. In fact they have self help centers that provide assistance with completing the forms. See:

http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-selfhelpcenters.htm

http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp.htm

2) You still have to pay filing fees and service costs. And there is no guarantee of recovery even if you do win. So you have to weigh whether or not it is worth your time, energy, and resources to pursue a civil action.

3) You did call the sheriff. You should follow up with a criminal complaint for theft of services. If the sheriff does not want to pursue her call the distric attorney's office and see if you can persuade them. Sadly, because of the amount involved they likely will not. But you can try.

I am sorry that much of this may not be what you want to hear. I would not want to mislead you.

I hope the information I provide is useful to you. I want you to be comfortable and satisfied with my attempt to assist you. Please, if you have ANY follow-up questions, feel free to ask.

If you ask a follow-up question and I do not respond immediately, it is because I am temporarily unavailable. I promise to respond as soon as I return. Please note that I am often unavailable Friday evening through Sunday.

Please do not forget to give me a positive rating. It adds nothing to your costs but helps me greatly. Thank you.

If you are dissatisfied with my response, PLEASE let me know before giving me a negative review so that I may try to be of better assistance. Or, if you prefer, let me know and I can “Opt Out” and your question can be re-posted without additional cost to you. I will be fair to you, and only ask the same from you.

Good luck.

Please note: Information is educational and not given as legal advice. Only your local attorney can give legal advice. I can't establish or accept an attorney-client relationship with you. All posts are available for public viewing.

Kind regards,

Gerald

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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).

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