Take one to small claims court?

Submitted by Nick S on 10/10/01. ( )

I have a mount thats been done over a year now. The customer
has been notified many times.This includes phone calls and
letters.The last letter I sent,it stated that I would be charging
a 15 dollar a month storage fee,starting October 1st.I plan
on sending a similar letter soon,but make it a certified letter.
He gave me a 100 dollar down payment,owes now, $325 plus tax,
plus $15 storage fee. Has anyone ever taken someone to small
claims court,over something like this? Is it worth the hassle.
I know they(customer) can just ignore the small claims paper
work,then I would have to look into garnishing his wages.What
a hassle that would probably be.Please give me your ideas.
By the way its a full strut turkey,standing on a limb.Thanks.Nick.

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Nick, check local law

This response submitted by CUR on 10/10/01. ( WILDART@prodigy.net )

Disposition of finished mounts are governed by laws and regulations that differ from state to state. Bill collections ditto. you should send the client a certified letter not only announcing the storage fee (which you may not collect under some regulations) but a terminal date for his compliance. You probably have the right to sell the mount to another after a specified time and proper notification. Small claims court is pretty simple. You file, he doesn't show, you collect by default, unless your story is not believed. In order to back up self (CYA) learn collection procedure and applicable law and regulation and go for it.

Until then, check the archives about this subject. There have been some running battles about this, and a lot of data is there for the asking. It would help if you posted your state of residence, since another taxi in your locale could be very helpful with specific information. It is ultimately your responsibility as a resident and a business person to know the law that governs your business. I find it hard to believe that anyone would start a business and enter into partial payment agreements without being aware of the obligations of both parties.


This response submitted by Dan on 10/11/01. ( Hasslehut@aol.com )

You gave him more than enough chances .....sell if you can.... (been there), make him take you to court, keep your records,. see response title......he's a..........Thankyou and goodnight.

Theft of Services

This response submitted by Headhanger on 10/12/01. ( gsc@crcom.net )


Been there, Done that! I recently had a customer that drug his feet about picking up some hides I had tanned for him. I notified him numerous times by phone and by mail. This went on for several months and then I contacted the district attorney's office and was told I could file for 'Theft of Services'. I then sent him a certified letter and informed him that I had consulted with the district attorney and if the mount was not picked up and balance paid within 90 days, I would file on him. Hell, the very next day he showed up and paid his balance in full. He was scared stiff! He used every excuse in the book for not picking them up sooner. LOL. Chances are, I'll never get his business again but I don't want deadbeat customers like that anyway. One final note; I have every customer sign a 'Service Agreement' which describes all services to be performed, projected completion date, deposits paid and balances due, and release of liability (for specimens which were improperly cared for in the field). This signed 'Service Agreement' was my ace in the hole when I had to deal with this deadbeat customer and it covers your a$$ as well. Just a thought.


P.S. I do business in Texas

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