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Need some small legal advice

  1. May 12, 2008 #1
    i worked for this guy for a few months but recently he closed his store and when i asked for my money he told me that since he closed down his business ive lost all my money aswell
    can I sue this guy for my money or is what hes saying true?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 12, 2008 #2

    JasonRox

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    Find out if he has money. If yes, sue, if not, don't bother.


    Some people close their business because it's not making but they still have personal wealth. You can sue for the personal wealth that remains.
     
  4. May 12, 2008 #3
    How much does he owe you?
     
  5. May 12, 2008 #4
    Contact your State Department of Labor. Before you do, find out if he has filed for bankruptcy and what type of business (incorporated, limited liability, etc) it was.
     
  6. May 12, 2008 #5
    he owes me like 150 $ not much but he has really pissed me off and i want to get it just out of spite:smile:
    thanks for the advice
     
  7. May 12, 2008 #6

    JasonRox

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    Ok, for $150 who cares.
     
  8. May 12, 2008 #7

    Astronuc

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    Small claims court.

    If the guy filed bankruptcy, then one can file a claim as a creditor and get in line with the others, otherwise there is little one can do.
     
  9. May 12, 2008 #8
    If the claim is really back wages, it takes precedence over unsecured claims. If it's payment as an "independent contractor", that's very dependent on state law and varies widely.
     
  10. May 12, 2008 #9
    would i file this claim at the small claims court aswell?

    this is in Ontario BTW
     
  11. May 13, 2008 #10
    Depending on the state, you could be due damages equal to twice what he owes. I would go after him.

    Edit: I just noticed that you are in Canada. I don't know that it would matter however. Contact your Ministry of labor. They will advise you of your rights.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2008
  12. May 13, 2008 #11

    JasonRox

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    You can't do that in Canada, which is why our lawsuits are never very large. You can only sue for actual loses. Punitive damages (what you're saying) is rarely handed out in Canada.

    And again, no offense to you, this is one reason why I would avoid dealing with Americans in the US (sorry for the good ones). It's because they want to suck you dry of money even on the smallest of things, which is exactly what you were implying. It's a terrible thing and it's only destructive.

    Sorry, but I hate people like that.

    Note: It's only $150 dollars. You can write it off as a lost crying out loud. The cost for the project might have been $100 or so (including wages) so you can write off $100 and honestly you really only lost like by $70 after taxes. Seriously, if you're financial hurt by this, I would consider reviewing your finances as you might end up like the other guy (shutting down).
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2008
  13. May 13, 2008 #12

    Moonbear

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    I have to agree with your comments (even as an American, I think it's ridiculous to expect to get paid more than you're owed, and maybe a little interest for the delay in getting...especially when the business has closed...as they say, you can't get blood from a stone).

    How much would court fees be to sue for the money? I'm not sure how the Canadian system works, but in the US, you'd probably lose at least half that amount just filing for the lawsuit, so hardly any point in bothering (if you win, you can recover the court costs usually, but if you need the money that badly, having to pay court costs in addition to being out the money is only going to make matters worse until the court date). And, don't forget the time you'd have to spend preparing the paperwork and your case and actually spending in court to have it heard, and waiting for the court to process the payment, etc. You'd be better off using that time finding another job and earning a paycheck from someone else.

    So, when deciding these things, there's usually two questions to really ask yourself. The first is the one already asked...CAN you do it? The second is the one Jason is hinting about...Is it WORTH doing it?
     
  14. May 13, 2008 #13
    AND, they're only 150 Canadian dollars, which are worth less, no?
     
  15. May 13, 2008 #14

    iansmith

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  16. May 13, 2008 #15

    nrqed

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    I am a canadian and I have exactly the opposite opinion. If someone tries to swindle someone else out of some money, I find it stupid that the only punishment should be (in the advent that the person gets caught) to get the person responsible to pay for the actual losses. Imagine you have a store and if you catch someone trying to steal something from your store, the only "punishment" is to have them hand back the stuff they were just trying to steal!! It's a no lose situation for the crook. If there is not punitive damages, what is the incentive for people to do the right thing? Just go ahead and try to swindle money from other people, you have nothing to lose.
    But it's a typical mentality in Canada to treat well criminals (look at how drug dealers and th epeople who support them by buying drugs are treated here!)
     
  17. May 13, 2008 #16
    Generally in Canada, when an issue goes to small claims civil court, one asks the judge to award payment of the monies owed, as well as the costs of bringing the suit (not sure if cost of hiring lawyer are included in that, but I don't think so).

    As for the penal damages, I'm somewhat in the middle on them. In cases where there is intentional wrong doing (as opposed to a disagreement on the interpretation of a contract or similar), there should be punitive charges, but these should NOT go to the plaintiff. They should go to a public works project of some sort, and/or involve community service. To award such damages to the plaintiff just encourages everyone in society to be lawyer happy.

    In other words, I think the plaintiff is only entitled to what is owed him, the defendant should possibly (depending on circumstances) be required to pay more. A system such as this would allow fair punishment, without encouraging everyone to lawyer up in the hopes of a huge penal settlement.
     
  18. May 13, 2008 #17
    I dont follow, are you saying if someone violates their contract, instead of paying the person that should have been paid, you want to give that money away to a public works project?
     
  19. May 13, 2008 #18
    "i worked for this guy for a few months but recently he closed his store and when i asked for my money he told me that since he closed down his business ive lost all my money aswell
    can I sue this guy for my money or is what hes saying true?"

    If he is the sole proprietor or a co-partner then he has unlimited liability for debts and expenses, which may well extend into his persoanl assets outside of the company. Sue away, but be sure to bring documents to help your case or else it is your word against his.
     
  20. May 13, 2008 #19

    Moonbear

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    Yeah, I laughed when I saw a news article earlier today that included the conversion of CDN$ to US$...it must have been very challenging for the writer to multiply by 1. :rofl:
     
  21. May 13, 2008 #20
    No, I'm saying that the court should force them to pay the person to whom it is owed, but that any additional punitive charges should go to a public works project, rather than to the plaintiff. The plaintiff gets what they are owed, nothing more. The defendant may be penalized with an additional fine, but the plaintiff should not receive this.
     
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