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Thread: Suing somebody in another state (Wiredwrx is invited too!)

  1. #1
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Suing somebody in another state (Wiredwrx is invited too!)

    Basically I programmed something for some guy in South Carolina and he has not payed me. I have emails going back to when he hired me stating the price, exactly what the program would do, and him saying he would pay the full amount of $1000 upon completion.

    I have what I believe is his full name, and general location in South Carolina, and the type of work he does, but I cannot find any webpages with contact information. I found a website that has his name and the correct location but no contact information. I have no idea how to find this guy either really.

    I want to know if it is possible for me to sue him in Colorado, or do I have to go to South Carolina to sue him?! If I do have to go down there do I adjust my claim for $1000 and travel fees?

    Is this a claim that can even be made in local courts since the hiring and everything occurred over the internet, meaning accross state lines?

    Doing a bit of research now, but one of the cases I found was some lady in TX sued somebody in MI, and won the case in TX courts. I think whoever she sued though lived in TX and then moved away. Anyways, after she won, she never collected any money because the loser didn't have any assets in TX or something like that.

    I have never sued anybody, and nobody in my entire family has ever sued anybody. But being a college student, $1000 is really needed. I feel that I have enough proof with all the emails.

    I have seen CourtTV shows like "The People's Court" and people have won cases with what seems to me more flaky evidence than what I have. From listening to "Harvey Levings" or whatever that guy's name is that stands on NY streets, he says that in small claims court that it just needs to tilt the scales in your favour 51% to 49% for you to win opposed to a big court where there needs to be absolute proof or something.

    I have been thinking what his possible defence would be. Here is what I have thought of:
    a) Didn't work - I can bring my laptop and a copy of the program on a CD and show the judge that it runs on my computer and the judge can try it on their computer. Also maybe signed affidavids from people saying that they can open and use the program on their computers without problems.
    b) Never Recieved it - I can show server logs that show his IP address connecting to my computer and downloading the file. Also in emails he asks specific questions about the program so that kind of makes it obvious that he did receive it.
    c) Never agreed to that price - I have him clearly saying in email that he pay $1000 upon completion.

    To me it seems sort of open and shut. I can't really see a defense that he would seem to work for him. If you guys can think of any, I'll try to put together some more stuff.

    So my question is: Can I sue him locally, and if so do I have a chance?!

    Wired, your legal assistance would be appreciated! And any other lawyers or attourneys or people who can shine some light onto this! Being canadian, we don't sue too often!
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    Constant Bitrate legacy05gt's Avatar
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    I'm in GA, give me his address and i will kick him in the face until the $1000 is collected....
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    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by legacy05gt View Post
    I'm in GA, give me his address and i will kick him in the face until the $1000 is collected....
    Gladly, but lets try the legal way first!

    If it fails, do as you wish.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    Basically I programmed something for some guy in South Carolina and he has not payed me. I have emails going back to when he hired me stating the price, exactly what the program would do, and him saying he would pay the full amount of $1000 upon completion.
    Good, that can be the "contract" A contract requires a meeting of the minds, basically, that you both agree what the terms are, what is required of each party. If it seems as if there is an agreement, that is good.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    I have what I believe is his full name, and general location in South Carolina, and the type of work he does, but I cannot find any webpages with contact information. I found a website that has his name and the correct location but no contact information. I have no idea how to find this guy either really.
    You have to find him somehow. That might be difficult, but you can't sue someone you can't find.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    I want to know if it is possible for me to sue him in Colorado, or do I have to go to South Carolina to sue him?! If I do have to go down there do I adjust my claim for $1000 and travel fees?
    Well, this gets confusing, but let me say, your best bet is small claims court. Unfortunately, you would have to sue him in NC in small claims court. It is not that hard, after you get his address, call the county court house, and they will send you the forms and tell you what you need to do. You will mail the stuff back to them, with the fee, and then let you know when to be there. You CAN NOT charge him for the travel fees, time you take off to file the suite, or to go to court to fight the case, or anything like that. You can however, seek the actual cost to FILE THE CASE in court.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    Is this a claim that can even be made in local courts since the hiring and everything occurred over the internet, meaning accross state lines?
    Well, your claim is not large enough to make it to state court, and there are other problems with bringing someone into your home state or fed court. Just so you can do some research, bringing someone from another state to your state is called "diversity jurisdiction"

    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    Doing a bit of research now, but one of the cases I found was some lady in TX sued somebody in MI, and won the case in TX courts. I think whoever she sued though lived in TX and then moved away. Anyways, after she won, she never collected any money because the loser didn't have any assets in TX or something like that.
    With out more info, it is hard to know how she did that, but there IS a way to sue someone in state court even if they live somewhere else. However, from what I know of your case, those requirements are not met.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    I have never sued anybody, and nobody in my entire family has ever sued anybody. But being a college student, $1000 is really needed. I feel that I have enough proof with all the emails.
    You probably have enough to prove there is a contract, just like I said above.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    I have seen CourtTV shows like "The People's Court" and people have won cases with what seems to me more flaky evidence than what I have. From listening to "Harvey Levings" or whatever that guy's name is that stands on NY streets, he says that in small claims court that it just needs to tilt the scales in your favour 51% to 49% for you to win opposed to a big court where there needs to be absolute proof or something.
    Incorrect. In a civil suite, no matter where, the burden of proof is on the person suing to prove with a "preponderance of evidence" that you are correct. Preponderance of evidence is MORE THAN 50%,meaning 50.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000000000001 (you get he point) This is the same standard in a "big court" Only certain claims and defenses, expecially in criminal cases, is the standard higher, beyond all reasonable doubt, which is more than 50 percent, but less than 100 percent. No one really knows what that percentage is.
    NOTHING requires ABSOLUTE proof. In fact, when is there EVER absolute proof??

    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    I have been thinking what his possible defence would be. Here is what I have thought of:
    a) Didn't work - I can bring my laptop and a copy of the program on a CD and show the judge that it runs on my computer and the judge can try it on their computer. Also maybe signed affidavids from people saying that they can open and use the program on their computers without problems.
    b) Never Recieved it - I can show server logs that show his IP address connecting to my computer and downloading the file. Also in emails he asks specific questions about the program so that kind of makes it obvious that he did receive it.
    c) Never agreed to that price - I have him clearly saying in email that he pay $1000 upon completion.

    To me it seems sort of open and shut. I can't really see a defense that he would seem to work for him. If you guys can think of any, I'll try to put together some more stuff.

    So my question is: Can I sue him locally, and if so do I have a chance?!
    No, and of course there is a chance, though there is a chance you will lose also. You never know. But, it looks like you have a strong case.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    Wired, your legal assistance would be appreciated! And any other lawyers or attourneys or people who can shine some light onto this! Being canadian, we don't sue too often!
    There you go.

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  5. #5
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot. That really helps. Now I must decide if it is worth it really...
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    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
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  6. #6
    Confusion Master
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    Weigh up the costs of travelling to his state, staying over if necessary (maybe more than one day), loss of earnings (unless you get some requests for out of state chinese food orders).

    Against the $1000. (and that is assuming you actually get it even if it is awarded to you and he may claim hardship and end up paying $5 a month or less a month.)

  7. #7
    MySQL Error MatrixPC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enforcer View Post
    Weight up the costs of travelling to his state, staying over if necessary (maybe more than one day), loss of earnings (unless you get some requests for out of state chinese food orders).

    Against the $1000. (and that is assuming you actually get it even if it is awarded to you and he may claim hardship and end up paying $5 a month or less a month.)
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    Super Moderator xBrady's Avatar
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    It sounds like you have a pretty good case. If it were me and I had the time I'd do it. Unless of course the travel costs are greater than around $700 or so.
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  9. #9
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Maybe I can ship them a webcam and then they can perform the trial there with me here through da internet!
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

  10. #10
    Confusion Master
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    E's rule no.1 when writing software for someone for money.

    Always put a time bomb in there, so if they don't pay, it stops working and they have to contact you you get it unlocked.

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