The Dalles, OR asked in Small Claims for Oregon

Q: So I have a legit claim in small claims court? Or should I go a different route to recover my financial loss?

I got in a relationship with my ex girlfriend in November of last year. She was in just an absolutely terrible financial situation. She was gonna lose the house due to unpaid property taxes the city was gonna forclose on the house In 6 months or less and she was gonna lose the house. So I stepped in put up roughly 3700 dollars of my own money to get the tax collector off her back. After we got that problem solved I set my sights on cleaning up the property as the city was out at the house on more than one occasion due to trash and junk everywhere. So I cleaned up the property restored trash pickup fixed leaks in the plumbing patched leaks in the roof installed a new driveway did a lot of other things to fix the house up to make it a live able situation again. My ex was extremely happy with everything then days later she claimed domestic violence and obtained a restraining order

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1 Lawyer Answer
Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: Much depends upon the exact details of what the mutual understanding was at the time. At the time you paid the property taxes, was it structured as a loan? What were the re-payment terms? Interest? Or was it a gift at the time or simply not discussed? Are you seeking reimbursement for expenses you paid re the clean-up or are you seeking wages? All may make a serious difference. Then there is the issue of even if you get a Judgment against her, how do you propose to actually collect? IF she had no money for taxes or maintenance, it would seem that suing her, even IF you won, might just be throwing good money after bad. Finally, to the extent that she has any possible claim regarding domestic violence, if you sue her she might well sue you back for substantially more money than what you appear to be seeking - and you sound as if to be more collectible from than she does. I don't say don't do it but I do say think it through very carefully without emotion before starting down a path that could become a nightmare for you and not allow you to just put this all behind you and move on. Good luck.

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