Dearborn, MI asked in Criminal Law and Collections for Michigan

Q: My former boss loaned me 1500 and I haven't been able to pay it back. He's taking me to court. What should I expect?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Assuming it's small attorneys are allowed. You'll have a hearing - maybe with a judge / probably a magistrate or referee, depending on how that particular court is structured. From there, it will look a lot like what you may see on those judge TV shows (without the drama and laughter). Your former boss will go first because it's his claim and burden to prove; you'll then have an opportunity to speak and tell your side. You need to bring with you everything you want the judge to consider because this will be your one and only opportunity to present it. It does you now good to say "I can show you my bank records / I have receipts / etc." if it's not there with you on paper and in court. You each will also have a chance to call witnesses. Again, you need to plan on them being present in court. Letters from folks do you no good. In short, you need to prepare similar to how an attorney would prepare for a case, although the nature of small claims court is much more relaxed.

Keep also in mind that "I can't afford to pay it back" is not a defense. If he did loan you money that you agreed at one time to pay back (as opposed to a gift), and he can convince the judge of that, then you'll get a judgment against you. Your better bet, which is often the case, is to try reaching a settlement out of court.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.