Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In
California Small Claims Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant, Contracts, Admiralty / Maritime and Small Claims for California on
Q: I rented a slip for 16 months. Can the owner move my houseboat so he could lien it for 1 month of back rent.

I became homeless from one day to the next. All of my belongings in it & lost my job.

First, He called a tow company to tow my truck without any notices (he stated that it was an eye sore, that it had three wheels, all wheels were on it).

One day before he moved my houseboat I... View More

James L. Arrasmith
PREMIUM
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
answered on Feb 21, 2024

In California, the owner of a marina or slip has certain legal rights and procedures to follow when dealing with back rent and liens on vessels like houseboats. However, these actions, including moving your houseboat to place a lien for unpaid rent, require following specific legal procedures,... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Small Claims for California on
Q: Client from out of state won't pay first invoice. Can I take him to small claims in CA?

Found out two other contractors were unpaid who live in different states. I feel he is going to defraud other people and not pay them. It seems like it is a bigger problem than just my case. We have a contract outlining he will pay at the end of the month, but I found out after a team meeting that... View More

James L. Arrasmith
PREMIUM
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
answered on Feb 20, 2024

Based on the details provided, here are a few key things to consider regarding your options for getting paid and taking legal action:

- Small claims court is handled at the state level, so you would need to file suit in the defendant's state (Kentucky in this case). You generally...
View More

2 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury, Small Claims and Medical Malpractice for California on
Q: Can I sue a plastic surgeon who took my money and didn’t fix my problem in California?

I had a surgery done for my nose, I wanted Smaller, Straight nose and able to breath which after the surgery nothing changed and it looked even worst! The doctor is now saying if they do a revision for $2500 but he’s not sure if he can make my nose smaller or straight or fix the breath problem... View More

James L. Arrasmith
PREMIUM
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
answered on Feb 20, 2024

In California, you may have grounds to sue a plastic surgeon if you can prove that the surgeon did not meet the standard of care expected in the medical community, which resulted in harm or damages to you. This typically involves demonstrating that the surgeon's actions were negligent or fell... View More

View More Answers

3 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents and Small Claims for California on
Q: Would Robertson's Trucking Company be liable for vehicle expenses related to tire blow-outs? Amount seeking $3,032.63

Hello, I live in Southern California. I was driving to work one morning when a gravel towing semi truck's tire blew out, flinging the debris in my immediate lane. With cars on either side of me and how quickly the incident occurred, I could not maneuver out of the way, resulting in my vehicle... View More

James L. Arrasmith
PREMIUM
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
answered on Feb 21, 2024

In California, liability for damages stemming from a vehicle incident, such as a tire blow-out, can be complex and depends on various factors, including negligence and the causation of the damages. If Robertson's Trucking Company failed to maintain their vehicles properly, leading to the tire... View More

View More Answers

3 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: Do I need to use a CA lawyer to sue someone in LA County? I live in Oregon.

I inherited two animation cels (one each of Tom and Jerry) in one frame. I sent them to an animation restoration specialist in Westlake Village, LA County. Estimate to fix and frame them was six months. He has had them for three years despite phone calls and letters asking him to return them. The... View More

Leon Bayer
Leon Bayer
answered on Feb 14, 2024

This sounds like a small claims court case. I doubt it is going to be worth hiring a lawyer, as animation cells are usually pretty cheap. However, if you sue in small claims court you will incur the costs of personally traveling to court and the unlikelihood of ever collecting. In court you will... View More

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant, Small Claims and Civil Rights for California on
Q: Neighbor taking photos of the inside of my car through the window. Caught on surveillance.

Is it permissible for my neighbor to take photographs of my car and even snap pictures of the interior through the window? I have observed her doing this via my surveillance camera. We both reside in an apartment complex with assigned parking spaces, and I park right beside her.

T. Augustus Claus
PREMIUM
T. Augustus Claus pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
answered on Feb 13, 2024

In California, taking photographs of the inside of your car through the window, especially without your consent, may be considered an invasion of privacy. While there are situations where photography in public spaces is generally allowed, the interior of a vehicle in a private parking area could... View More

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for California on
Q: Someone is suing us in small claims for a copier they leased without a service agreement and expects us to repair it.

The only document the plaintiff has is the original lease that states they are required to maintain the equipment. We are the second defendant in the case. Small claims says we can't have a lawyer present so what do we do?

James L. Arrasmith
PREMIUM
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
answered on Jan 31, 2024

In a small claims case in California, it's correct that you generally cannot have a lawyer represent you. However, there are still steps you can take to prepare and defend your case. First, gather all relevant documents and evidence related to the copier lease and the service agreement, if any... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Appeals / Appellate Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: Does Plaintiff get a "second bite at the apple" against me on appeal after Judge ruled in my favor on Plaintiff's claim?

I was a defendant in a small claims case in which I filed a counterclaim. The Judge decided that I owe no money on the Plaintiff's claim but that the Plaintiff owes me $10,000 + costs on my counterclaim.

The Plaintiff has vowed to appeal his loss on the counterclaim. I understand it is... View More

James L. Arrasmith
PREMIUM
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
answered on Jan 30, 2024

In California, when a small claims case is appealed, it's important to understand the scope of the appeal. Generally, in small claims appeals, only the party who lost may appeal the decision. Since the plaintiff in your case lost on the counterclaim, they can appeal that decision.... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Small Claims for California on
Q: Want to take ex-brother-in-law to small claims for breaking a verbal agreement he made to me under false pretenses.

3/24/23, my ex brother in law (EX) asked me to come down from Portland, OR to San Jose, CA to care for my 17 year old nephew M. M had tried to commit suicide in Oct/2022 so I was very concerned about his mental state. Ex said M was smoking pot and drinking and he needed help. Ex said he'd pay... View More

James L. Arrasmith
PREMIUM
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
answered on Jan 30, 2024

Under California law, verbal agreements can be legally binding, but proving the terms and the existence of the agreement can be challenging. In your case, the agreement with your ex-brother-in-law to pay for your living expenses in exchange for caring for your nephew falls within the realm of... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Small Claims and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: My boyfriend and I rent a unit we are current as 01/19/2024. But, have not had access to our unit since this day.

My boyfriend was also wrongfully terminated the next day. We have not had access to our unit. Now I went last night followed a tentent in the facility. On our unit there is a notice of termination of lease and to vacant the property by 02/02/2024 when rent is due again. That gives us 4 days . If I... View More

James L. Arrasmith
PREMIUM
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
answered on Jan 29, 2024

Under California law, tenants have specific rights, especially regarding eviction and access to their rented property. If you have been denied access to your unit and received a notice of termination, it's crucial to understand these rights.

First, the landlord must provide a valid...
View More

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Small Claims and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: My boyfriend and I rent a unit we are current as 01/19/2024. But, have not had access to our unit since this day.

My boyfriend was also wrongfully terminated the next day. We have not had access to our unit. Now I went last night followed a tentent in the facility. On our unit there is a notice of termination of lease and to vacant the property by 02/02/2024 when rent is due again. That gives us 4 days . If I... View More

T. Augustus Claus
PREMIUM
T. Augustus Claus pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
answered on Jan 29, 2024

In California, tenants have specific rights regarding eviction and notice periods. If you received a notice to vacate by 02/02/2024, this suggests that your landlord is attempting to terminate your lease. However, the details of the notice and the reasons for eviction are crucial.

First,...
View More

View More Answers

4 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: I worked for Sacramento self housing for 3 years. I was was told I'd be paid a salary plus my housing not knowing I was

Paying rent out of that salary. And working 24 hours a day. I was responsible for whatever went on in that house no matter what day or hour. I was getting paid for 8 hours a day in 6 hours on the weekend. I was responsible for being there everyday with no days off. No holidays. No weekends no... View More

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
answered on Jan 29, 2024

There are significant details left out of your post that would need to be explored, but based on your post it is very likely you were not treated lawfully. It would be wise for you to locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and... View More

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: If you lend a friend your car for an errand, they wait 3 days to return it, AND never give back the keys, is that crime?

A friend asked to borrow my car to run to Walmart, I said sure assuming it was a 1-2 hour errand. I never physically handed them the keys; they took them from the counter and left. The next morning, they were not back with the car, and I called them to immediately request the car back. At this... View More

James L. Arrasmith
PREMIUM
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
answered on Jan 29, 2024

Based on the details provided, there could potentially be a few issues here legally:

1. Failure to return borrowed property (the car) in a timely manner - Your friend agreed to borrow the car for an errand, which implies a short duration. By keeping it for 3 days without permission after...
View More

2 Answers | Asked in Business Law, Construction Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: Do I have any recourse for getting back money I paid to an unlicensed CA contractor who I fired for poor quality work?

I hired an unlicensed "contractor" on the recommendation of family members to do a bath and kitchen remodel. After paying him more than $10,000, I fired him because of the poor quality of the work he did on the bathroom remodel and the kitchen planning. The bathroom has to be completely... View More

Dan Rowan Cortright
Dan Rowan Cortright
answered on Jan 29, 2024

In addition to what Mr. Arrasmith said, there are specific statutes in CA that provide remedies and civil penalties for those who have hired unlicensed contractors. These state that you are permitted to recover all money you paid to the unlicensed contractor regardless of whether you knew they... View More

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Business Law, Construction Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: Do I have any recourse for getting back money I paid to an unlicensed CA contractor who I fired for poor quality work?

I hired an unlicensed "contractor" on the recommendation of family members to do a bath and kitchen remodel. After paying him more than $10,000, I fired him because of the poor quality of the work he did on the bathroom remodel and the kitchen planning. The bathroom has to be completely... View More

James L. Arrasmith
PREMIUM
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
answered on Jan 28, 2024

In California, hiring an unlicensed contractor can complicate the process of recourse for poor quality work. However, you do have options to pursue. First, you can consider filing a complaint with the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB), which handles disputes involving unlicensed... View More

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Civil Rights, Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for California on
Q: in a small claims case is a lawyer for the defendants allowed to be a party on paper, like the plaintiff, the defendant?

And also how would one categorize a pro tem judge that has a double tongue as well as declaring events that never took place. 1. the judge in open court said that we were awarded the full amount

After the judge asked the defendant did they want to make a deal before she rules the defendant... View More

James L. Arrasmith
PREMIUM
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
answered on Jan 27, 2024

In California small claims court, attorneys are generally not permitted to represent parties during the initial hearing. Both plaintiffs and defendants usually represent themselves. However, attorneys can be involved in certain aspects of the case, like providing advice before the hearing.... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Civil Litigation and Small Claims for California on
Q: I purchased a car from Chevrolet in which I signed a document saying I cannot resell the car for 6 months.

If I do decide to sell it, I, the seller, must disclose the fact that the warranty of the vehicle will be voided to the buyer. However I made a transaction to sell it within the 6 months and did not disclose that fact. The buyer is now asking for their money back, but I do not have it anymore. Is... View More

James L. Arrasmith
PREMIUM
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
answered on Jan 26, 2024

In California, failing to disclose information that affects the value or desirability of a vehicle, especially when contractually obligated, can lead to legal complications. Since you signed a document agreeing not to resell the car for 6 months and to disclose the warranty void if you did,... View More

View More Answers

3 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Small Claims for California on
Q: Does a tow company have a legal obligation to use due diligence To avoid an illegal tow? Despite signed consent.

My vehicle was parked in a parking lot, It had suffered a short and died. I pulled off the street Into the lot From there, it was illegally towed. Clearly there were no signs. It was not a private residence, I was not blocking anything my car had only been parked there for a little while.. The... View More

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich
answered on Jan 22, 2024

Interesting question. More information is needed (as in were you a customer of the business the parking lot was attached to? If you were not, where did you go instead? And how clear would it be to a reasonable person the lot was for customers only? And who called the tow company or were they... View More

View More Answers

3 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Small Claims for California on
Q: Does a tow company have a legal obligation to use due diligence To avoid an illegal tow? Despite signed consent.

My vehicle was parked in a parking lot, It had suffered a short and died. I pulled off the street Into the lot From there, it was illegally towed. Clearly there were no signs. It was not a private residence, I was not blocking anything my car had only been parked there for a little while.. The... View More

James L. Arrasmith
PREMIUM
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
answered on Jan 23, 2024

Under California law, tow companies are required to adhere to certain legal standards and procedures when towing vehicles. Even with signed consent from a property owner, a tow company must ensure that the tow is lawful. This includes complying with signage requirements, not towing vehicles without... View More

View More Answers

3 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Small Claims for California on
Q: Does a tow company have a legal obligation to use due diligence To avoid an illegal tow? Despite signed consent.

My vehicle was parked in a parking lot, It had suffered a short and died. I pulled off the street Into the lot From there, it was illegally towed. Clearly there were no signs. It was not a private residence, I was not blocking anything my car had only been parked there for a little while.. The... View More

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Jan 27, 2024

Both you and the company would probably raise a number of valid arguments in court to support your differing positions. But on something of this nature, a law firm would probably advise that it needs to investigate further and speak with people. It isn't the type of matter that most law firms... View More

View More Answers

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.