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Colorado Small Claims Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Colorado on
Q: My neighbor has a tree and it’s roots are causing damage to my driveway. Who is responsible for damages?

If I wanted to repave my driveway I would not have an even surface because of the roots.

Donald C Eby
Donald C Eby answered on Jun 15, 2018

The roots (not the tree) is on your property, you can cut them.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Small Claims and Civil Litigation for Colorado on
Q: I'm a designer. I hired a contractor. He built kitchen cabinets and hired a finisher to finish them.

The finish is defective and the cabinets have to be re-finished (for $10,000). Who do I take action against (in small claims court)? The contractor that I hired or the finisher that he independently hired.

D. Mathew Blackburn
D. Mathew Blackburn answered on Apr 28, 2018

It would a county court case which has jurisdictional authority on cases between $7,500 and $15,000. You would have to determine venue (Which county to file in) under the court rules. Generally you would sue everyone that did not fulfill their obligations under the contract. In this situation it... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Colorado on
Q: Rent to own homewner is claiming he did not receive money order for monthly payment.

It was dropped off on 4/8 and trackinf shows it cashed 4/10. He did not contact us until 4/15 to claim he did not get it. He is demanding a late fee and a double payment on the next due date. He also is requesting we revise our original agreement. He has not specified the changes he wants.... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Apr 21, 2018

Dear Potential Eviction Client: While I endorse the efforts you are making to show the Owner that the Owner endorsed the payment, in the meantime if you are able to afford it I would strongly recommend you go ahead and expedite making the payment that is being demanded (a second time, in your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Animal / Dog Law and Small Claims for Colorado on
Q: Who is liable if a dog does damage to their owner's property?

I was checking in on someone's dogs twice a day for ten days while they were away. They did damage to the owner's property. I agreed to feed and water them. Let them out in the morning and inside in the evening. They are not denying that I did that, but they want me to pay for damages... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Apr 6, 2018

This is an interesting question with no clear answer. The only way the owner could collect money from you is if the owner sues you in court and wins. Since the dogs were not yours and you performed your agreed upon duties, I think you have a viable defense that the damage is not your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Small Claims for Colorado on
Q: What are the laws pertaining to claiming ownership of lost pets?

The other night we took in a dog wandering on the street to get it off the street and in a safer environment. I have posted her picture in a few large facebook groups in my city trying to locate her rightful owner and we have taken her to the Humane Society and found she has a chip but it has been... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Mar 8, 2018

Technically, animals are considered property in Colorado and the law on abandoned property is that the legal rights of the original owner are not severed until 5 years have passed. Obviously, that is a long time in the life of a dog. Shelters can sever ownership after 5 days. Given that you do not... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims and Employment Law for Colorado on
Q: what is my legal stance on getting my final check from past employer who refuses to pay.

Past employer refuses to pay final check. Check is also missing correct overtime and commissions. claiming the check is going towards a minor fender bender I was apart of months prior in company truck on the clock. I exchanged insurance information and continued working, after I started a new job... Read more »

Adam Kielich
Adam Kielich answered on Jan 21, 2018

In Colorado you can either file a lawsuit or file a wage claim with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Which is the better option for you is impossible to say without knowing more facts about your situation. You should talk to an employment attorney in Colorado. In some cases you can... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Colorado on
Q: Bought a house and discovered the previous owner flipped the house without pulling permits. Garage damaged, recourse?

We discovered the damaged garage one month after closing, which prompted us to check to see if he had pulled permits on the garage and found out he didn't pull any permits for anything, including the interior renovations, roof, fence, garage.

Vincent Gallo
Vincent Gallo answered on Sep 26, 2017

What you are referring to are documents that are readily available in the public records. Why didn't you look into this before you closed?

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Colorado on
Q: Bought a house a little bit ago. My ex is on the title but not the deed I am on both. Do I need his consent to sell?

He wanted to sell and now he doesnt and he keeps telling me I cant sell with out his consent. I am the one who pays the bank, the house is in my name, he had bad credit so I put him on the title in hopes of building it. I found something about tenancy in common vs joint tenancy does that apply... Read more »

Vincent Gallo
Vincent Gallo answered on Sep 21, 2017

What do you mean that he is on the title?

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Colorado on
Q: Can I sue the pet sitter and get my money back?

I hired a guy to pet sit at my house. He was the boyfriend of my friend's daughter. I paid him $600 cash up front with written instructions on how to care for my animals. I deem that a contract. From watching my camera, he would leave at 10:30am in the morning and not come back until... Read more »

Tristan Kenyon Schultz
Tristan Kenyon Schultz answered on Sep 13, 2017

You can sue in small claims court. You can visit the Colorado Courts webpage for all the forms.

For technical (legal) advice you may want to contact a lawyer. Expect to pay for the lawyer's time.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Colorado on
Q: We were given a verbal quote of $2500 and one month for repair of our car. It has been 11 months and the bill is now

$4200 which we never authorized. What do we do? He is requiring immediate payment or storage of $35 per day. We have already paid $1000 to machine shop. $350 in parts and $1000 in payments to mechanic. We do not have the balance right now. What do we do?

Tristan Kenyon Schultz
Tristan Kenyon Schultz answered on Aug 16, 2017

Clearly there is more to this story.

Your options are: (1) litigation in small claims-request replevin or (2) pay the amount.

The lack of a written quote presents an evidentiary problem for both sides because it allows both sides to interpret the facts differently with little to...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Colorado on
Q: can I file for a certificate of review myself or do I need an attorney to file it , in small claims?
Tristan Kenyon Schultz
Tristan Kenyon Schultz answered on Aug 8, 2017

While a lawyer can be very helpful (esp. with understanding the law), a lawyer is not required for any litigation in which you represent yourself (aka pro se).

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Colorado on
Q: Neighbors burned down part of our fence with fireworks and now they're trying to get me to pay for half.Do I have to?
John Roland Lund
John Roland Lund answered on Jul 27, 2017

No. While under some circumstances there might be a shared obligation for regular maintenance of a boundary fence, that would not include having to repair damage carelessly caused by a co-owner. They should consider turning it in to their homeowner's insurance company.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Colorado on
Q: In Colorado can someone take you to court and make you pay a loan your name is not on?

A few details of why we are askin....in 2011 a loan was signed on a vehicle (our names no where on the loan) the truck this lady is trying to get us to pay for was involved in a wreck, at the time of the wreck one of us was driving so the name is on the accident report. she voluntarily had the... Read more »

Tristan Kenyon Schultz
Tristan Kenyon Schultz answered on Jul 14, 2017

Based on your facts it is possible for a claim to be filed to recoup some or all of the damage related to the accident. You cannot be made to assume another person's debt, unless there are other factors involved that are not mentioned. Whether a claim is filed and/or whether the claim will be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Small Claims for Colorado on
Q: I have a bill of sale for a vehicle but the seller will not hand over the car, what do I do?

We have a bill of sale and receipts for payments on the vehicle, but the seller wont return any calls to do the last transaction and get the vehicle.

Tristan Kenyon Schultz
Tristan Kenyon Schultz answered on Jul 14, 2017

You will need to take them to court. This likely can be handled in small claims court. The forms can be found at the CO Courts webpage. A lawyer can assist (or wholly handle) this matter, but a lawyer is not required (esp. for small claims cases). Prior to filing it may be advisable to send a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Small Claims and Landlord - Tenant for Colorado on
Q: We moved into an apartment, it wasn't cleaned and we specifically asked for the cleaning. What can we do?

The building manager said they would send one housekeeper but she would have to clean around furniture and would not be able to clean the whole apartment. There were mouse droppings and a mouse hole in the bathroom, digesting. Also they said a construction project would be going on from 19th to... Read more »

Tristan Kenyon Schultz
Tristan Kenyon Schultz answered on Apr 26, 2017

You may have grounds for constructive eviction. You will need to contact a lawyer. While Colorado Legal Services and your local bar have resources for landlord-tenant issues, you may have to hire a lawyer.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Small Claims for Colorado on
Q: I was wondering what the laws of abandonment for guns in Colorado were.

My ex left his gun with my brother. Me and my ex broke up 8 years ago. My ex is now asking about his gun, but my brother got rid of it. The gun was registered in my exes name.

Tristan Kenyon Schultz
Tristan Kenyon Schultz answered on Apr 24, 2017

The normal rule in Colorado is that 5 years is maximum allowable term in which property can be reclaimed. However, there are numerous exceptions. Since guns are registered, the 5 year limitation likely does not apply. While it is debatable whether you are under a legal obligation to return the gun... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Colorado on
Q: I signed a 6 month lease & landlord broke the lease 1 month in, giving me 30 days. Can I get rent & deposit back fully?

I signed a 6 month lease with my landlord who also owns the place. The day I moved in, my landlord gave me a 30 day notice because she wanted to move back in. I want to make sure I get my deposit back, which there should be no problem with. As for compensation for putting me in a compromising... Read more »

Tristan Kenyon Schultz
Tristan Kenyon Schultz answered on Apr 16, 2017

Absent terms in the lease agreement, the landlord is proposing to breaching the terms of the lease. The landlord cannot terminate the lease (just like you cannot) provided that you are not in violation of the lease agreement (i.e. current with your rent). However, both the tenant and the landlord... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Colorado on
Q: Contempt of court for small claims. What should I expect at this hearing?

I lost my job and had to have shoulder surgery so I was unable to make my payments. I am now currently working. And would like to make another payment arrangement. And I'm wondering if there could be jail time for this offense?

Tristan Kenyon Schultz
Tristan Kenyon Schultz answered on Apr 9, 2017

Jail time is possible, but unlikely. Similarly setting up a new payment arrangement may not be a realistic possibility. The critical part, is that you will need to start paying the court award quickly AND continue to pay.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims and Consumer Law for Colorado on
Q: I cosigned on an auto loan for x boyfriend with my name on title back in April of 2016. Can I take him to court?
Tristan Kenyon Schultz
Tristan Kenyon Schultz answered on Apr 6, 2017

I assume this is for payment. If it is, yes you can. Similarly if wish to cease co-ownership (which may not exist if you are the sole party listed on title) via a forced sale, this is also likely an option.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Small Claims and Real Estate Law for Colorado on
Q: I recently closed on a condo, which I financed with a CHFA loan. A few days ago an electrician came over and informed

me that I have a Federal Pacific circuit breaker panel with Stab-Lok circuit breakers, which are faulty and a fire hazard. FP was the subject of a class action lawsuit in NJ I discovered and are considered faulty. The electrician also informed me no homeowners insurance policy would cover damage... Read more »

Tristan Kenyon Schultz
Tristan Kenyon Schultz answered on Mar 30, 2017

You may, but you will need to contact a lawyer directly to see for certain. Only a lawyer (on a private basis) can evaluate the merits of your case and provide guidance.

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