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Maryland Small Claims Questions & Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Small Claims, Contracts and Arbitration / Mediation Law for Maryland on

Q: My friend gave me money when I was on hard times and did not state it was a loan.

After months of not speaking with me the friend now wants to take me to court for money that is not a loan. Would this action fall under Title 5 Subtitle 9 5-901 Executory Contracts? The amount was 800 however the friend is stating in court that it is $1200. How do I fight this? I offered to pay... Read more »

Rolanzo Richard White answered on May 30, 2019

I'm sorry to hear about your "friend."

Your matter is pretty fact dependent, however generally, a "gift" is a voluntary transfer of property by one to another, without any consideration or compensation provided to the transferor. Thus, a gift is a gratuity. Determining whether the money...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Maryland on

Q: A neighbor hired a landscaping company to do yardwork and they damaged my property, what actions should I consider ?

After discussing this with my neighbor, it would seem she gave them the Ok to perform the damaging work.

Richard Sternberg answered on Mar 28, 2019

Your potential claim is against both the neighbor acting as principal and the potential trespasser or nuisance tortfeasor, acting as agent, the contractor. You should evaluate the case with a lawyer and consider issuing a demand letter.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Small Claims for Maryland on

Q: If a person uses a company to illegally obtain earnings from someone can that constitute fraud and can they be legally?

Be prosecuted if it has caused harm to a business.

Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Dec 7, 2018

The question is unclear. To analyze possible fraud claims you are highly encouraged to seek legal advice from an attorney specific to your situation.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims and Contracts for Maryland on

Q: Buying a car with lien

I want to buy a car - 7,500$. It has lien on it -6,500$. Seller says- when I pay him off, he will pay off his bank, will get the original title (now Bank has the ORIGINAL title and the seller has DUPLICATE title) and will give it to me. So, he will take couple of weeks after I pay him off to give... Read more »

Mark Oakley answered on Nov 23, 2018

You get the payoff amount on his loan, and have your bank issue a cashiers check payable to the sellers auto loan company and put the check in an envelope addressed to the lender, and drop it in the mailbox in each other’s presence. Have a second check issued (or cash) to the seller for the rest... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Small Claims for Maryland on

Q: Hi, I live in Maryland my ex is trying to sue me cause I called off the wedding. I also emotionally cheated.

Mark Oakley answered on Oct 10, 2018

Maryland abolished the causes of action known as breach of marriage and alienation of affections, and any similar action, three quarters of a century ago. The engagement ring must be returned if demanded, as that is considered a conditional gift, with the condition being going through with the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets, Car Accidents, Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Maryland on

Q: How do i remove a suspension of my license from a judgment that was vacated

My driver's license was suspended for an unpaid judgment that was 8 years old that i did not know about. I got the judgment vacated and the plaintiff has no proceeded with any action on the case since the judgment has been vacated. How do I get this suspension removed since there is no more... Read more »

Eric Todd Kirk answered on Sep 13, 2018

I would suggest you contact the MVA, show them your paperwork, and follow their direction to get your license reinstated.

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Personal Injury, Arbitration / Mediation Law and Small Claims for Maryland on

Q: I own a town house located in Prince George County, Maryland in a community governed by a Homeowners Association.

Rain water from neighbors home has caused mole and water damage in my basement. HOA CC&R, Art. X, Maintenance, authorizes board to repair neighbors property, collect costs, place a lien and foreclosure for owner who has failed to maintain property to standards. I can not repair my damage because... Read more »

Thomas A. Grossman answered on Aug 28, 2018

After a mediation, you can sue the HOA for failure to enforce its' CCRs.

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Maryland on

Q: Can we get rid of personal items that someone left on our property for years? (not tenant, no money exchanged

A few years, an acquaintance asked my wife if she could store her personal property in an outbuilding at our residence (Maryland) for a few months. We decided to help her out and agreed to let her use the space since we were not using it at the time. We were never a landlord, she was never a... Read more »

Mark Oakley answered on Jun 8, 2018

Yes, it's abandoned property. Do what you like with it. Sell it to defray the inconvenience and fair rental value of storing it beyond the agreed time period. If you want to really play it safe against any potential claim she may make, wait the 30 days notice you give in your non-certified... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Probate and Small Claims for Maryland on

Q: A house owned by a deceased parent and 4 siblings on the deed with one sibling refusing to sign off on the sale.

Four siblings are on the deed, nothing in the will mentions anything about property. One sibling refused to sign off on sale resulting in legal expenses and a trustee being assigned. Is there anything I can do to recover legal fees incurred?

Richard Sternberg answered on Mar 31, 2018

Virginia law is express about charging the legal fees for a petition for sale in lieu of partition to the cost of sale borne by all co-owners. I have gotten Maryland courts to award that as well, but it is fact-specific. Consult your lawyer about whether it is worth the legal cost of pursing... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Small Claims and Probate for Maryland on

Q: Will the orphans court judge make a decision on a estate if 4/5 brothers agree for one brother to buy out the house.

We have lived with my father in law 8 years before he died took care of all the bills and 4 out of the 5 signed over that we can buy them out the last brother is in jail and won't sign or corporate with us

Richard Sternberg answered on Feb 24, 2018

The Orphan's Court is likely to require you to obtain a proper appraisal so that your brother is properly compensated. But, do you really want to take title in the names of four of five brothers? Do you all live there? Wouldn't it be better to sell it and divide the proceeds so you can each have... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Small Claims for Maryland on

Q: Can a company back bill me?

Hi! So I live in Baltimore city. I park in a parking garage everyday. The garage is run by a larger company located in DC. I have used this garage for over 6 years. Their online payment system is terrible and outdated. I called them to set up automatic payments (for my sanity) they told me to go... Read more »

Mark Oakley answered on Feb 10, 2018

If you agreed to pay a certain amount per month, or per use, and you have never paid—regardless of whose fault it was—you still owe the money. If they are charging late fees, you might have an argument about that, but you must pay the cost of the parking you agreed to pay.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Consumer Law and Small Claims for Maryland on

Q: A company sent me a check for $1000. It was written to me, and came with no explanation. Now they want it back.

We had worked with this company, and thought we they were giving us a refund we didn't know about. They called a month later, saying they wrote the check to the wrong people. It was intended for a couple with the same last name. Am I obligated to give the money back for their mistake?

Mark Oakley answered on Feb 10, 2018

Yes, you are. You cannot keep something you received by mistake. You will lose in court if they file a claim.

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy, Car Accidents and Small Claims for Maryland on

Q: How would I settle a judgment for less than the judgment amount?

I recently found out I have a judgment that is affecting my drivers license so this is something I need to pay. About 8-9 years ago my ex and I were sued in Maryland District Court and I had a default judgment entered against me and she did not. We were never served with any papers to appear in... Read more »

Mark Oakley answered on Feb 3, 2018

The original judgment may have been $6,600, but it’s been accruing 10% postjudgmemt interest annually since then, meaning it’s probably doubled by now. If the judgment creditor has never tried to collect on the judgment, you might let sleeping dogs lie, at least until 12 years have gone by... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Small Claims, Family Law and Health Care Law for Maryland on

Q: friends dad found out she is on birth control and hes going to tell her boyfriends parents. is this legal (privacy law)?

her parents are divorced and her mom got her the prescription without her dads knowing, her dads new wife found the pills and told her dad. her dad is threatening to tell her boyfriends parents because he wants them to know their son is sexually active. her mom has told him not to do this. if he... Read more »

Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Jan 12, 2018

Unless the concerned parent is a medical professional who learned the news in a professional capacity, talking with the parents of a child's boyfriend/girlfriend would not seem to violate any known privacy laws.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Maryland on

Q: Is there anything I can do to get past due rent money my former fiancé who moved into a new home with me?

I sold my condo & uprooted my life to purchase a home close to my fiancés work in Potomac MD. The home is in my name only (both the deed & mort) but we had a verbal agreement that he was to pay $1,000 per month to contribute to the bills, for I could not afford this place & maintain it on my own.... Read more »

Richard Sternberg answered on Jan 7, 2018

Under the ancient and respected Statute of Frauds, a contract regarding land is voidable unless it is in writing, so an oral lease is unenforceable unless a series of strategic errors causes the defendant to admit the contract judicially. For example, if he pled in the protective order case that he... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims, Collections and Probate for Maryland on

Q: See

Seeking a lawyer who does claims from a deceased friend account..who borrowed from me before passing.

How do i handle this nightmare.?

I am in md.

Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Jan 2, 2018

The law sets strict time frames for asserting a claim against a deceased person. Creditors may file a claim in the Estate of a decedent although this is generally limited to the first 6 months after death. The Register of Wills has claim forms available for filing with a modest filing fee per... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Collections and Small Claims for Maryland on

Q: I received a judgment in my favor approximately 15 years ago in MD. A car repair co.was at fault. Can I still collect?

I now live in another state. I was told by an atty that the company was liable for the interest as well as the $2500 judgeement. The company at fault had multiple complaints and judgements against them as I researched things myself. I would love to get my money. Any advise?

Bennett James Wills answered on Dec 18, 2017

Unless you renewed it within 12 years, you can't collect.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Small Claims for Maryland on

Q: I am helping someone with their car payment but I don't think the money is going towards the car. Can I ask for proof?

She claims she is going to get her degree, make more money and pay it herself. But she won't say how much the note actually is, what bank it's going to, how much school is left, and when I wanted the account information so I could make the payment instead of dropping off the money, she said they... Read more »

Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Nov 21, 2017

Although not strictly a legal answer, a "gut" reaction to question might urge strong caution before loaning money.

Without question someone can demand proof before lending money. Moreover, if someone claims to need money to pay a specific bill it would be reasonable to make the funds...
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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Small Claims for Maryland on

Q: Can somebody's father represent them in a small claims case?

My ex says her father, who is an attny, is going to represent her in a small claims case that I want to bring against her. That is a conflict of interest isn't it?

Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Sep 28, 2017

Nothing in the law prohibits attorneys from representing a family member. Unless the attorney and the relative they represented had competing / different interests in the outcome of the case, it is unlikely to be a problem.

You may wish to review the Rules of Professional Conduct for...
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1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Maryland on

Q: I used a third party site to find people to move a sofa from one room to another. Can I sue for the damages??

The guys they sent were idiots and didn't listen to any advice I tried to give them, remove the doors, take the bed out of the sofa bed, use the moving staps I provided. After they got trapped halfway out the door and in the hallway me and my fiancé were forced to help them. They had already... Read more »

Bennett James Wills answered on Nov 14, 2016

You'd likely sue the company that was hired. Not necessarily the third party site you found them on. How do you file a lawsuit? There are self help guides at most district court houses around the state. Those are helpful if you claim is less than 5k. Otherwise, you may want to hire an attorney. But... Read more »

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