Michigan Small Claims Questions & Answers

Q: Can I sue a repo company?, For a repo that wasn't peaceful on the Company Part?

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Small Claims for Michigan on
Answered on Sep 17, 2018
Trent Harris' answer
Michigan law allows a creditor, or their agent (repo company) to repossess a car using self-help if it can be done without breach of the peace. Breach of the peace usually means that you (the debtor) were there when the repo company came, and you clearly and vocally objected to the repossession going forward, and asked them to stop the repossession so you could go to court to contest the repossession. If you were not home when the repo agents came by, then it doesn't sound like there was a...

Q: Deal went bad no specific evidence I have witnesses he claims he has imaginary witnesses. Not sure if I have case?

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Products Liability and Small Claims for Michigan on
Answered on Sep 12, 2018
Trent Harris' answer
Like many legal disputes, the situation you describe involves conflicting claims and evidence. In the abstract: yes, you could have a case. But practically speaking, I wouldn't go to court over being out $300. It isn't worth it. Resolve to never do business with that person again, you are once bitten and twice shy. And next time when you make a deal for barter, make sure you document it in writing just in case there are disputes later on.

As always, this is a response to a hypothetical...

Q: I defaulted on an auto loan 5 years ago. Has been charged off and removed from credit report for 2 years.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Small Claims, Contracts and Collections for Michigan on
Answered on Mar 12, 2018
Adam Alexander's answer
Depending on the year/make/model of the vehicle, they may or may not try to repossess it. However, keep in mind they don't have to repossess it to sue you or attempt to collect the debt. You are fortunate that it is not on your credit report. I suspect at some point a debt collector will be in contact with you.

Q: I was in prison and an ex girlfriend used my identity to try to open several accounts and killed my credit score

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Federal Crimes, Identity Theft and Small Claims for Michigan on
Answered on Feb 17, 2018
Adam Alexander's answer
You can absolutely collect damages if you are a victim of identity theft. Depending on the severity of your credit damage you are entitled to compensation under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. You would first have to set up the lawsuit properly by retaining an experienced FCRA lawyer. You can usually get a free consultation so I urge you to seek representation immediately. A civil action against the perpetrator is not likely to succeed in Michigan. But the FCRA might be the avenue to make...

Q: In Michigan, due to a traffic violation in a vehicle, does the passenger also have to give I.d?

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets, Civil Rights, Public Benefits and Small Claims for Michigan on
Answered on Feb 15, 2018
Brent T. Geers' answer
On the street with the police is not the place to make these sort of challenges. Generally, you have a legal obligation to stop and identify yourself at an officer's request - this includes passengers in a vehicle. However, unless the passenger has active warrants or is otherwise arrestable, that should end the encounter.

Being pulled over "for no reason" is a fact intensive inquiry that would need to be made in court.

Q: I moved out. My before my address changed my roommate got my tax info and is withholding it. Is it a crime? whats to do?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Tax Law, Identity Theft and Small Claims for Michigan on
Answered on Feb 8, 2018
Linda Simmons Campbell's answer
The easiest and less stressful way for you to get your tax documents would be to request them from your employers, etc. again. You can also request them from the IRS but usually they are not available until very close to or after the filing deadline so you would need to file and extension request and pay any amount due prior to April 15th.

Q: making payments on a car, rent to own. missed two payments, can I get my money back if they take car from me?

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Small Claims for Michigan on
Answered on Jan 22, 2018
Adam Alexander's answer
No. Your car payment is similar to a mortgage payment. Each payment is applied to the balance of your loan. If you miss a payment, you are in default and generally speaking, they now have the right to repossess. The law does not provide for reimbursement of any payments you made.

Q: I bought a jetski and the trailer for it 2 years ago from my old landlord. He gave the title to my ex boyfriend. Well

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims and Landlord - Tenant for Michigan on
Answered on Jan 21, 2018
Adam Alexander's answer
If the landlord won't provide the title, you have to file an equitable action in your local court to compel delivery. However, prior to that, I suggest you hire a lawyer to send a demand letter to the landlord. That should do the trick - and cost you a lot less money.

Q: We sold our house, now the buyer wants us to fix more things after the closing was completed.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Michigan on
Answered on Dec 14, 2017
Kenneth V Zichi's answer
Disputes like this are not 'common' but they are not unheard of either. Without seeing ALL the paperwork (you did have an attorney review things for you didn't you?) it is impossible to say for sure what your exposure risk is here, but I hope you had an 'as is' clause in that sign-off.

You should IMMEDIATELY hire a local real estate attorney in the area where the property is located, to review things and provide an appropriate response to the request here. DO NOT try to 'do this...

Q: Items stored at an ex wife's house no documentation to speak of cannot find items now still due recompense?

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Small Claims for Michigan on
Answered on Nov 13, 2017
Thomas. R. Morris' answer
The facts you recite are vague. If it was you who filed bankruptcy, if you did not list in your schedules the items stored (in what appears to have been a gratuitious bailment, which imposes a low standard of care on the bailee) then you may be up against a judicial estoppel by having stated under oath, in effect, that the property is not yours.

Can you obtain a court order to require your ex-wife to empty our her garage? Maybe, but you have the burden of proving what is yours that...

Q: I have a question regarding whether or not I can file a small claims court claim.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Michigan on
Answered on Nov 9, 2017
Adam Alexander's answer
You can sue anyone, for anything. Will it be thrown out? Only time will tell. Based on what you have written here, it appears your case has merit. However, a lawyer would have to know some additional details to accurately estimate your chances in court. Usually, in small claims court, you will get your trial date, and an opportunity to argue your case. But you should understand that the defendant can always remove your case out of small claims, up to the general docket of the district...

Q: Can a teacher engage in a relationship with a student after they have graduated?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Juvenile Law, Sexual Harassment and Small Claims for Michigan on
Answered on Oct 30, 2017
Brent T. Geers' answer
The answer to your question is subject to much debate. From the teacher's perspective, assuming that the student is then over the age of 18, he or she may find that being involved with a former student has career implications if not legal problems.

It is true that under Michigan law, a teacher could be charged with an aggravated CSC (1st or 3rd) under the teacher - student provision even if the student has since graduated. The rationale touches on consent. The real problem is that the...

Q: I paid off My fiance's debt ($12,000) and 48 hours later she went back to her ex husband when I was out of town.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts and Small Claims for Michigan on
Answered on Sep 24, 2017
Brent T. Geers' answer
You have been conned. Without a writing, or some evidence of an agreement to repay, you likely don't have any legal recourse - you, essentially, made a $12,000 gift.

There may be some things you can do taxwise, but other than that, your energy may be better spent moving on.

Q: Can I sue ex gf if she stops paying for her car that was bought in my name?

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Michigan on
Answered on Sep 13, 2017
Brent T. Geers' answer
You might have a claim against her to recover for her use of the car over these years. However, as to whomever you signed the loan agreement with, this has nothing to do with her. You will be held liable for the loan balance.

Think about this for a moment: this woman had - and likely still has - bad credit. She doesn't even have a car in her name (it's yours). Do you think she would really care - other than the emotion of it all - if you sued her and won a judgement against her? You...

Q: Can the judge tell us why my mom owe money to a credit card company and what she used it for I'm going to probate court

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Small Claims for Michigan on
Answered on Sep 13, 2017
Brent T. Geers' answer
The judge likely wouldn't know why your mom owes the money, nor would he or she have reason to. As personal representative, you could challenge the debt with the creditor.

Q: Can you file a lawsuit against someone with just there name and birthday not there social

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Michigan on
Answered on Sep 6, 2017
Brent T. Geers' answer
You don't need someone's social security number or birthday to file a lawsuit. An address would be helpful. However, whenever you sue someone, you also need to think about collecting, which could be quite difficult without more information.

Q: I loaned my friend $1120 they promised to give it right back i have emails and text to prove all they wont respond now

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Michigan on
Answered on Sep 4, 2017
Brent T. Geers' answer
This is a small claims issue. File it with the court and tell the judge (likely magistrate, depending on jurisdiction) what you say here. By the sounds of it, you may have difficulty serving this "friend" with notice. A good process server can help. Even if you win in small claims, you still have to collect on the judgment - essentially putting you in the same position you are in now: trying to get your friend to pay. But with a judgment, you'll have the legal right to garnish wages, bank...

Q: T Mobile owes me over 200 for a defective phone that I returned to them & they charged me for it. It's been 5 months.

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Products Liability, Small Claims and Consumer Law for Michigan on
Answered on Jun 24, 2017
Adam Alexander's answer
I suggest small claims court. It is inexpensive and you can recover your filing fee as well. The hearing is relatively informal so you do not have to know legal terminology. Remember "The People's Court" with Judge Wapner? Same concept. Bring your evidence and be ready to argue. There is a chance that T-Mobile will remove your case to the general docket after you file the small claims form. In that case, you may wish to see a lawyer.

Q: Leased a car in my name for girlfriend, now we break up, she went and bought a new car leaving me with the one I leased

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Consumer Law, Contracts and Small Claims for Michigan on
Answered on Jun 1, 2017
Neil Colman's answer
No, in my opinion. The lease was in your name and she was driving with your knowledge and permission.

Q: I recently got a judgement against me for a loan that someone gave me on their credit card

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims and Collections for Michigan on
Answered on Apr 29, 2017
Adam Alexander's answer
Just so I understand, who is this "someone" who obtained a judgment against you? Is this "someone" the same person as "they" who may have filed bankruptcy?

Is this "someone" the same person as the "he" who is going to put a lien on your property?

I'm going to try to help based on my assumptions of what you may mean. But this is totally a guess. Someone (friend or acquaintance) got a cash advance on a credit card and gave you a personal loan. Then he/she sued you and obtained...

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