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Ohio Small Claims Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Ohio on

Q: Can I take legal action against my landlord for not fixing major repairs until someone gets hurt?

My daughters bedroom ceiling fell down on her after MONTHS of me telling him it was cracking. My other daughter fell off porch while holding my grandson, breaking her ankle due to him not fixing rail, after me repeatedly telling him. Now the rail going up my steps has broke, has been a month, and a... Read more »

Joseph Jaap answered on Apr 16, 2018

Contact the local building department, which might issue repair orders. Send landlord written notice of the problems, then start paying rent on time each month into escrow with the local court, which will schedule a hearing for landlord to come and explain what is being done to fix the problems.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts, Consumer Law and Small Claims for Ohio on

Q: In which court would I file a successor liability suit for a lifetime basement waterproofing warranty that came from

In which court would I file a successor liability suit for a lifetime basement waterproofing warranty that came from a company that is now defunct. The former owner now owns a new, unrelated company that works to fix bowing foundation walls. He used to own a waterproofing business. Thanks!

Joseph Jaap answered on Mar 30, 2018

Small claims court for a claim up to $6000, or municipal court up to $15,000. Over that - Common Pleas Court.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Ohio on

Q: Neighbors pool broke and flooded our basement, worth going to small claims court? Neither insurance covered damages

3 inches of water in basement, we cleaned and threw away all damages, have not heard from neighbors since day it happened, been a month.

Bruce Martin Broyles answered on Mar 24, 2018

Small claims monetary jurisdiction is $6000, but the difficult part will be establishing your damages. You probably have receipts for rental vaccumms or service company to remove water and water damaged items, but how to establish the value of damaged items. The owner of property can provide... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Domestic Violence, Intellectual Property and Small Claims for Ohio on

Q: What if you're recently 18 and left a bruise on your younger brother?

My brother wasn't listening to me telling him to go upstairs after screaming at my other brother for hours and was being obstinate for 15 minutes about going up the stairs saying I wasn't letting him when I clearly just wanted him to go upstairs and I kicked him in the hip and left a bruise. Not... Read more »

Matthew Williams answered on Mar 23, 2018

Well, you just confessed to domestic violence, a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up 180 days in jail and a fine up to $1,000. So there's that.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Ohio on

Q: I have never been evicted. Went to get moving van and came back to changed locks and I can't get property.

The landlords just went in and rummaged through my apartment and then put locks on doors. From what I can see they've stolen some things as well. We have no written lease. They have never given me a receipt and I lived there 3 years. Now on the day I'm moving they cut off the lock of a big box... Read more »

Bruce Martin Broyles answered on Mar 21, 2018

Ohio does not provide for self-help provisions in a residential lease. Landlords must provide a 3 day notice; file a complaint for forcible entry and detainer; provide sufficient information at a hearing, and obtain a writ of restitution. Does not sound as though your landlord did these things.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Ohio on

Q: Am I entitled to get the downpayment money back?

I used money from my dad to cover a downpayment on a house that I bought with my ex. The house was bought under his name (mine was not on the title at all). (Roughly $25,000 was used for the house downpayment).

The downpayment money was given and the bank required me to sign a letter... Read more »

Joseph Jaap answered on Mar 14, 2018

The context of this situation and your question are unclear. Who is "us?" Who are "they?" Who is trying to collect money from whom, and why? Is this a divorce? Is it a bank foreclosure? Is it small claims? But instead of explaining all that here, you should use the Find a Lawyer tab and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Ohio on

Q: I am being threatened with legal action if I do not repay using itunes cards. Is this a scam?

Matthew Williams answered on Mar 8, 2018

That sure sounds like a scam to me.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Ohio on

Q: What notice do I need to give my daughter before disposing of possessions she stored in my garage several months ago?

Since I do not have an address for my daughter, does texting count as written notification?

Joseph Jaap answered on Mar 5, 2018

What are the possessions worth? If you dispose of them without an eviction, she could sue you. To be safe, you should go through an eviction process. Check your local court for the forms and procedure. But if the stuff isn't much value, you could text her, take photos, and give her a deadline.... Read more »

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

Q: My old roommate owes me $2500 after I covered our rent and utilities when he couldn't afford it. How can I get my money?

It has been 3 years since we lived together. He has not made one attempt to pay me back. He has declared bankruptcy for dealing with debt in other areas of his life (car payments, IRS).

Joseph Jaap answered on Mar 5, 2018

Small claims court can handle a claim under $6000. But his bankruptcy might have terminated your claim. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to consult a local collection attorney.

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

Q: my girlfriend broke up with me before paying me back for a vacation we took together. How can I get my money back?

In 2012, we went on vacation and I covered her half of $10,000 total. She was supposed to pay me back when we returned home. She dumped me before I received a dime. When I asked about the money, she threatened to call the police and put a restraining order on me. It has been 6 years. Do I have any... Read more »

Joseph Jaap answered on Mar 5, 2018

Small claims court can handle a claim up to $6000. If more than that, you file a claim in municipal court. But you might have waited too long. The time limit on your claim might be 6 years. Use the Find a Lawyer tab and retain a local litigation attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Ohio on

Q: Lease says no more than 2 vehicles, people have more than that. Lease also states no working on vehicles on the property

I have complained numerous times about a car sitting next to mine that has not moved in almost a year, and most of the time (until I complain) sits with at least one flat tire. The people who own that car, park their 3rd vehicle out in the lot behind actual parking spaces which makes it difficult... Read more »

Joseph Jaap answered on Mar 5, 2018

The landlord is not violating your lease, unless your lease specifically says that landlord will enforce similar restrictions against other tenants. It does not give you a basis to declare the lease void. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local real estate attorney to review your lease and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Small Claims and Landlord - Tenant for Ohio on

Q: Do I have a winning case here?

I lived in an apartment with a couple from June 2017-September 2017. Our lease is up in late May or early June of 2018. Things turned hostile in the apartment and I felt scared and threatened so I moved out. I have video evidence of my male roommate threatening me along side his girlfriend who was... Read more »

Joseph Jaap answered on Feb 28, 2018

You prove your case with admissible evidence and testimony. You should retain an attorney to review the facts and what you might submit as evidence and testimony, and then evaluate the likelihood of your success. There is no way to guess about your likelihood of success in a case, and no attorney... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Ohio on

Q: Can I pay a credit card debt before small claims pre trial

I received my pre trail notice to appear. And it’s my debt on a credit card. Can I contact the plaintiff and pay what’s owed, before pretrial.

Matthew Williams answered on Feb 22, 2018

Yes, make sure they will dismiss the suit though.

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

Q: Can the owner of the house I’m staying in change the locks with all of my things, including military gear, inside

Told I could stay in the house until I found a new place up to ninety days. No lease or rental agreement. He went active duty and decided to kick me out the next day. Taped falsely dated paperwork on the front door telling me to leave, nothing has been filed with the court. I got a call from their... Read more »

Joseph Jaap answered on Feb 19, 2018

Try to work it out. Or sue the owner in small claims court yourself for a claim up to $6000.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims and Tax Law for Ohio on

Q: I wanted to know about laws on filing someone as a dependent if they don't or hasn't lived with you or cared for you

I recently filed for my taxes for the first time . On the other hand I HAD to file as a dependent or I would have been 'rejected' due to my mom using me as a dependent. But, I haven't lived with or haven't been under my mom's care since before I was 18. I worked on my own, lived with a friend and... Read more »

Joseph Jaap answered on Feb 16, 2018

You need to talk to a tax advisor. Tax issues are complicated, and depend on your specific situation that your advisor will have to analyze to be able to give you any answers at all. The IRS has very specific criteria for claiming a dependent.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Ohio on

Q: Can my landlord use a old rental agreement with my signature & different address on it to evict me from a new address.

I lived in one side of a duplex back in July of 2017 I signed a lease and by October 2017 the other side of the duplex became available and i moved in and we’re given a new lease to sign but never signed it or returned it. We stopped paying rent due to failure to make necessary repairs in... Read more »

Joseph Jaap answered on Feb 13, 2018

If you have not paid rent in full, then the lease might not matter, and the court could evict you. A written lease is not even required. Whatever issues there might be with the lease, either written or oral, if you still are behind on your rent, the court could grant an eviction. If not this... Read more »

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

Q: My ex husband and I own a home in Ohio. I rented it out and they are renting to own with HUD paying the payments. HUD do

HUD does not know they are doing it. We have a rental agreement and a rent to own that was not noterized and no lawyer was involved. The payment is $600 monthly. HUD pays $525 n they pay $75 Wich is never on time and I told her I would start eviction process if it happens again.

My ex... Read more »

Joseph Jaap answered on Jan 31, 2018

Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local real estate attorney to review all these facts, sort things out, and advise you. If an attorney did not draft the "rent to own" contract, it could have problems, and might not be enforceable. Your attorney will have to review it and advise you.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims, Criminal Law and Education Law for Ohio on

Q: If my 18 year old is at someone’s house when I don’t want them to but still in high school can I call the police?

Joseph Jaap answered on Jan 29, 2018

You can, but unless there is illegal activity, the police are unlikely to do anything. An 18 year old is no longer a minor, and can do what they want.

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

Q: I rented from a guy at work he was looking to sell but offered to rent me the house for $1200 a month with no depoisit

But electronically signed a 12 month lease ... but he changed the rent for the first two months 650 for the first month and 900 for the second month . It’s now three months later and I want to move and he’s threating to sue for the remaining 9 months of rent. I want to know is there a way in... Read more »

Joseph Jaap answered on Jan 22, 2018

If the lease is valid for 12 months, then try to work out an early termination with landlord. If you move out, landlord can sue you, and the court would then determine if the lease is valid, and if so, order you to pay the 9 months. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local real estate attorney... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Collections and Small Claims for Ohio on

Q: Can I sue for money I spent on personal travel to see a friend who eventually bailed on me?

Joseph Jaap answered on Jan 2, 2018

You would have to sue him in his state and city. Even if you won a $300 claim, you then would have to go to court again to try to collect it.

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