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Oregon Small Claims Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury, Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: Can someone that I was living with, rent-free, for ninety-four nights, put all my belongings outside on her front porch?

(I had keys to the house and the porch is open and visible, so you can see right into it.) I had to leave on very short notice, this past Saturday. I do not own a car and I can only carry so many things with me. We agreed that I would come back today to get the rest of my things. I texted her... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Mar 5, 2018

Go get the stuff.Ask friends, family for help. Legally you have an argument to make but your stuff get's taken you don't want to be tied up making arguments--spend the time getting a ride. A cab if you have some money. Free rent that long means she's going to get the sympathy.

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: I got screwed out of some money by a "friend.". For me, it's a lot. I sure could use it returned.

This is what happened.

On February 19, 2014, I loaned $2,500 to a friend of mine living and going to college in

Portland. His name is DW. He was born on August 3, 1984. He asked for

the financial help and promised to pay me back and stay in touch with me. I knew him... Read more »

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Feb 21, 2018

First and foremost, do you have this loan in a signed writing? You likely have a few issues to consider. If you are local, you can simply sue him in small claims court - fast, comparatively cheap, and a Judgment is just as enforceable as one from regular circuit court. If you don't, you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: My sister in law is purchasing a vehicle with my wife as a cosigner, if she stops making payments can i take the car?

She is moving out of state and has a bad habit of pushing anything on everyone else that she possibly can. And i want to know how i can protect myself and my wife from this happening.

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Feb 16, 2018

If your wife co-signs a loan - for a car or anything else - she can end up having to pay the entire loan, interest, fees, etc. herself. If she is not prepared to pay everything herself, she should not co-sign. If she also is a co-owner and is listed as such on the Title, she would have the legal... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims and Health Care Law for Oregon on
Q: My wife is on my insurance through work, and we are both being sued for her medical bills. It's that legal?

They have only ever contacted me, even when I told them that those were her bills and not mine. I'm obviously going to pay them, but can they really call me every day while I'm at work and sue me for my wife's bills?

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Feb 12, 2018

Spouses are generally legally liable for necessary medical bills even if they did not sign the agreement at the doctor's office. So yes, it is likely that they can come after you for payment. Calling you at work everyday is a different matter. Depending upon the exact details, that may or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims and Landlord - Tenant for Oregon on
Q: If I am a home owner renting a room in my house with no lease agreement, does Oregon law apply to the 30 day notice?
Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Feb 9, 2018

Absolutely - all Oregon Landlord-Tenant laws apply to you and your tenant. If you are in the city limits of Portland, you may have additional obligations and time/notice requirements. For example, you don't say what sort of 30 day notice you are referring to but if it is a 30 No Cause... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant, Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: I need help with a landlord debt plus he is dying in hospice care

We rented a property for $22,000 total gave him $11,000 up front with the remainder agreed we would pay the day we where to move in.

We had a lease he emailed me to be signed the day we arrived also. The day my husband was leaving to go there he texted saying he didn't want us to... Read more »

Joanne Reisman
Joanne Reisman answered on Feb 8, 2018

This isn't something that can be figured out on line. You will need to talk to an attorney and your action will either be against this landlord if he survives or his estate. It is probably going to be very messy. If he dies you will have to make a claim against his estate and get in line... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: Can I sue a business for a personal loan they refuse to pay back?

About a year ago I loaned a local business 15k to get started, now they will not respond to emails or phone calls. Do I have a chance to sue and get any money back? We signed an agreement we drafted but lawyers were not involved.

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Feb 2, 2018

Nobody can give you a meaningful answer without carefully reviewing the written agreement. Nothing you have posted says you couldn't sue and win but then again, nothing says you will win either. Consider taking it to an attorney for review and advice on how to best proceed now. Good luck.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Small Claims, Civil Litigation and Legal Malpractice for Oregon on
Q: I had an appraisal done on my house & 3 years later, the value hasn't changed. Do I have a case against appraiser E&O?

This was result of dealing with a litigation with EX (not divorce) and I fought the appraiser on the value, as I'm in real estate, also had shared the value with another friend of my in real estate no one could believe the value he was giving it. I had also provided him with the $30k in... Read more »

Joanne Reisman
Joanne Reisman answered on Feb 2, 2018

I am not sure what your legal question is. The appraisal at a given point in time has nothing to do with the value at any other point it time. An appraiser is supposed to give you their professional opinion of a value of real estate on a certain date. You can always testify and give your opinion... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims and Landlord - Tenant for Oregon on
Q: How do I go about taking court action for being locked out of the double wide me and my girlfriend rented a room in.

The guy we rented from did not get park approval and so got a thirty day eviction notice. We had him sign a rental agreement but he won't return our deposit and he never said anything about us moving out we started packing anyways but upon asking him about us getting our deposit back when we... Read more »

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Jan 7, 2018

It does sound as if you may have a variety of claims against your ex-landlord. You may wish to review everything with a local landlord-tenant attorney to determine exactly how much and how to best go about filing suit. Even if you get a Judgment against him though, you may still have a problem... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: After I fill out the papers for the small claims judgement and money award along with the motion for default judgment

How do I go about filing and what the court do I need to take it to the courthouse or do I do it online.

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Dec 7, 2017

You need to take the documents to the same clerks with whom you filed the original Summons and Complaint, as long as at least a full 14 days have past since the defendant(s) were served (be sure a proof of service has been filed with the court). The court clerk will likely check all the paperwork... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: Can a lawyer reduce your total debt from 15,000 to 10,000 to make it eligible for small claims?

If so, how does the judge and OSBar view this?

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Dec 5, 2017

You wonder if someone can legally REDUCE your bill and charge you LESS? Of course they can. If you owed $15K, you certainly owed at least $10K. Once sued upon for the $10K, however, they may well have trouble trying to sue you for the additional $5K in the future. Essentially they knocked 1/3... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: Can landlord keep last month's rent after a 60 day no-cause eviction if I vacate early and don't give a 30 day notice?

I am an Oregon renter, and I vacated the fifth week into a 60 day notice of a "termination of tenancy; no cause", issued to me 22 months into my tenancy. I paid the final month's rent because I did not want to be considered delinquent while I wrapped up the last few days of my move... Read more »

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Oct 9, 2017

Yes, your landlord is correct that you would be required to provide 30 day notice if you intended to vacate prior to the 60 day notice date that he served you. He told you to be out on that specific date, NOT to be out anytime up until that date. If you wanted to be out earlier, you owed him at... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: Is it normal to get awarded contract plus court, process server cost, and collection cost in Oregon?

I have a situation where someone broke a small verbal contract that I can prove with text messages on my phone. The contract was only $500 and he has helped me in the past.

I ask that because if I can only get the contract back but still have to pay for someone to deliver papers and court... Read more »

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Oct 6, 2017

It is at the Judge's discretion. That said, it is rare that a Judge does not award costs, including a prevailing party fee, to the winner of a case. I certainly know nothing about your case and do not intend to comment on its merit but on a purely statistical basis, it is far more likely... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Collections, Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: A,B,C moved into an apartment and equally paid 1400 in deposit. They moved out 1yr later and allowed D,E to sign onto

the lease so that they didn't have to pay a deposit.

ABC discussed it with DE and agreed that since there was some damages left and items left that when DE moved out they would pay back 1200 of the initial 1400 lease deposit to ABC.

DE finally moved out and got 1000 back.... Read more »

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Sep 28, 2017

It is unclear exactly what has happened or the relationship between the parties. It also is unclear what you mean by ABC allowed DE to sign onto the lease so they didn't have to pay a deposit. Are you saying all 5 were on the same lease, secured by the original security deposit? Or did DE... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Small Claims and Consumer Law for Oregon on
Q: What can I do if I have title, registration,tags and current insurance on a truck but somebody has had the truck for 3yr

And has only done 6months work on it and has been paid $5500 and my dad recently past away and this guys wont give my dads truck back. What can i do about this. The truck is not his and hes being real rude since my dad has dies and my mom had all info and stuff for that truck

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Aug 31, 2017

If this fellow is still owed money for work he has performed on the truck, then he has a mechanic's lien on the truck and can keep it as collateral until he is paid in full. Then he has to release it, but technically only to the Personal Representative or Claiming Affiant of your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Personal Injury and Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: My mother accidentally parked in a reserved spot for about an hour and then discovered her car had been vandalized.

The perpetual was likely the owner of the spot. Are they at fault and can they be made to pay damages?

Vincent J. Bernabei
Vincent J. Bernabei answered on May 24, 2017

You need to establish who was at fault by a preponderance of the evidence. That means more likely than not. You also have to prove the decreased value of the vehicle, which usually is the cost to repair the vehicle. If you don't have a witness and there is no videotape of the incident, and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents, Consumer Law and Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: I took my vehicle to a body shop to get fixed and the shop I took it too did not fix my car.

So I took my car to another shop to have the repair work done. The first shop charged me a fee for me to take my car out of their shop. I feel this is wrong. I need to know if I have a mall claims case against the first body shop

Jennie Lynn Clark
Jennie Lynn Clark answered on May 4, 2017

I would need some follow up information in order to answer this question. Did you have a written or verbal contract with the original body shop? Was there an agreement of a time period to fix your car? Did they do any diagnostic work that was contracted for. What is the body shop's... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Business Law, Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: What are my options if a storage facility failed to give me notice of intent to sell my property?

I had a storage facility that was on auto payment. When my debit card was lost and changed, the payment no longer went through without me realizing it. I did not receive any notice from the storage facility, either by mail or email, that they were selling my property. I received only one notice of... Read more »

Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Feb 25, 2017

I'm not in my office, so I can't look up the statutes, but there are a few on the books that should allow you to go after the storage place. If I recall correctly, there are certain procedures that need to be followed before they can sell your items. An attorney can review those and your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: Being sued personally in small claims court for work done by our S-Corp. Are we liable?

Customer filed with Builders board and was denied as claim was over a year old. Now have filed small claim against us personally. Do they even have a case if not filed in the Corp name? Does our corp bond play into this at all? We have 'demanded a hearing' to avoid a default judgment.... Read more »

Howard Alan Newman MBA
Howard Alan Newman MBA answered on Nov 28, 2016

Based on the facts as presented, the S-corp appears to be an improper party. Accordingly, prior to the hearing, I would demand from the plaintiff voluntary dismissal of the action. In fact, I might even attempt to move the hearing date for, inter alia, to give the plaintiff more time to consider... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents, Criminal Law, Products Liability and Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: Is the garbage company responsible for damage due to a can left on driveway that snapped the car mirror while reversing?

The can was placed back inward the driveway and broke the drivers side mirror while reversing, barely clipped it. Photos indicate the can was on "personal property" says the garbage company so they won't take any responsibility and now I have $600 of damages/wage loss due to the... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Jul 20, 2016

Their duty is to empty cans (I'm assuming this is municipal). They are never under a duty to place them a particular location.Bigger issue is it was a stationary object. The general rule is the vehicle in motion has the duty to look for stationary objects, vehicles even if they aren't... Read more »

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