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California Small Claims Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for California on
Q: Do I owe the tuition deposit back to the family if they haven’t given 30days notice as per the contract in a preschool?

My preschool takes one month tuition while enrolling a new family which is refunded provided 30days written notice is given. I stopped charging tuition from April 2020, reopened my school in June 2020. This family never responded to any emails, didn’t pay their June and July tuition and now... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 17, 2020

Maybe. Cannot determine without a review of all the documentation.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for California on
Q: My landlord has exceeded the allotted 21 days to return my security deposit...

Are they still entitled to make deductions based on CA Civil Code 1950.5 or have the forfeited those rights?

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 15, 2020

Excellent question, and one asked by many. There is no automatic forfeiture by the LL of any claims to the deposit, however, there is a part of that section that talks about a "Bad Faith Retention" of the security deposit. In that situation you can request and receive; "statutory... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for California on
Q: My sister rents a house and wants to evict my brother. Can she type up her own eviction notice to him?

She doesn't want the rent, just wants him to move out, he is a burden to evryone in the house.

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 10, 2020

Yes, she can type up the eviction notice, but they are usually available at a stationery store, or online. She has to include all the statutorily required language or it is not valid. This is how people get into legal problems, trying to be their own lawyers.

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: In CA the vehicle code does it say I need current registration to get personal things from a towed vehicle in storage

The registration is back more than 6 months so the cost of renewing is 700. The vehicle is mine and I am last known registered

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 8, 2020

All vehicles are required to be registered while operating on the highways, or parked in California. The vehicle is required to be registered in the tow yard. You operated the vehicle for free for the last 6 months. Now you get to pay penalties and you find out what happens to unregistered... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: In CA the vehicle code does it say I need current registration to get personal things from a towed vehicle in storage
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 8, 2020

Not specifically. What the VC says is that it is unlawful for you to have an unregistered vehicle in the tow yard. See VC 4000 et seq.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for California on
Q: Tenant to subtenant verbal agreement residency less then 1yr Pomona, CA shes 2 months in rent what form do i serve first

2 months late

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 5, 2020

3 day notice to pay rent or quit. But there are moratoriums on evictions relating to coronavirus. Careful you don't get into a Wrongful Eviction situation, it could be very expensive for you.

Justia disclaimers below, incorporated herein.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: We foreclosed on 4/30/20 on the people to whom we sold our house. They won't move out. What are the laws re eviction?

We gave them a whole year to catch up on their mortgage payments because of numerous lies they told us and we really did not want to foreclose on anyone. They did not pay property taxes or insurance either so we had to do so. We want to seek reimbursement for these costs foreclosure costs, court... Read more »

Nathan Wirtschafter
Nathan Wirtschafter answered on Sep 3, 2020

You need counsel. Justia has an excellent tool ("Find A Lawyer") for you to find a local, competent attorney in your area.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for California on
Q: Do I have a case against the tenant or the leasing office for distributing a check without everyone's consent?

Background: Shared leasing contract on a rental between 4 tenants. Lease ended July 3,2020

Issue:

A tenant emailed the leasing office and had the security deposit sent to herself by the leasing management without consulting the other tenants or having the rest of the tenants consent... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 1, 2020

I cannot tell what role you played in all of this, you do not say if you are the owner or one of the co-tenants that was under reimbursed. If that is your role, there is possible a breach of fiduciary duty with possible punitive damages against the person who embezzled the money. File in small... Read more »

5 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents, Construction Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: What are my options when trying to recoup vehicle repair costs associated with damage caused by Caltrans' subcontractor?

Hello,

Significant vehicle damage was incurred due to freeway construction debris collision with my vehicle. Caltrans claim was submitted by both my vehicle insurance and myself. Caltrans responded about a year later to my insurance, stating that this instance was caused by their... Read more »

Robert Dourian
Robert Dourian answered on Aug 31, 2020

I sounds like your options have narrowed down to filing an action for property damages. It is not so clear that CALTRANS is not responsible, but its all about the actual facts and circumstances. This matter may not make sense for an attorney to take on if the dollar amount of the damage is low.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for California on
Q: I had four money orders stolen on June 25th while being sent through FedEx and cashed at a wells Fargo bank same day.

Who is responsible for the money orders and who do I sue in small claims

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Aug 29, 2020

You sue the person/entity that had possession of the MO when they were stolen. You could also sue the banks that wrongfully cashed the MO, and if the company that sent them to you were negligent in selecting the mode of transmission (FedEx) sue them too. (if for instance FedEx says not to send... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for California on
Q: If an agreement to repay a loan is found to contain false information, what small claim basis would the lender pursue?

Specifically, I am trying to determine if the lender can file a claim based on the assumption that fraud invalidates the current agreement and if the proper course of action would then be to establish a valid agreement.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Aug 23, 2020

A California attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for three weeks. Fraud can be argued as a basis for challenging the validity of an agreement. As a general premise of contract law, it goes to the element of meeting of the minds in the formation of a contract. It would be best... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for California on
Q: I lent a friend money for there rent Bill's food. i dont have proof.. can I take them to small claims with out proof?
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Aug 22, 2020

A California attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for two weeks. There could be California protocols that apply, but as a general matter in small claims venues nationwide, one would be able to bring such a case. However, it looks like you already recognize a problem that will... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Business Law, Consumer Law, Criminal Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: Can I make a refund with a gift card if I receive cash for it initially and services were not rendered

Customer wanted trees trimmed he paid me in advance $350 I was unable to show up due to family emergency I told customer I could be there the following day he demanded a refund. I've been issued him a gift certificate for the amount he paid for the services of $350 and emailed him the gift... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Aug 22, 2020

You should refund the $ in the same form as you received it. If he is OK with the gift card, you are done. If not, get it back, give him cash or a check.

Justia disclaimers below, incorporated herein.

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law, Business Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: Employer is with holding wages (1 year.) Claims employee defined as "paid under the table",no recourse in Ca. Court?

Claim's employee has no recourse in California Courts to file claim, for past wages or additional damages, fines, penalty, waiting period (etc.). Because employee was "paid under the table" and will suffer fines, penalties and jail time also. Employer has judgements against for... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Aug 20, 2020

This is a scare tactic used by employers who unlawfully fail to pay their employees properly.

If you have received money under the table, i.e., been paid without the employer reporting the money to the government, you still have an obligation to report the income to the IRS and the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Criminal Law, Identity Theft and Small Claims for California on
Q: I found out that my ex-husband has his girlfriend ease dropping on our conversations and recording it illegally

I found out that my ex-husband has his girlfriend ease dropping on our conversations and recording it illegally because it is confidential and she has no business with information on our kids. She is also writing letters in my name in regards to our children.

According to California Law... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Aug 19, 2020

If PC 632 applies to you, you can sue both. Your post indicates that you are in Colorado Springs. If that is true, section 632 may not apply to your benefit. That issue hasn't really been decided. If federal law applies to interstate calls, only 1 party need consent. Not sure what... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Employment Law, Tax Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: Employer hasn't paid full wages for a year. Recently, business became LLC. Can employee get past wages still?

Employee was working "under the table" but is still paid by company check at times. July 2019 to Jan. 2020 unpaid hours are 336.75 hours. Employers reason for not paying is he is waiting for final job payment. In good faith employee accepted excuse. Employer has given token payment... Read more »

Donald M Barker
Donald M Barker answered on Aug 18, 2020

Original employer, whether a Corp, LLC, sole proprietorship, or partnership is always liable for wages, even if company dissolves or goes out of business--then owner or shareholders can be liable.

If a business "converts" from sole proprietorship to Corp, LLC etc., the...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for California on
Q: Hello, so I need advice.

My ex Girlfriend was driving my vehicle as i was not able to drive to my physical therapy I asked if she could please drive me to the Hospital where i am scheduled to go, i was having back problems that were preventing me to drive that day as my pain varies from day to day. As She began to pullout... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Aug 13, 2020

So, are you asking for relationship advice or are you looking to take your soon to be ex-girlfriend to small claims to get her to pay you for the damage to the car? I guess you need to decide which is more important to you, the car or the girl, both bring pleasure and cause misery in your life.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for California on
Q: I lent a friend money for there rent, Bill's, food, ect.. I dont have proof of this can I take them to small claims?
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Aug 13, 2020

Send a demand letter listing all the money and amounts. Give them 30 days to pay. Then file in small claims. Good luck. Next time do not be foolish with your money if it is valuable to you, do not lend money without a writing, like a promissory note or even a simple IOU, dated and signed by the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for California on
Q: My vehicle tires have damage due to to an oversight from an alignment. The shop wants to charge me for new tires.

When I took the car back they fixed the issue at no cost but my tires are now ruined, should I pay for the two new tires plus labor or should the shop offer to replace them or the very least a discount?

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Aug 13, 2020

A California attorney could advise best, as state consumer laws could apply, but your post remains open for three weeks. If push came to shove, the evidence or expert opinion needed to prove that the tire damage was attributable to the alignment and not some other cause, such as balancing,... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant, Civil Litigation and Small Claims for California on
Q: Manager retaliatory issue that includes harassment,bullied, rent overcharges upon a mentally challenged tenant & they

They refuse to work out. Would of settled 2mo. No charge but no more. Ive hadit.$500-700$+ rent overcharges manager refuses to make good, belittles me, harassed, maintenance guy violated privacy, theft never sent letters i wrote to owner & seriously MORE issues!!

Joshua D. Brysk
Joshua D. Brysk answered on Aug 4, 2020

For residential rental issues involving a mentally challenged person: contact Disability Rights Advocates https://dralegal.org/contact-us/ or check with your local bar association for a referral to another non-profit

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