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California Small Claims Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Civil Litigation, Lemon Law and Small Claims for California on

Q: Who is responsible for late/penalty fees from dmv at the time of sale? Or after the sale?

At the dmv i found out there was a $900 balance owed for penalty fees due to not being registered for 2 years. The seller says it's my truck now and i bought it "as is"

Do i have to pay the $900 to get the truck in my name? Oh and there is an illegal 2019 sticker on the plate...

William John Light answered on Aug 18, 2019

"Penalties may be waived upon payment of the registration fees due when a transferee (including a dealer) applies for transfer and it is determined that the registration penalties accrued prior to the transferee’s date of purchase and the transferee was not aware that the registration fees for... Read more »

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

Q: Probate hasnt started can a non teanat place locks on rooms? Will a quite title action make an unsigned deed valid?

My grandmother passed and left the deed, leaving the home to her son and nephew, unsigned. Since then her son has collected 12,000 from the teanats and has only payed 6000 toward the mortgage. Is this considered rent skimming or embezzlement? After one teant moved out he placed a lock on the room... Read more »

James Edward Berge answered on Aug 14, 2019

An unsigned deed does not convey legal title to property and does not qualify as a Will. A probate will be required to convey title from grandmother to her heirs at law, typically her children and quite possibly her son. Since her son does not have title to the property, he cannot evict a tenant... Read more »

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

Q: Can I sue a friend? We had a verbal agreement that he'd fix up my truck for 3,000 but it's been months.

I did pay him cash so I feel like it would be hard to sue him. I originally paid him 1,5000 about 6 months ago. I want to take my truck and money back but he seems reluctant to even talk about the situation.

Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Aug 5, 2019

Sure; in America anyone can sue anyone else at any time—even without a lawyer in small claims court. Winning the lawsuit is another matter. If you decide to sue you should be prepared to pay the filing fee and then pay another hundred bucks or so for service of process. Caveat: If a court of law... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Criminal Law, Business Law and Small Claims for California on

Q: I'm currently trying to weigh my options. I have a private parking attendant targeting my vehicles for personal reasons.

My vehicle was towed Thursday my issue with this is they've tried towing my car while I'm in it, leaving other vehicles unticketed. I've now lost my vehicle (which was my residence) the sign states 7 days a week from 8am -11 pm however this week alone they've shown up twice and they are rarely if... Read more »

Dale S. Gribow answered on Jul 29, 2019

more info needed

you should call a lawyer in your area for their evaluation. Most criminal lawyers will provide a free consultation and possibly a civil lawyer will too.

I assume they are saying you are not parking but rather living in the car against some code section.

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

Q: Lived on ranch, owner of ranch destroyed everything I owned on purpose....

I lived on a ranch in a trailer that i did not own in exchange for taking care of the cows and other ranch duties, and earned money as an electrician off ranch. One day after work I got home and the trailer I was living in, and everything I owned in a pile of rubble. The ranch owner decided to... Read more »

Dale S. Gribow answered on Jul 26, 2019

you should have called the police when it happened to have him arrested, prosecuted and requesting restitution be a part of the sentence.

you can still try to do so...but with the lapse of time they may give you a hard time.

contact a civil lawyer in your area.

sue in small...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Employment Law and Small Claims for California on

Q: Independent Contractor for a Wentzville , MO based company not being paid

I am an independent contractor for a MO based company but I live in Los Angeles, Ca. They have not paid my wages /invoices and have written several bad checks to cover the amount owed. I would like to sue them for my back pay and am questioning which state to file the case in and if out of... Read more »

Neil Pedersen answered on Jul 26, 2019

If California law applied to your situation, it is unlikely you are actually an independent contractor unless you worked for multiple companies at the same time and were free from control of the employer in carrying out your duties. That would also give you access to many of the very good... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Collections and Small Claims for California on

Q: If a $50,000 bond is disbursed thru numerous claimants in a case?

how is the money split or disbursed if all claimants have different amounts of loss that they have claimed? is it just split evenly or go off a percentage system??

Vernon Charles Tucker answered on Jul 17, 2019


Typically it will be distributed on a pro-rata basis. This means that each respective claimant will receive a portion in relation to the amount of their claim. Hope this helps!


Vernon C. Tucker, Esq.

Member California Bar

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Small Claims for California on

Q: I had an agreement with a former classmate of mine to help fund his start up business.

I loaned him an amount in expectation of getting a monthly payment after his business got off the ground. The month came to when we agreed he had to start paying it back with interest and he never did. Can I sue him for the principal investment plus the interest we agreed upon? Also I have the... Read more »

Thomas A. Grossman answered on Jun 8, 2019

Unfortunately, without a signed agreement it is more difficult to convince a person to pay back money he or she owes you. The emails help somewhat, as that confirms that an agreement was reached, even if it was not signed. Also, the mere fact that he acknowledges the debt is helpful. I would... Read more »

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

Q: Bannerbit Online Advertising closed out my Account because of a lack of activities for seven (7) months. They refuse to

pay my earnings of over $800 plus but instead chose to refund my initial investment of $200. What can I do to claim my full earnings accumulated over a year?

Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on May 28, 2019

If you signed a written contract with Bannerbit Online Advertising get it out and read it very closely. If the contract says they can do what they did to you, then you are done. If you do not have a written contract then you are also done.

3 Answers | Asked in Small Claims for California on

Q: Can a parent be sued along w/ an adult son in sm claims case if that parent had a duty to warn/protect foreseable acts

Adult man lives rent free in family owned home. His mother pays elec, water& taxes even his phone bill. He has numerous arrests and she bails him out every time and pays for private attny. He has a domestic violence conviction, theft & drugs. This is public record, easy enough to prove. She is... Read more »

Dale S. Gribow answered on May 21, 2019

contact a personal injury lawyer with a summary of all the facts.

normally a parent would not be responsible for an adult child but maybe if mom had a conservatorship? she might be........then there is the issue of why you were in the home knowing of these violent tendencies?

Read more »

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

Q: Hello, what type of document would be necessary for a lawyer to oppose conservatorship in CA law


Thomas A. Grossman answered on May 18, 2019

Your question is somewhat confusing, but I will try to sort it out. I am assuming that you are looking for a lawyer to oppose a conservatorship (or a conservatorship proceeding). If the person in question still has his/her faculties, and does not appear to need a conservatorship, then it would... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Lemon Law and Small Claims for California on

Q: Can I sue this auto auction.

I purchased this car for $1500. The registration was pass due and it was almost $400. The engine light came on the time I went to drive it from my home. Ford says I need a whole engine. A important sensor is missing. That is not a overnight problem. I feel as though they sold me lemon.

Scott Richard Kaufman answered on May 13, 2019

Sounds like you are correct. Here is a YouTube channel with some thoughts for you:

Good luck with it.

3 Answers | Asked in Small Claims, Criminal Law, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for California on

Q: under duress, I was forced to hand over my vape pen to officer Hern. I was the passenger of my fiancé’s vehicle.

Went to IA twice. This officer has done numerous things to numerous people. I have never been pulled over or had negative encounters with others in this county. Just him. He’s harassed my fiancé & myself since I flipped him off the day of the valley fire.

Alexander Bakhache Perez answered on May 10, 2019

You may wish to go to the police department and ask to speak the watch commander to file a complaint in writing against the officer.

If it is not written by you and submitted - nothing will happen and no action will be taken. They will try to talk you out of making a formal complaint....
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Business Law, Small Claims and White Collar Crime for California on

Q: I got scammed out of 5500$ by an online seller, How to proceed?

Ok, So i purchased 20,000$ (~200 orders) of merchandise from an online e commerce site for my small business, under all my personal info. I only receive 900$ of items from them. I charged back with my credit provider and only got back 14000$ I am out about 5500$. I am not the only one who got... Read more »

Scott Richard Kaufman answered on May 6, 2019

Sounds like you may have to sue them, which of course could cost way more than the $5500 you are out.

Maybe small claims is your best bet, it's quick, easy and for matters under 10K wherein attorneys are not

allowed at all, well, other than to represent an LLC or a CORP.

2 Answers | Asked in Business Law, Consumer Law and Small Claims for California on

Q: Hi, I am from China. A US digital marketing company provides online service to us, but they are really inefficient.

They waste us a lot of time, didn't focus on our project. How can I report them? How can I protect myself from loss?

Scott Richard Kaufman answered on Apr 22, 2019

Change companies.

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1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law and Small Claims for California on

Q: How will appearing on a rent deposit case as a witness affect my Green Card now and when applying for a US passport?

One of my flatmates (who is the Master tenant) did not return the deposit of another flatmate on the grounds that his girlfriend was living in his room and they were sneaking in and out. The master tenant (who is still my current flatmate) has requested that I support her in court as a witness. I... Read more »

Kelli Y Allen answered on Apr 11, 2019

Unless there is additional information, I'm not sure what the concern is. Whether someone is a witness in a criminal or civil proceeding is unrelated to an immigration petition.

3 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Lemon Law, Products Liability and Small Claims for California on

Q: What options would I have if a defective TV stand broke my TV and other expensive electronics?

What options would I have if I purchased a TV stand (online, but live in California [if it makes a difference]), assembled it exactly according to the manual, and without any external force/stimulus (earthquake, draft, etc.), the TV stand broke (wooden legs collapsed/broke, or glass tabletop... Read more »

William John Light answered on Mar 25, 2019

To be honest, it seems pretty unlikely that every single piece of electronics was damaged so severely that they are all inoperable. Moreover, your stated value of the router is about $40 too high. Similar exaggerations for the value of the other equipment will be devastating to your credibility.... Read more »

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

Q: Can I sue a dealership for clearing trouble codes without actually addressing or repairing any of the issues that set?

Scott Richard Kaufman answered on Mar 17, 2019

Sure, in many ways that can be considered a fraud, especially if they represented to you that they did otherwise, say, "fixed" the problem?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Small Claims for California on

Q: If I live in a house with someone who lost a lawsuit and owes a huge debt if they raid his house can they take my stuff

I live with my girlfriends family at her grandparents house and he just lost a lawsuit for his restaurant so they raided his restaurant to pay the debt if can they raid the house and if so can they take my stuff to pay his debt since its on his property

Louis George Fazzi answered on Mar 16, 2019

The short answer is no. You haven't said whether his business was sued or if your wife's grandfather was sued personally. In either event, his creditors cannot satisfy a judgment against anyone but the named defendant against whom they won the judgment, out of his or the judgment debtor's property.

4 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents, Consumer Law and Small Claims for California on

Q: car dealers lied to me, what can I do?

In December 2018 I bought a used 2016 Honda Pilot from a toyota dealership. I wanted to be sure the car was in good condition so I asked numerous times if the car was in an accident. They reassured me it was in perfect condition. I purchased the vehicle and am currently financing it. However, it... Read more »

Dale S. Gribow answered on Mar 4, 2019

More info is needed to properly evaluate your case.

What you are doing is the same as asking a doctor to diagnose your problem over the phone when you say I have a stomach ache, can you cure me and what will it cost?

However, it is always a good idea to contact a local attorney...
Read more »

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