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Virginia Small Claims Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Animal / Dog Law and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Found puppy at work no collar, in rough shape. $600 in vet bills, p.o. charged me w/ larceny and refuse reimbursement.

Ultimately want to regain custody of dog due to previous owners neglect, (also found that she has 4 previous unrelated missing dog posts on fb in the last few years) the puppy was not on their property, had no collar or chip, and was in need of medical attention. I had her 5 weeks and then saw... Read more »

Daniel P Leavitt
Daniel P Leavitt answered on Nov 10, 2020

You will want to hire a lawyer for the felony charges. Usually those should play out first and then if you are successful in getting those dismissed you may or may not want to talk to a civil lawyer about potential remedies.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Can/should I sue ex for Stimulus check funds?

Spouse and I are separated...still legally married. No property settlement. I am sole custodial of our two children. 100% timeshare. She walked away and never contacts the children.

We filed taxes jointly in 2019. She filed primary as I am disabled on SSI.

We were separated when the... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Oct 22, 2020

I regret that I do not handle domestic relations maters. This issue should have been covered in your Property Settlement Agreement so you may want to look at it, if you have one.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Can our landlord keep our full security deposit and cite it’s because we broke our lease?

We notified our landlord more than 30 days in advance that our offer was approved on a house and that we would be moving our prior to Oct 1. Our landlord knew months in advance we were house hunting. We asked multiple times what the process was and if we need to find a sublease, were responsible... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Oct 13, 2020

In Virginia, a security deposit in a residential lease is to protect the landlord from any property damages that the tenant has caused to the premises during the term of the lease and such damages are identified in a condition report at the time of the tenant's move-out walk through. There... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Business Formation and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Hi..i am in VA. made a payment 2 days late. Can any type of late fee be imposed?

I let the company know VA has 10 day grace period. They changed the 'late fee' wording to 'payroll system fee'.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Sep 17, 2020

A Virginia attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for three weeks. As a general matter, it could depend on the company's terms, and whether their revision is merely a change of terminology for the same thing. The most economical and reliable way to find out could be to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Can you sue someone for saying they would pay something off for you?

My now ex boyfriend agreed for me to purchase a laptop for school and agreed he would make the monthly payments. Now that we aren’t together he tells me he’s not going to pay it . It is now going to affect my credit because I can’t afford to pay it since I’m not working. The total amount is... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Aug 16, 2020

Given this was an oral agreement, and you claim it was breached for nonpayment, you can bring a Warrant in Debt in General District Court in the jurisdiction (county/city) where the agreement was reached. Since the amount is less than $5,000.00, this is a small claims court case in which no lawyers... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Do I need to retain a lawyer for my small claim case? Is there specific evidence I must present to validate my claim?

In Henrico, VA - I had filed a small claims court case against my neighbor for damages, maxed at $5000. He has requested it be removed to general district court and has retained counsel. I suing my neighbor for damaging my front, side and back yard resulting in me paying out of pocket for... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 27, 2020

By court rules, no lawyers are allowed in a small claims case matter in Virginia.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant, Collections and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Warrant in Debt for a tenant; judgement 9/2/15 Wants to settle. Do we go to Clerk of Court or how do I proceed?

Contacted me yesterday. I want to make sure I do everything right!

Do we go to Clerk of Court to exchange money, does she bring $ to me then I contact courts its settled?

5 years have passed so its over $20k with the 6% interest. Can bankruptcy be filed to get out of it? But... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on May 26, 2020

At anytime in the process, the parties to the dispute can settle the dispute/judgment by one paying the other an amount of money that is agreed upon. A simple written and signed settlement agreement should be made part of the settlement to memorialized the agreement. After the funds have cleared... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Antitrust and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: What happens if you're a arrested and the wrong name is on the warrant?

If a police officers charges you with a crime but didn't spell the name on the summons or warrant correctly what happens?

Daniel P Leavitt
Daniel P Leavitt answered on May 7, 2020

They will fix it for you if you tell them it's not spelled right.

1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: A collection agency is trying to collect a debt from 11 years ago with Wachovia bank.Wachovia said it’s written off

I have phone recordings of both collections and bank. Wachovia says they stopped collections 2-3 years ago of statute of limitations.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Apr 23, 2020

If the origin of the debt was in Virginia and was connected to a written agreement, there is a 5 year statute of limitations that applies to the debt. The Statute of Limitations defense is an affirmative defense so it must be raised after a lawsuit is filed.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can you send a warrant in debt to place of employment if you don't have a forwarding address for someone that has moved
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jan 20, 2020

Generally in Virginia, a Warrant in Debt is served by the Sheriff or a Deputy Sheriff on the Defendant at that person's place of residence, however, it is possible to file a Motion based on good cause shown to request a judge to give permission for the Warrant in Debt to be served at the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Can text messages be binding as proof and used in court?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jan 20, 2020

Subject to the procedural and substantive rules of evidence that are followed in Court, it is possible that text messages will be admissible evidence in a trial in Virginia.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: A roommate,not on a lease,2 & a half months late on rent, moved out, refuses to pay. Can they be taken to court to pay

They moved in feb. Chased rent a few times. Late Sept they contacted landlord stating they would pay an extra 50 for being late on oct rent. They Contacted again in late oct goin to be late nov. But in nov made a partial payment for oct. Still no payment for nov. With promise to pay dec 21st.... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jan 20, 2020

The claim is for money owed. You can file a civil Warrant in Debt in the jurisdiction in which the premises is located and against the person who owes the money. Your hurdle may be to find the former roommates since the Court requires that person be served in order for the Curt to have jurisdiction... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Can we file a lawsuit against Ashley furniture for false advertising and misinformation?

We purchased bedroom and dining room furniture from Ashley furniture about a year ago. The furniture's cost us about $8000 plus insurance coverage of $600. In about a year, the coating of the furniture has been peeling off, the chairs legs are lose and the joints are broken. We reached out to... Read more »

Robert R Weed
Robert R Weed answered on Dec 3, 2019

Virginia has some of the weakest consumer protection laws in the country.

One place to look for a lawyer who could be able to take it on is National Association of Consumer Advocates. https://www.consumeradvocates.org/find-an-attorney

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Should a person provide a written estimate to someone who responsible for the repairs to damage cause in their home?
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Nov 13, 2019

As a general matter, it's customary to do so if the damages are for anything substantial. It could be a showing of good faith to present more than one estimate, preferably from a person(s) or entity(s) with validation or credentials in the type of repairs involved. Good luck

Tim Akpinar

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: what to do if the insurance says they only covers accidents not theft? Can I take the case to court?

I stayed at a hotel and forgot my golden rings (about a 1000$ of value) in the bathroom right before I checked out. I called the hotel 30 min after I said I am coming back. 2 cleaning staff entered the room before I came ( one after another not together) They said they didn’t find it. The police... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Nov 1, 2019

It would be a tough case. It's your word against theirs as to the disappearance of the rings. It could have been a different situation if they were presented to the front desk for safekeeping. You could consult with an attorney to see if after discussing the matter with you in greater detail... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Could I get a warrant of debt dismissed if I’m on the warrant but am not the party listed on the lease as the landlord?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Oct 31, 2019

If you were an occupant in the premises and the lawsuit stated "John Doe and All Occupants" then you will not be able to dismiss the lawsuit.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Energy, Oil and Gas and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: MonPower refuses to start my service because the last landowner had a back bill. I even sent them a copy of my lease

Is it legal to deny me electricity for a stranger's debt?

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jul 15, 2019

The amount of money involved is way too small to be of interest to most lawyers. FYI, the law is not designed to solve every little problem that comes your way during this lifetime; the Latin phrase for this rule is "De minimus non curat lex."

Pay the balance and then sue the...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims and Contracts for Virginia on
Q: Received a warrant of debt for a repair but I didn't agree on the terms. Any way to fight the claim?

I asked a company for an estimate on repairs. Instead they came & did the repairs. I have contested part of the bill as unknown terms. They want me to pay for their workers to load & unload the materials at their shop. A reasonable amount was offered & had to be in installments. I do... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jun 7, 2019

Either pay the amount claimed, negotiate a compromise and pay that or hunker down and wait.

1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Identity Theft and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: dealing with USAA and identity theft & they continue to allow our account to be breached despite our daily calls. HELP

They’ve sent checks & debit cards to other addresses despite our contact with their fraud department. We haven’t even been reimbursed yet for our checking & savings being wiped clean. While we were on the phone Friday locking down the accounts we watched as someone transferred our... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Apr 9, 2019

This sounds like some sort of an insider electronic hacking situation. If the amount of money is worth it, try hiring a lawyer to take up the job of fighting with the USAA bureaucracy instead of you having to do it. The first order of business would be to move all the money you still have at USAA... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Banking, International Law and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: I ordered something worth $110 online through a website from someone in Austrailia and I'm living in the USA. How can.

How can I get my money back?

I ordered it with my debit card, and the seller has not responded it's been 2 months since I ordered they didn't respond to my emails.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Mar 20, 2019

Contact the bank or institution issuing the card to see if they have provisions for resolving or adjudicating disputes.

Tim Akpinar

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