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Small Claims in California – Do You Have a Case?

The Case …

Dear Bulldog,

Last year I purchased a couch from a furniture store.  The couch was delivered weeks later than promised and when it finally arrived it was the WRONG COUCH! 

I called the furniture store to complain, and to ask them to pick up the wrong couch and bring me the right couch.  They not only refused to refund my money, they refused to exchange the couch for the one I ordered, or pick up the one I didn’t order AND within a few calls, refused to speak to me at all!

After several attempts to get satisfaction from the furniture store, I finally gave up and did a charge back with the credit card company.  Three or four months later the credit card company decided in my favor and refunded my money. 

Six months after that, the furniture store sued me in Small Claims! 

Bulldog! Do they have a case?  Can I counter sue? And why would they sue me in the court downtown when the whole thing happened so far away?
Charged up and Charged back Charlotte

*Sorry newsletter readers, I wrote that the credit card company sued her but it was the furniture store

The Answer …

Dear Charged Up,
Wow, what a bummer! I wish I could print the name of that furniture store here but I don’t want them suing me too!  To answer your questions –

  1. Regarding the downtown court, my guess is they sued you in a court far from where it happened in hopes that you won’t show and they’ll get a default judgment – they sound like those kind of jerks. And you shouldn’t show, it’s the wrong venue and they know it – BUT you’ve got to file a document to challenge the venue and you’ve got to be timely about it so not only will they not get the default judgment they’re looking for they’ll have wasted a bunch of their own time instead of yours!
  2. As far as a counter suit goes, you got your money back from the credit card company, so not really. Unless you spend a bunch of money defending yourself, or getting rid of the wrong couch or something like that you don’t really have anything to sue for.
  3. And last but not least, anyone can sue anyone else for whatever they want, but it sounds like you did everything you could to get satisfaction, to no avail, I don’t think they have a case but to be really sure take whatever documentation you can find to support your story, with that and a little bit of luck the judge will see it the same way the credit card company did, and will rule in your favor.

Need to know if you’ve got a case?  Call Jeff (Bulldog) Levine at 310-641-8299 – Ace Small Claims – there’s no charge to talk and if you decide you need his help let him know you heard about him here and he’ll give you a 10% discount.


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