Small Claim Law Suit Help

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by littlefishbigpon, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. littlefishbigpon

    littlefishbigpon
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    Hello all, I am a new member here and hoping this is a good place to be!

    Anyways I Own and Operate a small Trucking Company, where I Lease Independent Owner Operators (Sub Contractors) to haul freight for me. I supply the Fuel Card, Allow Cash Advances, Insurance, Plates, etc. for the Contractors. Well I had a Contractor quit, pumped truck full of Fuel and never paid me for it. It has been 2 years now since the Contractor left. I send numerous letters, proved his dispute wrong multiply times then I even hired a Debt Collector to help me collect the debt. The debt collector was unable to collect and gave up in my opinion and I will never use that Firm ever again so I decided to fill a Small Claim Law Suit against my former contractor.


    I read on Iowa State Guideline's that I can file a Small Claim in either the County the Defendant resides or the County where the Debt occurred.

    I tried serving him thru the Postal System which was unsuccessful so I had the Sheriff's Office do it for me.

    Shortly after I got notice of him being Served I got a letter in the mail from a Attorney with a copy of a Request to change the Venue to the Defendant's County and for me to pay $150 Attorney Fees plus any Court Charge for this. I have also had a request to change the date till the end of the month. I have no problem with prolonging the date, but I have a problem with the Venue change.

    What are my options? I don't want to be strong armed by him or his Attorney. I am not scared to go up there, but it is 250miles from me. If we make it to court, he will lose. It is Black and White with plenty of good Documentation and a Solid Lease Agreement between him and me. I can't be 100% sure, but it should be a easy case to win. I just don't know how I can put resistance on my end towards the Venue change.

    Please Help I have no experience with this!
     
  2. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Welcome to Business Advice Forum littlefishbigpon, thanks for joining and posting your business questions. Sorry to hear about your loss and unfortunately I'm not familiar enough with US business law to give you a definitive answer.

    Have you got an attorney representing you in this case? If so what is their advice on the matter?

    Have you thought about whether the amount of money involved is worth all the expense, time and effort required to chase it? Or is chasing the money a strong matter of principle?

    Good luck with it, I hope it works out satisfactorily. Hopefully one of our members, who is more familiar with the legal issues will chip in with some helpful advice.
     
  3. amsgator

    amsgator
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    I don't have any experience in business law and I am not an attorney.

    What I can tell you from personal experience is that it is standard practice for every attorney to ask the other party to pay their client's attorney's fees. Rarely does it happen, so I wouldn't sweat that part too much. I wish I could be of more use to you.
     
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