My question involves small claims court in the state of: Texas
I am going to try and make this as short and simple as possible. If anyone needs more info just ask and I will provide..
Basically I was working for a female Dr in the Dallas, TX area as a Medical Assistant. A guy was doing studies with the Dr I worked for. Guy doing studies used to rent a room in the office I worked in; from the Dr I worked for. Guy moved to another office in same complex. Guy leaves a lot of stuff in old office at Dr office. Guy Also Refuses to remove these items (Filing cabinet/ Computer/ Desk/ Chair and more). Dr, office manager asked guy to remove stuff for over a year he would not remove items.
This all became a big problem when Dr wanted to become an Aetna provider (accept patients with Aetna insurance). In order to become a provider Aetna has to send a rep to make sure all standards are met. Part of the qualification was that there be 2 (two exam rooms). There was already one but the second one was where Guy was storing all of his stuff after he moved. Becoming an Aetna provider was vital to the Dr and her business. Aetna rep said that in order for Dr to become provider the 2nd exam room must be free from clutter including Filing cabinets and so one (I have an email from Aetna stating this).
Dr and Office manager asked Guy again to move his stuff. Guy says why. Office manager explained to Guy why. Guy says that he will talk to Aetna about these so called rules (can only assume guy did not believe Dr and Office Manager) A week goes by guy does nothing, Doesn’t talk to Aetna or remove items. Office emailed Aetna to prove that his stuff must be removed (including filling cabinets). Aetna replies Yes it does. Office manager shows Guy email he still refuses to move his items (his new office was small and again can only assume he did not have room). A couple days go by Guy still refuses to do anything. Office manager ask me (medical assistant) to start moving smaller items (boxes and computer) to guys office. I do as I am told. Office manager and Dr ask that I write a letter stating that Guy has 24 hours to remove all items (including lager items) and leave this letter with the smaller items I moved. This letter was also mailed to Guy.
Guy was extremely unhappy about this and calls the police and says I am stealing from him and trespassing in his office. Police come basically tell us to stay away from each other. Guy says to Office manager and Dr after police leave that he will continue to call police until I am fired. Everyone thought this would blow over the next day but of course it did not. First thing in the morning I show up to work the police come shortly after saying that I was trespassing again. I had not been to his office at all, in fact I had just come in to work. Police say that I should go home for the day because this Guy was not letting up. Around the same time a constable comes to server me and office manager with papers saying we are being sued (Me for $10k and office manager for $5k) in small claims court. I am upset at this point and leave as the police officer asked. As I was leaving I am pulled over and told there was an anonymous call that I had "large amounts of drugs in my car." Police ask if they can search. I let them because I do not have nor have I ever had large amounts of drugs in my car/ I also do not do drugs. Of course nothing is found. I go home (again assuming Guy called police and made claim). I call police to ask about restraining order police say that I should probably just avoid guy or leave my job if he continues. That night I decide to that I would quit at the end of the next work week so that I could train my replacement. This happened on a Thursday (the end of my work week). Came back in on a Monday and of course Guy comes in arguing with office manager about me being there even threatening the Dr to remove his studies. I have to train replacement so I stay until the end of the week. The back and forth continues even though Guy knows I am quitting..
This all happened around 08/2008. My first small claims court date was set in 02/2009. I show up and Guy shows up with a lawyer. As I expected his case was thrown out against me and the office manager. I thought this was the end of it but apparently Guy appealed ruling and a new court date was set in the city of Dallas with a new judge for 07/2009. I found this out when I was looking online at the Dallas County Small Claims site, pure curiosity, and that is when I see there was a date set in 07/2009 then reset to 08/2009 and finally a ruling was given a few days later, that ruling info is not online. So I call the next morning and find out Guy won $10k judgment against me. I can assume Guy only won because I was not there. Or as he had done in the first court setting Guy may have fabricated emails or docs. The fabricated docs were poorly done and clearly forges. Judge even called the guy out on the documents. I had filed a counter claim in the first setting but I did not bring proper documents. The judge said that he would have ruled in my favor if I did. He even suggested that I file a new case against Guy. Either way I let this go because I wanted the whole thing to be done with. My dad passed away in January and the court date was only a couple weeks after the funeral (point being I was not in the mood for any of this).
My question is: 1. Was I supposed to be served or given some sort of notification that I was being sued again or that the original judgment was appealed? 2. Apparently I only had a certain amount of time to appeal the judgment in his favor. By the time I found out I was sued again it was too late. So what do I do now? I do not have $10k so good luck to him getting it but this is also principle because I did nothing wrong.
Here is what I was thinking of doing: 1. Writing the Judge to explain my side. 2. Filing a new suit against Guy.
****A little side info me and Guy really never got along to begin with but we were always civil to each other. There were a few work related arguments. I even worked for Guy a few weeks previously. I worked for the Dr and the Guy did studies with the Dr. The problem with this is the Guy had no medical back ground or any medical knowledge, not even basic knowledge. Guy would force his study patients in before regular patients and demanded the Dr see his study patients anytime he wanted the Dr to see them. Guy would force the Dr to buy medical equipments related to his studies (any items related to his studies were his problem not the Dr). I understand Guy cannot really force people to do things but the Dr was really not all there. The Dr has since retired and gone out of practice because of medical issues related to her mental status. Guy had even yelled at Dr and Dr’s workers in front of patients because he did not like Dr seeing her patients first. The Dr made more money from her patients not the study.
There were more issues related to how Guy ran his studies. There were even ethical issues related to what Guy did during study. There were issues related to money he paid patients and the Dr. One of Guys formal employee’s called the drug company that did the studies and relayed this info and the company did an audit and in turn found out he was doing a great deal of things that were not proper; the drug company ended up canceling all studies with the guy (this happened around the same time he originally sued me). He blamed me for this. Guy had numerous formal employee’s who quit because of the things he did and even shorting the employee’s checks or forcing them to do things they knew were not ethical, medically.