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  1. #1
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    Default Won in Small Claims - Now What

    My question involves small claims court in the state of: NC

    Quote Quoting Hemi
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    In regards to your statement, 'know how to collect if you win'. Is this applicable in NC? We won our small claims, however the other party appealed it within 10 days, so we have not done anything on that front since someone pointed that on appeal that verdict was automatically thrown out window. Do we still need to take some action?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Won in Small Claims - Now What

    If the other party does not do whatever it is the court ordered them to do, you can resort to judicial remedies to try to enforce the judgment. If you received a money judgment, that would normally mean attempting to collect through garnishment or execution against assets, perhaps after a creditor's exam to identify assets you can reach.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Won in Small Claims - Now What

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    If the other party does not do whatever it is the court ordered them to do, you can resort to judicial remedies to try to enforce the judgment. If you received a money judgment, that would normally mean attempting to collect through garnishment or execution against assets, perhaps after a creditor's exam to identify assets you can reach.
    Are you sure? yes we did receive money judgement. But we learnt that since the other party appealed in 10 days so now that verdict is not enforceable - it is as if that verdict never happened?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Won in Small Claims - Now What

    Quote Quoting Hemi
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    Are you sure? yes we did receive money judgement. But we learnt that since the other party appealed in 10 days so now that verdict is not enforceable - it is as if that verdict never happened?
    the verdict is not necessarily not enforceable but you must wait for the appeal to be heard or denied. If it is a trial de novo (new trial), then yes, the verdict is basically tossed out and the case re-heard. If it is a true appeal, the verdict stands until/if the defendant prevails but it is not enforceable due to the appeal in process. If the defendant loses in the appeal, the judgment is affirmed and you do what it takes to collect on it.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Won in Small Claims - Now What

    If you do not yet have a final judgment because the appeal window remains open, you would have to wait before taking action to enforce the judgment. But you appear to already know that, so what's the confusion?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Won in Small Claims - Now What

    Quote Quoting jk
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    the verdict is not necessarily not enforceable but you must wait for the appeal to be heard or denied. If it is a trial de novo (new trial), then yes, the verdict is basically tossed out and the case re-heard.
    How do I ascertain if this is a simple appeal, or it is a trial de novo - new trial?

    Quote Quoting jk
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    If it is a true appeal, the verdict stands until/if the defendant prevails but it is not enforceable due to the appeal in process. If the defendant loses in the appeal, the judgment is affirmed and you do what it takes to collect on it.
    I think it is not that simple. To my dumb mind this seems to be never ending. Right now it is Arbitration, the party has 30 days to appeal. After that it is District Judge trial, the party has again xx days to appeal. After that it is superior court trial, and I think only after that it becomes a really enforceable judgement. And in my lame estimate it would take a year if not more.

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    If you do not yet have a final judgment because the appeal window remains open, you would have to wait before taking action to enforce the judgment. But you appear to already know that, so what's the confusion?
    well the confusion is that I am merely using common sense here. And lately I have been reading that a person that uses common sense gets fu##ed in court , and that it is rather about using specific court procedures 'n laws to your benefit at the expense of sometimes justice. I pray that is not the case (as lately I have come to admire the court system), but with a clear conscious I need to get aware 'n prep for such eventualities in order to assure an ethical success.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Won in Small Claims - Now What

    Hemi;563161]How do I ascertain if this is a simple appeal, or it is a trial de novo - new trial?
    a little research at the states website.

    http://www.aoc.state.nc.us/magistrate/SmallClaims/appeals.htm

    and yes, it is a trial de novo at the district court level.



    I think it is not that simple. To my dumb mind this seems to be never ending. Right now it is Arbitration, the party has 30 days to appeal. After that it is District Judge trial, the party has again xx days to appeal. After that it is superior court trial, and I think only after that it becomes a really enforceable judgement. And in my lame estimate it would take a year if not more.
    Not sure what you mean about it not being that simple. It is that simple. If the defendant appeals, you cannot enforce the judgment until the appeal has been denied or, if allowed to go forward, until the court hears the appeal and rules on it. Yes, if they want to appeal all the way to the Supreme Court of the US they can but once they leave the small claims court arena, they have to have a valid justification for the appeal. That means only a mistake within the trial will allow an appeal after the district court trial. They will not be granted an appeal simply because they did not like the verdict.

    In fact, without researching further I cannot answer properly but the statement on that website concerning the arbitration makes it sound as an appeal of the arbitration is not automatically allowed. They may have to justify the appeal to take it to the district court trial level.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Won in Small Claims - Now What

    In regards to subpoena of a police officer as witness, the clerk said during arbitration subpoena's aren't made. However, I just came accross:

    Arbitration rules: (http://www.nccourts.org/Citizens/CPr...les_july08.pdf)
    "Subpoenas: N.C.R.Civ.P. 45 shall apply to subpoenas for attendance of witnesses
    and production of documentary evidence at an arbitration hearing under these rules."

    which implies that normal court procedures of subpoena apply for arbitration hearing as well. Should I be filing something before hearing to force a subpoena?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Won in Small Claims - Now What

    Update: Today was our arbitration hearing, presided by a retired Attorney. At the onset he seemed little perturbed that I did not bring an Attorney with me. He then asked me basis of my lawsuit, which I explained but he seemed to brush it aside as not rooted in some law. Whenever I tried to show any of my evidences/receipts he seemed to interrupt me brushing me aside saying 'what evidence you have to prove that the damage originally occured right at the shop'. Some of the defendent repair shop statements that were very clearly contradicted by the receipts of their competitor repair shop (who did a fine job fixing the broken family clock) were also brushed aside by the Arbitrating Attorney.

    Out of all bad news, the one good thing at least that happened was he dismissed both my suit as well as the defendents counter suit, and saying that each party bear there own costs. (Obviously the other party suffered more due to their ratcheted Attorney fees)

    Could you please comment, whether: I really need to have some concrete law-number (whatever you call it) to support my case?. Also, in my perception while the Small Claim Judge (that ruled in my favor) took a significantly broader (and to me very reasonable) look at my evidences, while the Arbitrating Attorney took a very strict to the needle view of the situation. Is this usual? Please provide your valuable comments. Thank you.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Won in Small Claims - Now What

    It's not that you need some "law number" (statute). You need a cause of action such as negligence. I don't know what happened so I could only guess as to what your claim would be based on. Then, as plaintiff you must prove your case. The defendant doesn't have to prove it didn't happen as you suggest. If you cannot meet the burden of proof, you will lose.

    Small claims courts are notoriously "loose" in the application of the law. They abide by the law but they sometimes allow things to be brought into court that would not be allowed in a higher court. Rules are not so strictly enforced because, well, typically the parties are not attorneys and the court doesn't expect them to act like attorneys. Once you get beyond small claims, you are typically held to a higher standard.

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