My question involves small claims court in the state of: Ohio.
I am being anger sued by my lifelong friend Mike.
I have 3 questions.
My friend Mike and I started a business selling woodcrafts on an online craft site. When we started out there was$900 in startup cost. I was broke and my credit was shot. He was broke but was able to pay for all the supplies at home depot on his credit card. So left there & went to my house that day with all the supplies to start crafting. We used my house because I had all the best woodworking tools and space. The agreement at this point was that I would pay him back my share of the $900 startup cost ($450).
BUT!!! Right away In the beginning I found myself alone doing all the hands on crafts myself & he at no point made himself available to do his part of the labor. I created several unique crafts, some ideas were borrowed from various websites that I researched & some were original. I completed enough product that would yield double our investment once sold all on my own. I also bought some minor loose end components costing $40. I used my idea, my equip, my electricity, my time. The custom designs alone are my intellectual property.
Then I set up an Ebay website product store which took a little time. I proceeded to list all 53 products; I had to do multi angled photographing of the products in a makeshift studio which took a few days. Then I had to research and come up with all the creative romance text and specs of each woodcraft item, this too took a considerable amount of time to do. I used my computer, my internet, my electricity, my time.
At this point my buddy Mike decided he wants out and wants his money back, no more, no less, $900 even Steven. I told him that I did not have it & that he will have to wait until the profits come rolling in. Well the profits did not come rolling in. I was disappointed. Only 7 items sold & its been over a year. I gave it my all.
So I calculated all the listing fees & sold item fees that Ebay pounds upon you. Then I calculated all the shipping & handling, boxes and packing material as well. I also spent money on advertising. I came up with $179 in the account to which I split & wrote Mike a check for his half but he was not good with that.
I plan on waiting and adjusting prices to sell the rest of the products until he gets his money & I get paid for my time. But when i try to talk to Mike about this, he just yells at me, cusses and demands his money. He does not think I should get compensated for my time and effort. I spent weeks upon weeks in my garage fabricating all these great products for pour business and he bails on me then sues me in court for $900 plus his credit card interest & court cost.
I hate losing a friend but I hate losing money more. I need to live too.
1. Do I have a right to get paid for my time?
2. How do you think the small claims court judge will handle this case?
3. Do i have to pay his court cost and credit card interest?
one more question...Is mike considered and investor or partner & does that make a difference in court?
Any insight on this matter would be helpful.
Peace & Love,