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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    7

    Default Agreements Made Verbally or by Text Messages

    I had an ex-girlfriend who came here from another country with a tourist visa. In our conversations via Facebook messenger, she needed me to help pay for her plane tickets since not even her own relatives in the USA would help her. She insisted that she'll pay me back and I said OK to that. After spending some time here, she got detained by ICE. She asked me to help hire an immigration lawyer which helped her get freed and apply for a refugee status. After several Federal hearings which finally granted her a 2-year temporary residence, all the expenses accrued became barely a few hundred dollars beyond the $5K limit for any small claims court. The thing is she said she'll pay me by a certain date but then would say she'll do it at another date. She also refused to consent to signing a formal agreement although she keeps acknowledging the amount she currently owes and insisting that she'll eventually pay me back. Recently and originally, she said she'll be able to pay me back by October or November 2019, but then lately she said make it February or March 2020 because she claims she's still struggling to handle her finances given that she's underpaid for a not-yet-legal status. In case she fails to keep her words again come February or March 2020, is it possible to sue her in civil court to have the judge make her consent to formally signing a repayment plan? If not, could I perhaps sue her in criminal court for scamming me? If so to that, can it affect her immigration status? She now lives in Texas. I live in Virginia.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3,152

    Default Re: Agreements Made Verbally or by Text Messages

    Verbal agreements are enforceable in civil court. Not as good as a written agreement but certainly worth a try in small claims court. I doubt you will get any money even if you win but it certainly worth a shot especially if she is concerned that it would affect her immigration status. Not that I know it would.

    No, you can't sue in criminal court. You would have to report her actions to the police for the criminal courts to be involved and it really doesn't sound like you have much of a case. A criminal conviction would certainly affect her immigration status.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1,551

    Default Re: Agreements Made Verbally or by Text Messages

    Quote Quoting BigPete
    View Post
    all the expenses accrued became barely a few hundred dollars beyond the $5K limit for any small claims court.
    You can sue for up to $10k in small claims court in Texas, which is where you'd need to sue since that's where she lives.


    Quote Quoting BigPete
    View Post
    In case she fails to keep her words again come February or March 2020, is it possible to sue her in civil court to have the judge make her consent to formally signing a repayment plan?
    Of course it's possible to sue. However, the result of suing will be a judgment. The court will not "make her consent to formally signing a repayment plan."


    Quote Quoting BigPete
    View Post
    If not, could I perhaps sue her in criminal court for scamming me?
    There's no such thing as "su[ing] in criminal court." As the name implies, criminal courts exist for the purpose of prosecuting alleged crimes. You can, of course, report what has happened to the police where she lives. However, as you described it, no crime was committed. Failing to repay a debt isn't a crime.

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