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  1. #1

    Default Notary-Signed Repayment Promise

    My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: Arizona

    An individual and I both signed a paper in front of a notary in Arizona, where she promised to pay me back $3900. She has not paid any of it back and has cut off contact with me. The maximum amount for the small claims court in my area is $3500.

    Is the right thing to do to contact the small claims court, and ask for the case to be only $3500?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Notary-Signed Repayment Promise

    It depends on what you want to achieve.
    If the small claims court limit in your area is $3500, then that's all you'd be able to collect by pursuing your claim that way. Small claims court is typically easier/quicker than the general trial court and the papers and proceedings in small claims court tend to be designed in such a way that average people can adequately present their cases and defenses without needing to engage lawyers. You would, however, be giving up the ability to claim the other $400 that you are owed, and you might be giving up other claims or damages available to you.

    Going to the general trial court might require a lawyer which, for a $3,900 claim, might not be cost-effective in that a substantial chunk of the recovery would be owed to the lawyer. However, you'd have access to all claims and damages to which you might be entitled.

    Using either route, the best you end up with is a judgment, which must then be enforced against the other party and that, too, requires some investment of time, effort, and, perhaps, money.

    It probably would be worthwhile to speak to a lawyer about possibly representing you so that you can get some specific advice on the pros and cons of the various options available to you. Depending on the particular facts and circumstances, it might be worthwhile to pursue the matter in regular court even with the additional costs.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Notary-Signed Repayment Promise

    I appreciate you taking the time to help me, thank you!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    17,909

    Default Re: Notary-Signed Repayment Promise

    Quote Quoting glacieravelanche
    View Post
    My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: Arizona

    An individual and I both signed a paper in front of a notary in Arizona, where she promised to pay me back $3900. She has not paid any of it back and has cut off contact with me. The maximum amount for the small claims court in my area is $3500.

    Is the right thing to do to contact the small claims court, and ask for the case to be only $3500?
    I am a 40 year + resident of Phoenix and I have used the small claims court and the justice court.

    You will be better off sticking to the small claims court for $3500.

    The higher court is more complicated and adheres rigidly to the Rules of Civil Procedure. Even a slight procedural error can cost you the case.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    Default Re: Notary-Signed Repayment Promise

    Please explain what "the right thing to do" means.

    If you want to sue for the full amount, you'll need to do so in "regular" court. If you're willing to waive the amount in excess of $3,500, then you can sue in small claims court.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Notary-Signed Repayment Promise

    Quote Quoting pg1067
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    Please explain what "the right thing to do" means.

    If you want to sue for the full amount, you'll need to do so in "regular" court. If you're willing to waive the amount in excess of $3,500, then you can sue in small claims court.
    "The right thing to do" means the procedure I would use to get whatever money I can from this person. Sounds like least risky and most efficient would be to forfeit $400 in favor of getting $3500. Thanks for the input.

    This is helpful. Thank you

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    17,909

    Default Re: Notary-Signed Repayment Promise

    Getting whatever money you can from the person has nothing to do with what court you use.

    A judgment for $3500 is going to be just as difficult to collect from a deadbeat as a judgment for $3900.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    24,382

    Default Re: Notary-Signed Repayment Promise

    I'm curious as to why you think it makes any difference that you signed it in front of a notary.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    3,972

    Default Re: Notary-Signed Repayment Promise

    Quote Quoting cbg
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    I'm curious as to why you think it makes any difference that you signed it in front of a notary.
    Notaries are magic, don't you know. At least I have to tell my wife that.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,382

    Default Re: Notary-Signed Repayment Promise

    I let my notary's license lapse because I didn't need it anymore when I left the job I got it for, but it still amuses me what powers some people think a notary has.

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