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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    2,745

    Default Re: How to Respond to a Demand for Payment Email I Don't Owe

    Quote Quoting healthhelp
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    Do I email back? Do I certify mail something? Should I explain to them why I don't owe them anything?
    You're free to communicate with your former employer in any way you think is appropriate, but there's no reason whatsoever to use certified mail.

    Beyond that, it's not entirely clear what's being requested/demanded from you or on what legal or factual basis it is being requested/demanded.

    Also, if the other party likely cannot afford an attorney, then you hiring one would put you in a tremendously advantageous position.

    Quote Quoting healthhelp
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    If I ignore them, I imagine there are two choices: they drop it, or take me to small claims court.
    Those same two outcomes may result if you engage, so there's not much difference. The other possible outcome if you engage will be that you'll waste your time, which is something you said you'd rather not do.


    Quote Quoting healthhelp
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    I'd like to avoid small claims court or any other legal action. Not because I don't owe them anything or because I'm wrong, because it's a waste of my time, and potentially, finances.
    Small claims court might waste a few hours of your time, but it will waste none of your finances (other than some gas money) if you win.


    Quote Quoting healthhelp
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    I want them to know their requests are ridiculous and point them out, and have them stop contacting me.
    Well, then there you go.


    Quote Quoting healthhelp
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    If I ignore them, will it make me "look bad" if they decide to proceed with small claims?
    It will be of little, if any, relevance.

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
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    You do realize that. . . .
    No, "Harold99" does not realize anything logical or sensible. Why in the name of all that is holy do you y'all continue to clutter up thread after thread bickering with such a person?

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    750

    Default Re: How to Respond to a Demand for Payment Email I Don't Owe

    Quote Quoting pg1067
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    No, "Harold99" does not realize anything logical or sensible.
    I understand what I have witnessed in courtrooms...a place where you and your buddies have likely never been.

    Funny, this comes from a guy who starts every post with "I don't understand your question." So I have to ask, is English your first language?

    BTW - KIA started this club but didn't empty his trash before he left.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    8,238

    Default Re: How to Respond to a Demand for Payment Email I Don't Owe

    Quote Quoting Harold99
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    There's absolutely an obligation to make an attempt to settle it before it is heard at trial. Have you ever sued someone in small claims court before? Well, I have, three times in two different courthouses. Each time the judge requires all parties to go outside the courtroom and make one last attempt at settling it before it can be heard in trial.
    Once the lawsuit is filed, sure, judges often try to get the parties to settle it if they can. But there is no general requirement that a defendant reply to the plaintiff's demand before the lawsuit is filed. In some small claims courts it's important for the plaintiff to send a demand prior to filing a lawsuit, and that may be what you had in mind. But bear in mind here that the OP isn't the one making the demand.

    Quote Quoting Harold99
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    Further, in superior court, where I just sued someone, they require an MSC (mandatory settlement conference) before the case is heard in trial. So I don't know how an attorney such as yourself cannot be aware of these court protocols.
    I am aware of it. But again, there is no responsibility for the defendant to respond before being served the complaint. He can ignore the former employer's out of court demands if he wishes and it won't hurt him. Of course after he is served the complaint he must respond and should the judge order a settlement conference, which is common, he'd need to at least participate in the conference. He need not agree to anything in that conference, however.

    Quote Quoting Harold99
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    Have you ever gone to trial knowing that you would lose? Probably not.
    Yes, actually. Because the other side would not settle for what was offered, and I believed that while we would lose, the judgment would be less than what government was demanding. And, I was correct. So while we "lost" in the sense that the court found for the government, I saved my client a whole lot of money by getting a decision for much less than what the government wanted.

    Quote Quoting Harold99
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    Besides, if the OP has sufficient evidence that he does not owe it, then he should supply it to the other party to put it to rest...because who wants to be dragged into court to supply it?
    Like I said before, there is likely no harm in the OP trying to resolve it before a lawsuit is filed. He might get it resolved. My only point here is that the court isn't going to ding him, as the defendant, for failing to respond to the plaintiff's demands prior to the lawsuit being filed. He has no legal obligation to respond to those attempts by the former employer.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    750

    Default Re: How to Respond to a Demand for Payment Email I Don't Owe

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    Once the lawsuit is filed, sure, judges often try to get the parties to settle it if they can. But there is no general requirement that a defendant reply to the plaintiff's demand before the lawsuit is filed. In some small claims courts it's important for the plaintiff to send a demand prior to filing a lawsuit, and that may be what you had in mind. But bear in mind here that the OP isn't the one making the demand.
    Though the small claims paperwork may require that a demand letter be served prior to filing the lawsuit, that is not what I had in mind. I said that the judge, prior to the actual trial, will require both parties go out into the hall and try to settle it.

    I am aware of it. But again, there is no responsibility for the defendant to respond before being served the complaint. He can ignore the former employer's out of court demands if he wishes and it won't hurt him. Of course after he is served the complaint he must respond and should the judge order a settlement conference, which is common, he'd need to at least participate in the conference. He need not agree to anything in that conference, however.
    If a small claims lawsuit is pending, as the OP is concerned with, the right advice IMO would be to at least communicate with the (would be) plaintiff. I simply said that "ignoring them or hiring a lawyer" is very poor advice.

    Yes, actually. Because the other side would not settle for what was offered, and I believed that while we would lose, the judgment would be less than what government was demanding. And, I was correct. So while we "lost" in the sense that the court found for the government, I saved my client a whole lot of money by getting a decision for much less than what the government wanted.
    Cutting a loss in half is not "losing."

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,474

    Default Re: How to Respond to a Demand for Payment Email I Don't Owe

    Quote Quoting Harold99
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    Though the small claims paperwork may require that a demand letter be served prior to filing the lawsuit, that is not what I had in mind. I said that the judge, prior to the actual trial, will require both parties go out into the hall and try to settle it.
    Your small claims court judge, in your area, does that. The judge in my small claims court does not, and not in any other small claims court in my county either. So, unless you have been in the majority of small claims courts, in the majority of counties, in the majority of states, you cannot make that claim.


    If a small claims lawsuit is pending, as the OP is concerned with, the right advice IMO would be to at least communicate with the (would be) plaintiff. I simply said that "ignoring them or hiring a lawyer" is very poor advice.
    Many people disagree with you about that. Sometimes it is better not to engage in the nonsense in the first place. Particularly when people are making ridiculous demands.



    Cutting a loss in half is not "losing."
    It is technically losing, but I agree that for all practical purposes it is not.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    750

    Default Re: How to Respond to a Demand for Payment Email I Don't Owe

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    Your small claims court judge, in your area, does that. The judge in my small claims court does not, and not in any other small claims court in my county either. So, unless you have been in the majority of small claims courts, in the majority of counties, in the majority of states, you cannot make that claim.
    Which applies to your advice and observations too.

    Many people[here] disagree with you about that. Sometimes it is better not to engage in the nonsense in the first place. Particularly when people are making ridiculous demands.
    Ya, sometimes. But sorry, I am not as afraid of folks as 'many people' here are.

    It is technically losing, but I agree that for all practical purposes it is not.
    Not it isn't if, say for example, you asked the IRS to reduce a tax bill by 50% and they refused, but after trial the court orders that reduction. So it is technically and practically a win.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    4,301

    Default Re: How to Respond to a Demand for Payment Email I Don't Owe

    Quote Quoting Harold99
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    But sorry, I am not as afraid of folks as 'many people' here are.
    Maybe you should be and you wouldn't spend so much time in court losing.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    750

    Default Re: How to Respond to a Demand for Payment Email I Don't Owe

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
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    Maybe you should be and you wouldn't spend so much time in court losing.
    You need to go outside and get some fresh air.

    I'm heading out to ride about 50 miles with about 3,000' of climbing. I'll dedicate 10 miles to you since it sounds like you haven't gotten any exercise in a long time.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: How to Respond to a Demand for Payment Email I Don't Owe

    Thank you for your replies.

    After consideration, I decided to respond to them and tell them I donít need to do anything for them, nor do I need to be corresponding to the email writer as she has no legal ties to me (she is one the investors, but on no documents).

    I also thought it would be a good opportunity to point out the reasons why I donít need to communicate with them anymore or do anything for them, and to remind them of the illegal things they have done and possibly are doing since I left. I wrote if they donít stop harassing me, I also can take legal actions for their harassment, extortion, and not abiding by labor laws during my employment.

    Iím not sure if I should be saying all this and show my cards in the case they decide to hire an attorney because I made them mad. Or does it not matter because if I want to get legal representation, we would be presenting it to them anyways?

    My hope is to scare them off and just end it. But by adding that last bit, would I be doing the same thing as they are...extorting them?

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    8,238

    Default Re: How to Respond to a Demand for Payment Email I Don't Owe

    Quote Quoting healthhelp
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    My hope is to scare them off and just end it. But by adding that last bit, would I be doing the same thing as they are...extorting them?
    I don't see that you committed extortion from your description, but then I didn't see exactly what you wrote, either. While responding to them to say that you owe them nothing is fine (though I would have just ignored them until they actually sued, which they might never do), going beyond that to assert to one of the company investors that the company violated the law risks a potential action for defamation and threatening the company with legal action for matters unrelated to the demand the company has made can often be counter productive. If you want them to just go away, angering them over unrelated matters is, in my experience, not helpful.

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