Tuesday, October 13, 2009

No, YOU'RE Out of Order!

After spending the afternoon at Small Claims Court...I don't know why I was even nervous.

Wait, jumping ahead...let me back up:

Our old landlord did some shady sheez with our deposit. When I wrote and told him to make good, he ignored. I wrote again. He ignored. The next letter he received was from a Sherriff. SERVED!

That was many months ago. You may not believe this, but the courts are kind of backed up. You'll figure out why later.

So the court date finally arrives. My dad (and also a landlord in his own right) drove up to give us some pointers about representing ourselves, etc. He was also there for moral support, because sometimes a girl needs her dad.

We had to go through mediation. I was ok with this, I thought 'hey, this guy can't be totally unreasonable...maybe we can just settle this here'. No. Even after admitting the law was on my side he refused to offer an amount that was anything less than offensive because he 'didn't think we deserved it'. Of course a guy with Git 'er done embossed on his checks probably doesn't like being told what to do by a 5'2" blond chick half his age.

I told him that if he didn't want to take the negotiations seriously, it was time to go before the judge.

And so it went. We went before the judge...I pointed out the inconsistencies of his story and he tried to slander our character. It was tense. And then - in a beautiful moment for our justice system - I sat back and tried not to smile as the judge ruled that regardless of his feelings about us and his track record as a landlord...he had no evidence and the ruling would go in our favor.

We won almost $1,400 and he's now got a judgment against him that will hurt his credit. Wonder if he thinks it was worth it. Can't say I really care at this point.

But that's not what I loved about today, oh no. After mediation failed we had to return to the courtroom and wait for our case to be called. That meant they had to finish up with the "Stalking Protection Orders" These. are. glorious.

Some quotes:
Judge: Why do you believe you are in imminent danger from this person?
White-haired 'stached guy: 'Cause she told me to go to the Embassy Suites and I went and she said she was gonna beat my ass and get a Measure 11.
Judge: Had you had an intimate relationship with this person?
White-haired 'stached guy: She kep' askin' me to go to a motel. And well...I went.

Why do you believe you are in imminent danger from this person?

Carhartt-clad, Anthrax beard-sporting, self-absorbed doucheku: Because I can see the anger that comes into her eyes.
Judge: What has she done to threaten you?
CCABSSAD: Well, see, she's totally in love with me. And she comes over for no good reason, like one time she brought me soup. I mean, I didn't eat it, I threw it away because it looked too foreign...........................and I mean, she hasn't hurt me yet, but she's been in this country for 9 months and she has to learn that she can't just do whatever she wants here.
Dad and B were getting seriously annoyed at all the crazy, but I enjoyed it. Watching crazy can sometimes be relaxing. At least it was in this instance. I knew that no matter what I said...I would come off as infinitely more intelligent and credible than anyone else in the room. Except maybe B, but I didn't let him talk much.

Basically I'm here to tell you that I'm awesome. Feel free to rent my legal services. I take payment in the form of baked goods.

17 keep(s) me blogging:

Wow, that was awkward said...

Court is fun. I have been to night court for speeding, small claims to get a settlement from an uninsured woman that rear ended my car and regular court as the defendent in the case of the stolen rubber tree from the holidome.

Wow, that was awkward said...

Oh, and per your point, I'll be heading to divorce court to celebrate turning 30.

Auri said...

Sounds like the trip was worth it just for the guy before you...

Stinkypaw said...

Good for you! The things you'll hear in court can be very entertaining that's for sure!

Gorilla Bananas said...

Congratulation, Missy! It doesn't surprise me you won the case, I've always thought you were a female version of Richard Fish in Ally McBeal. From the way you construct your arguments, I mean. That other guy should be fined for wasting good soup. May I call you Miss Fish?

Rachel said...

Why is it always the hillbilly-looking douches that make ridiculous legal arguments that confirm that they ARE hillbilly douches.

For once, I want to see a spiffy-looking business man go in looking smart and come out with douche all over his face.

erin said...

Our landlord totally and completely sheisted us of our deposit last year. We were supposed to give him a month's notice and we gave him 27 days. I guess he found that reason enough to keep our deposit cause the house was spotless... I mean as spotless as I could get that trash heap of a hellhole.
I didn't go the small claims court way and now I'm totally regretting it!

Mary Witzl said...

Let me get this straight: you offered him soup and he had the nerve to complain? Sheeesh. I hope you let him talk A LOT.

Ages ago, my boyfriend and I took a restaurant owner to Small Claims Court. He had asked us to do some art for a menu; we did it (and a very good job, too), but he refused to pay us because he'd discontinued the particular menu. I can still remember how the judge glared at him and ordered him to pay "these young people who have done exactly what you hired them to do." God bless his round, bald head.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Proud Dad here: I was there and she was AWESOME! Cool, collected and professional... my little girl kicked some serious ass in that courtroom yesterday! [beaming]

Charlie said...

Judge Kara on TV: "[bleep][bleep][bleep] idiot!"

theWaif said...

It's a story worth posting on Bob Loblaw's Law Blog. Srsly tho, I just wish we had the video to post on YouTube so the whole world could be witness to my sister's kickassedness, which is a word, yes.

Ms. Salti said...

Wow, sounds like a fun day! Glad things worked out in your favor. The guy is obviously a douche-nozzle. I love the idiots needing the restraining orders!

The Future said...

So,all that junk on Judge Judy is for real, now I'm really depressed.
Good job, Della.

Orhan Kahn said...

You're only 2 inches taller than my own American girl (who I'm removing from Ohio, you fool!). Read into that what you will.

Glad to hear justice was served in the mighty states of Amekika.

kara said...

wow - wear a party hat!

auri - you wouldn't have thought so at the time. court rooms are poorly lit and smelly.

stinkypaw - well i still never want to go back.

goranas - this will be the 3rd nickname you've had for me in however many years. i'm beginning to have an identity crisis.

rachel - the mental image of that pretty much stops me in my tracks.

erin - when we left i said the win was in honor of every renter who's ever been screwed over by a landlord and couldn't do anything about it. it's been me several times.

mary - the soup guy was the case before us. a stalking protection order. didn't need one of those.

dad - aw shucks.

charlie - you're not wrong.

waif - i know, i'm sorry. if only it could've been an episode of Mock Trial with Judge Reinhold

salti - "fun" didn't reeeeeally describe it.

future - yes mom...people really are that stupid. 8 years of Bush, remember?

or - ohio needs to be removed from ohio.

nic said...

You go, girl. Judges can be awesome. I talked to one along with the short's dad and she jumped all over his case.. He made the mistake of saying that his first responsibility was to his wife and second son so he didn't want to pay as much. She corrected him on that. I wanted to stand up and cheer. Or scream out PWNED!!!

except that word wasn't part of my vocabulary then.

Twinkie said...

my bff had her hubby's ex try to get a protection order against because "everytime we are at my kid's sporting events she smiles at me and says hi and she knows I hate that."

oh and also, "because she runs by my house every morning and I know she does it on purpose." (they live down the street from each other which coincidentally is located right accross the street from the park.... which my BFF runs around every morning)