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Filing a claim against my former university.

Discussion in 'Small Claims & Municipal Court' started by IMTime, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. IMTime

    IMTime Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hi,

    I'm trying to decide if I should file a small claims suit against my former university and/or a professor. A year ago, this professor told me and his graduate student that we would get paid a certain amount to work on a technology demonstrator for a venture capitalist, who would pay us by a grant to the university. He told us well before we finished that the university had already received the grant money and we were going to be paid. Then at the end of the semester, he told us the university had lost the check and didn't have any record of this.

    I moved out of state shortly after this, but I recently talked to the professor's graduate student, who told me the grant eventually came in and he had been paid, and that my money "was waiting for me". When I talked to the professor about this, he told me that there was no way I could get paid as I need to be hired by the university first, and he denied that I was ever supposed to be paid for my previous work.

    The only evidence I have is some email exchanges I had with this professor after I moved. Where after I tell him I moved permanently (which shows I can't work for him anymore), he says he will try hard to see that I'm paid, blames the university's dysfunction, repeats the story that they lost the check, and suggests the venture capitalist could pay me directly.

    I'm considering filing a small clams suit against the university and flying in for the court date, since supposedly they received the grant money. Is this a waste of time? Maybe I should file it against both the university and professor, in case the court sees him as responsible.
     
  2. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    Again, this is a bad time of the year to contact anyone at a university. Wait until winter break is over and then try to resolve the issue with the university. You already have the numbers and contact information - use them.
     
  3. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    Most administrative offices should be open in January. Start with the payroll office. I would be surprised if an individual professor could pay anyone from a grant without it running through payroll. You can also try contacting the Dean of that college. If you are unable to get anywhere with the school file a claim with the DOL for unpaid wages. It is free and they will investigate.
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    More often than NOT, even if a plaintiff receives a judgment, it is rare when he/she collects any of it.

    You alone decide if real world statistics mean anything to you.


    Unless I misread your missive or tome posted hereinabove, you allege the professor hired you.

    I saw no mention of your alleged hiring by any other university official or entity.

    You did mention a mysterious venture capitalist's alleged, tangential involvement.
     

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