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How much does it cost to hire a small claims lawyer?

Discussion in 'Living in, Use of the Premises' started by Jessica Turek, Sep 27, 2019.

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  1. Jessica Turek

    Jessica Turek Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello friends,
    My neighbor sprayed herbicide to clean up the back part of their property. It was also sprayed to our vegetable garden and everything was destroyed. We figured up the damaged amount and it was around $1500. They countered and offered to settle the amount assuming and we signed a form that we won't come back after them for further damages. But now it has been two months, still they haven't paid the amount. We're now thinking about to legally move it.
    How much does it cost to hire a small claims lawyer?
     
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    In the United States, small claims court should not require a lawyer. The notion is that the amount in controversy ($5,000 to $10,000) is too small to make it practical to pay for legal services or it would consume the entire amount of recovery and effectively chill victimized plaintiffs from bringing a lawsuit for recovery. I can't tell you much about Mississauga, which I assume is in Canada and an area which I travel periodically.

    There is generally a relaxation of some of the formalities in order to ensure that unrepresented plaintiffs can effectively bring their cases in front of the court and not be barred due to their lack of formalized legal training. In this instance, consider how much of the $1,500 in damages would the lawyer consume to hear the case, research the law (as and where may be needed) and make an appearance in court (which includes travel and waiting to be heard.)

    How I see your case - you made a settlement offer where there was the appearance of acceptance but without performance. One could argue either that there was no contract made (or none in good faith by the defendant) or, alternatively, that there was breach of contract where the elements of contract are satisfied (offer, acceptance and consideration/value exchanged.) Costs of enforcement may be recoverable. Generally speaking, attorneys fees may not be recoverable and each party pays their own fees but that is not absolute. Often agreements are signed where a prevailing party in a lawsuit may recover attorneys fees. The law and circumstances of the case may also dictate that attorneys fees should be recoverable.
     
  3. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Have you been in communication with your neighbor about this. What do they tell you?

    Before going to court, write a letter encouraging your neighbor to honor the agreement in order to avoid a small claims action. In the letter set a deadline giving them 10 days or so to respond.
     
  4. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    The post on another site by you or another person using the identical screen name suggests you're a spammer, so I'm not going to waste my time.
     
    Michael Wechsler, Zigner and justblue like this.
  5. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    No need to do so. I'm sure that the original poster, if they are spammers, will surely appreciate that we are savvy and spam free here. I hope the legal information helped them! :)
     
  6. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Probably not. She's in Canada.
     
  7. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    You mean they? :D
     
    army judge likes this.
  8. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I was referring to Jessica Turek, the poster, singular, and guessing female since I have never heard of a man named Jessica.

    :DBack atcha.
     

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