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plaintiff of small claim

Discussion in 'Small Claims & Municipal Court' started by rowdygrl80, Jan 15, 2015.

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  1. rowdygrl80

    rowdygrl80 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Taking sister to small claims court. Her two young kids age:3 and 5 scratched my new car. Almost $4,000
    Worth of damage. She and her husband acknowledges what happened. They went through the process of telling us they would file it on their homeowner's insurance, then said they would write a thousand dollar check but that's all they could do. Just received an (answer) from their attorney today. They are wanting all claims dropped and for us to pay attorney fees. Their Attorney is also trying to send it to civil court. Which I know he can not represent them in small claims if it stays there. I do have a police report,3 estimates,pictures of scratched car and text messages I had printed out of our conversation about the car and her acknowledge about it. My question is what are my chances of winning my case and not going to civil court? Do I respond to their lawyers paper (answer) or just go onto court as usual?
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You should really think about this before you make a very big mistake.

    Arkansas has a very unique civil procedure rule about lawyers and small claims court cases.

    If a small claims court judge determines that any party is represented by an attorney in a case pending in the small claims division of any district court, the case will immediately be transferred to the regular district court docket.

    You can't stop that from occurring.

    If you take this case into district court without a lawyer, you're going to get beaten worse than you can imagine.

    The beating will result in you being ordered to pay your sister's attorney.

    Have you considered turning this over to your auto insurance carrier?

    You shouldn't consider it, just do it.
    You pay premiums for cases like this.

    The chance of you proving that 3 and 5 year old babies damaged your car are nil and none.

    Children that age are deemed incapable of understanding right from wrong, thus incapable of breaking the law.

    You really don't want to be stubborn and press this.

    Your sister likely knows all of this because her attorney has informed her.



    The defense of infancy is a defense known as a legal excuse for a defendant whose mind has not yet met a stage of maturity, which is determined by state and federal courts.

    A defendant who falls within the definition of an “infant,” is excluded from criminal liability for his/her actions; if and only if at the relevant time, he/she had not reached an age of criminal responsibility.

    This age of criminal responsibility varies from the state level; to that of the federal level (where a capital offense has been committed).

    In some states, a connection is, made between infancy as a defense, and defenses that diminish responsibility on the argument of a mental illness.

    Your state, Arkansas doesn't codify the age at which "the defense of infancy" can be asserted. Absent a statute identifying the age at which one's mind has matured to allow one to understand "right from wrong", the common law definition of age 7 applies.

    Both of these babies are under the age of seven, hence can't be held criminally liable for their actions. The defense of infancy is an affirmative defense, and nice applied any "evidence" you claim to possess is rendered null and void. Again, it's time to negotiate. You really don't want to press or pursue this further for your sake., certainly not for your irresponsible sister and BIL.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
  3. rowdygrl80

    rowdygrl80 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    What exactly are you getting at?
     
  4. rowdygrl80

    rowdygrl80 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I understand that. But father was present at time of incident. He was standing not even 10 feet from them. And like I said I do have evidence of them admitting they we're responsible for what their kids have done. And they would pay.
     
  5. rowdygrl80

    rowdygrl80 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    We have a hearing on Feb.2nd will they hear our case there before they make a judgement? Or will we go to civil court after hearing?
     
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    That's not evidence.
    It's not what the court would deem an admission.
    I hadn't finished editing my post.
    I've added more content to clarify it for you.
    The kids are babies.
    The law deems them to be infants.
    Infants aren't responsible for what they might have done.
    The father may have been present.
    That was then, this is now.
    He's bought a few vowels and can solve the puzzle.
    I'll bet his story doesn't support yours today.
    Besides, parents aren't deemed summarily responsible for things their kids do.
    In this case, infants aren't held to the standard a 15 year old might be held.
    They didn't hire that lawyer for nothing.
    You're hiring their lawyer, and you'll be gifting them his or her fees.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
  7. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    When the judge in small claims learns they have a lawyer, the case will be removed to district and the hearing date will be determined, then you'll be served or notified.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
  8. rowdygrl80

    rowdygrl80 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I already know the babies are not reliable. But parents are responsible for the actions of their children. Especially when a parent is watching them do the damage.
     
  9. rowdygrl80

    rowdygrl80 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    So do I need to retain a lawyer myself?
     
  10. rowdygrl80

    rowdygrl80 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I Need good news not bad news.
     
  11. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Good news can be found on any religious site.
    I gave you the undistorted, unbiased truth.
    Parents aren't deemed responsible for every act a child might commit.
    Parents aren't responsible for anything an infant might do, nor can the infant be held accountable.
    On that note, you're free to believe anything you wish to believe.
    I wish you well.
     
  12. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You keep telling yourself all of these legal myths.
    You came here seeking information.
    I'm not here to argue with you, convince you, or debate you.
    My car hasn't suffered $4,000 in damages.
    If it did, I'd simply report the matter to my insurer as vandalism.
    My policy has ZERO deductible for those types of contingencies, and a mere $50 for collision coverage.
    The savings with $5,000 deductibles are myths, also.
     
  13. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    Agreed.

    OP, I believe you're burning some bridges that can never be rebuilt

    Think about it. Lawsuit which will alienate you from your family, or a heavy sigh and deal with maturity. Your choice.
     
  14. rowdygrl80

    rowdygrl80 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Not trying to argue. Just want someone to be blunt about it and just basically say your screwed.
     
  15. rowdygrl80

    rowdygrl80 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I do have maturity thank you! I tried to be an adult about it and talk to her about getting it fixed with no hard feelings. Was gonna let her pay it out, no big deal. She just so happens to have a criminal husband who will try and weezle his way out of everything. I didn't cause the conflict, she chose to. It was ok for them to damage my mother's car twice and fix it. So I can't believe she can't fix mine.
     
  16. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    It is unfortunate you are related to these little delinquents and their loser parents. It won't be long before these heathens damage someone else's property and karma hits them big time. I would consult a lawyer in your area just for reassurance (most consults are free) then avoid this branch of the family like the plague. A criminal BIL and kids who are already that out of control at such a young age are no one you want to waste time with. I have 3 and 5 year old nieces and they aren't quite so innocent at that age as some would like to believe. Further if the parentals are excusing it and not holding them accountable, they will just keep doing more of the same. Sounds like you aren't even the first victim.
     
  17. Betty3

    Betty3 Super Moderator

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    I would just have reported the incident to my car ins. co. but you can do as you wish.
     

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