Is this worth taking to small claims court?

My ex business partner and I had, and still have, as it is currently active an LLC. We had a falling out last year. She said she was dissolving the business, which I recently learned she

did not. She had all of the information, our bank information everything in her possession, as well as every document sent to her address. I have repeatedly asking her numerous times for information. She never gave me anything. She would never even answer the phone. I had nothing to go off of. We had a meeting a few months ago, where she told me that I owed half

of a $588 bill from the bank that was sent to collections. Which I was never informed about prior to it going to collections. In a month and a half we accrued $588 in overdraft and returned

item fees. Being that if she had returned my calls or answered me and gave me the info, I could have prevented these fees entirely, by cancelling transactions coming out. I know that she was contacted about the account constantly overdrawing and having those charges, but she just let it go and never told me until it was too late. Now I am stuck with this bill and it is hurting my credit because she was negligent to tell me any of this. I have every text message saved of me asking, and the bank statement. So I guess my question is, could I take her to small claims court to try to get my name removed from the collections account, or not have to pay those fees that she let go?

Asked on March 24, 2016 under Business Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Small claims court can't remove your name from the account, or order you to not pay fees to third parties (e.g banks, collection agencies, etc). All small claims can do is give you a money judgment against a person who cost you money in some way. So you could potentially sue your ex-partner, based on more or more of breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, even an intentional tort (deliberate wrongdoing, like diverting funds to herself) to recover any losses from her--but you'll still be on the accounts and still owe the third parties.
To try to remove your name from the accounts, etc., you need to go to "regular" country or district court and seek a "declaratory judgment," or court determination, that you are not responsible for these sums. It is questionable, however, whether the amount of money you describe is worth the time/cost/etc. of doing this. You may be best off paying, then suing the ex-partner to get the money back.


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