Can I file a small claim if somebody owes me $150 on a verbal agreementand $180 in property that they borrowed but has not returned?

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Can I file a small claim if somebody owes me $150 on a verbal agreementand $180 in property that they borrowed but has not returned?

Approximately 9 months ago: I lent a friend $100 in cash for him to take his girlfriend out on his anniversary, plus the loan of my car; he used about $20 worth of gas. He agreed to pay it back verbally. March 2011: I lent him $50 to pay off his probation fees. I also lent him my brand new shoes and he still hasn’t returned them and now they are in used condition. I also lent him my $100 monitor and he still has not returned it yet. June 2011: We are no longer friends, and he said he will not pay it back because he states that he does not want to.

Asked on July 1, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court for the money you are owed and the property that has not been returned.  The problem is that since all of these transactions were verbal, the case is your word against his.  You have the burden of proof.

With regard to the monitor and shoes that were not returned, your cause of action (claim) would be for conversion.  Conversion is an unauthorized assumption and exercise of the right of ownership over the personal property of another to the alteration of its condition or to the exclusion of the owner's right.  Conversion is any unauthorized act which deprives an owner of his property permanently or for an unauthorized time.

Your damages (the monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) should be the amount of the loans and the value of the personal property plus court costs.  Court costs include the court filing fee and process server fee.

 

 


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