Can I sue someone I posted bail for?

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Can I sue someone I posted bail for?

I posted bail of $3500 for someone, which was 10% of the full security amount owed. In order to not be liable for the remaining $31,500 should he jump bail, I put the money into his inmate account so that it qualified as “self-bail.” After the trial, of the $3500, he was refunded $3000 and he refuses to pay me back. Do I have a reasonable chance of winning a case if I take him to small claims court?

Asked on September 16, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If someone took money or other property belonging to you, you could sue them for its return (and possibly also report to the police). That's the law. An issue here may be showing that it was your property:

1) If it was in his account, the presumption may be that it was his money; you'd have to provide evidence that you provided the funds.

2) Even if you show that the funds came from you, if they were a gift, then they became his...if he claims you gifted them to him, you may need evidence to show that in fact you did not.

Therefore, in principal, the law should be on your side. However, the facts--showing that it was actually your money under the circumstances of it being in his account--may be difficult.


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