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Legal advice needed


tazinib1
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Ok I'm not sure if you guys remember or not, but a month ago, I was on a 3 week, low budget feature. I received payment for the first 2 weeks in cash ($2,400) as I do not have a bank account. This post is not about my disdain for banks and why I should have a bank account blah blah blah. So the last week I got paid by check from the production company (owned by the Executive Producer and Director who are husband and wife). I cash my checks at a local liquor store and have been doing so for 10+ years as he does not charge me a % to do so, being a long time customer yadda yadda yadda. So about 3 weeks ago, I start getting calls that the check has bounced. Ok, no problem, I call her and ask what the deal is. She tells me a financer pulled out at the last minute and the funds will be in place that week. This happened 3 weeks in a row. 3 Bounced checks. Last week I call her and tell her I need a money order or cashiers check for the final $1,200 as her check is no longer good. She says no problem, she has called the store and everything is fine. I walk in today and he asks me whats going on. No call. She's lied again and now I have to repay the $1,200 myself. So...I'm going to sue her ass. My question is this.....what is the process for small claims court. What are all the t's I have to cross and all the dots I have to dot before I serve her. I will probably seek the maximum allowed as this has been stressing me out beyond belief.

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Never had to deal with anyting like this but I think if you called the Court House you should be able to get some info. Also watch Judge Judy and get some pointers. :wacko: Not sure if you can sue for stress on something like this but it sure doesn't hurt. Keep records of what you paid out in fees, bounced checks and so forth. Also write down everything you do and say.

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Ok I'm not sure if you guys remember or not, but a month ago, I was on a 3 week, low budget feature. I received payment for the first 2 weeks in cash ($2,400) as I do not have a bank account. This post is not about my disdain for banks and why I should have a bank account blah blah blah. So the last week I got paid by check from the production company (owned by the Executive Producer and Director who are husband and wife). I cash my checks at a local liquor store and have been doing so for 10+ years as he does not charge me a % to do so, being a long time customer yadda yadda yadda. So about 3 weeks ago, I start getting calls that the check has bounced. Ok, no problem, I call her and ask what the deal is. She tells me a financer pulled out at the last minute and the funds will be in place that week. This happened 3 weeks in a row. 3 Bounced checks. Last week I call her and tell her I need a money order or cashiers check for the final $1,200 as her check is no longer good. She says no problem, she has called the store and everything is fine. I walk in today and he asks me whats going on. No call. She's lied again and now I have to repay the $1,200 myself. So...I'm going to sue her ass. My question is this.....what is the process for small claims court. What are all the t's I have to cross and all the dots I have to dot before I serve her. I will probably seek the maximum allowed as this has been stressing me out beyond belief.

 

 

Call others in the crew as well, you're probably not alone.

 

California employment commission is another resource.

 

Try to get the check back from the store, as it's a legal document that you're going to need. Swap it for the $1200.00.

 

The financer is their problem, not yours.

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Call others in the crew as well, you're probably not alone.

 

California employment commission is another resource.

 

Try to get the check back from the store, as it's a legal document that you're going to need. Swap it for the $1200.00.

 

The financer is their problem, not yours.

 

+1 to all - you need to get the state or feds (whatever's applicable) involved as well as I'm sure they're afoul of the labor laws. I don't know that it would do any good in the short-term but it would give them a hugh headache to deal with.

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Call others in the crew as well, you're probably not alone.

 

California employment commission is another resource.

 

Try to get the check back from the store, as it's a legal document that you're going to need. Swap it for the $1200.00.

 

The financer is their problem, not yours.

 

Yep the other crew members have also had problems. Thing is, they could walk in and cash there checks when the funding was there. My problem was the liquor store would re-submit the check and it would take a week to clear. Funds gone...check bounced. I've talked to the owner and he will be a witness, supplying bank and phone records for me. I understand the financer is the one that should go after her, but this is a local neighborhood store and I've known the guy for years. I still have to go into the store daily and I don't wanna ruin our relationship.

 

 

+1 to all - you need to get the state or feds (whatever's applicable) involved as well as I'm sure they're afoul of the labor laws. I don't know that it would do any good in the short-term but it would give them a hugh headache to deal with.

 

Good point as well thanks.

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I went to small claims court once, and it actually was a bit more like Judge Judy than I would have liked. Be factual and documented and dispassionate. You should be ok. The only small thing I got burned on was the one thing I didn't have documented, so make sure you've got all your paperwork.

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Don't forget that you usually need to file your case in the local jurisdiction of the defendant. If you live in one city/county, the production company was in a second, and the actual wages were earned in a 3rd, it may get tricky, but I would start at where the production company's legal address indicates.

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