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Small Claims Court

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NEWS
July 19, 1990 | Researched by: Kathie Bozanich; Los Angeles Times
A person can sue another person or a business in small claims court if the following three conditions are met: 1. The monetary amount the person is seeking does not exceed $2,000. 2. The money is owed directly to the person filing the claim. 3. The person filing the claim has made a written or oral demand for payment.
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BUSINESS
April 6, 2014 | By Donie Vanitzian
Question: Our manager refuses owner requests for documents, causing our association to be sued several times a year. Each time she comes to court as a defendant, she brings her so-called evidence and answers, "Your honor, see Exhibit X. " She overloads on exhibits, most of which are contrived for the purpose of that hearing. Her main strategy includes putting on big exhibit head notes supposedly explaining what each exhibit consists of, but when the exhibits are scrutinized and read, they have little or nothing to do with what is head-noted.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 19, 1995 | LEN HALL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A group of Avenida Cadiz homeowners who collectively said "No" have won a $76,000 judgment from an absentee landlord whose tenants were dealing drugs in their neighborhood. After nine months of crime and drug traffic at a rented house on their quiet street in southwest San Clemente, 29 residents banded together and took the homeowner to small-claims court last June. Their victory, upheld on appeal, handed down by Orange County Superior Court Referee Greer H. Stroud, was announced this week.
BUSINESS
October 2, 2013 | By David Lazarus
The government shutdown has caught the Federal Trade Commission in its cold embrace, and that means the do-not-call list is on the fritz. Telemarketers have free rein to call people. Robin thus asks a timely question: Can you sue a telemarketer? And the answer is: Yup, you can. And you could win up to $1,500 in damages for each violation. But it may not be easy. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions First, you'll need to send the marketer a certified letter asking them to knock it off. Finding these guys isn't always easy.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 1998 | JAMES RICCI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Mr. Kivowitz had this problem. Here he'd amassed 80,000 frequent-flier miles with United Airlines, and used them to take an 11-hour trip, but when the in-flight movie began, his individual viewing screen remained blank. Every seat on the plane was filled, so he couldn't move to another, and what was he supposed to do to pass the time? Walk up and down the aisle for 11 hours? Somebody was going to pay for this. But if Mr. Kivowitz thought he had a problem, he should have walked a mile in Mr.
BUSINESS
March 25, 2012 | By Scott J. Wilson, Los Angeles Times
If you have a dispute that can't be resolved, you may consider taking it to Small Claims Court, which is designed to be far cheaper and quicker than regular court. In this forum there are no attorneys or juries — you present your own case and the person you're suing gets the chance to tell his or her side of the story. Some key things to know: •How much can I ask for? The maximum amount an individual can sue for in Small Claims Court in California is $10,000. For businesses, the limit is $5,000.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 1, 1998
Re "Full-Court Press on Small Claims Division," Feb. 21. Having been a claimant in the small claims court of Commissioner Martin Green, I'm afraid I have to take exception to reporter James Ricci's tribute. Even though I won a small victory in Division 114, I found Green to be a perfect example of judicial arrogance, a man with casual contempt for the law. If The Times finds Green praise-worthy, it's no wonder that most people regard the judicial system as a calamity beyond repair.
BUSINESS
February 2, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
The owner of a Honda Civic hybrid won an unusual Small Claims Court lawsuit Wednesday against the auto giant that some legal experts believe could change strategies for both Small Claims Court and class-action litigation. A Los Angeles County court commissioner ruled that American Honda Motor Co. negligently misled Civic owner Heather Peters when it claimed the hybrid could achieve as much as 50 miles per gallon. Court Commissioner Douglas Carnahan, who mailed his 26-page decision to Peters and Honda, awarded her $9,867.19 in damages.
BUSINESS
January 4, 2012 | By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times
It was Honda Motor Co. versus the little guy Tuesday, as a lone Civic hybrid owner faced off against the automaker in Small Claims Court in Torrance. Heather Peters, a 46-year-old Los Angeles resident, took the unusual tactic after learning of a proposed class-action lawsuit settlement that covered her 2006 vehicle. That settlement, over the Civic hybrid's worse-than-advertised fuel economy, would give trial lawyers $8.5 million while Civic hybrid owners would get as little as $100 and rebate coupons for the purchase of a new car. Peters opted out of the class action and instead filed suit in Small Claims Court, where California law prohibits defendants like Honda from bringing attorneys.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 28, 1992
The Small Claims Court of the North County Municipal Court will relocate to Escondido on Monday, freeing up the courtroom it had used in San Marcos for use as a second traffic court, officials said Thursday. The Small Claims Court, where disputes of claims of $5,000 or less are argued directly by the parties without benefit of attorneys, will operate out of the Escondido branch of the Municipal Court, 600 E. Valley Parkway. The Small Claims commissioner is Tony Brandenburg.
BUSINESS
August 22, 2013 | By David Lazarus
Sharon traveled recently to Europe for a cruise. Unfortunately, her bags didn't keep pace. They were lost somewhere along the way by Brussels Airlines, and Sharon had to make do without luggage for the duration of her trip. She wants to know if she can sue a foreign airline in U.S. Small Claims Court. Good question. Small Claims Court is typically for matters falling under state jurisdiction, but it's not impossible to sue out-of-state entities. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions In this case, Sharon might find it challenging to go after Brussels Airlines.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 25, 2013 | By Richard Winton and Ari Bloomekatz
A friend of the late Menifee woman who boasted the Guinness World Record for shoe-related items said she had been in a rocky relationship with the man now being held on suspicion of murder in her death. Darlene Flynn, 58, was found dead earlier this week in the backyard pool of her Menifee home, and her 29-year-old boyfriend, Justin Charles Smith, was arrested after officers found him running shirtless from the Stone Lane residence. A friend of Flynn's, 71-year-old Lenore Rice, told the Press-Enterprise in Riverside that Flynn and Smith's relationship had been "volatile" and that they were no longer together.
BUSINESS
May 10, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
In a legal victory for Honda Motor Co., a judge has reversed a small-claims judgment that would have forced the automaker to pay a Civic hybrid owner nearly $10,000 for overstating the vehicle's fuel economy. But while the ruling ends a high-profile battle with hybrid owner Heather Peters, Honda still faces numerous legal fights in Small Claims Courts across the country. In an unusual move that garnered national attention, the Los Angeles woman rejected a class-action settlement that would have paid Civic hybrid owners as little as $100 to $200 each and rebates on a new Honda purchase.
BUSINESS
May 9, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch
American Honda Motor Co. has won a reversal of a high-profile small-claims case that would have forced the automaker to pay a Los Angeles woman nearly $10,000 for overstating the fuel-economy claims on the Honda Civic hybrid. Superior Court Judge Dudley W. Gray II ruled Tuesday that the automaker was within its rights to advertise the Environmental Protection Agency-derived fuel-economy ratings for the vehicle. "Federal regulations control the fuel economy ratings posted on vehicles and advertising claims related to those fuel economy ratings," Gray wrote in the ruling.
BUSINESS
March 25, 2012 | By Scott J. Wilson, Los Angeles Times
If you have a dispute that can't be resolved, you may consider taking it to Small Claims Court, which is designed to be far cheaper and quicker than regular court. In this forum there are no attorneys or juries — you present your own case and the person you're suing gets the chance to tell his or her side of the story. Some key things to know: •How much can I ask for? The maximum amount an individual can sue for in Small Claims Court in California is $10,000. For businesses, the limit is $5,000.
BUSINESS
February 3, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Except for saying that it will appeal, American Honda Motor Co. has not talked about its loss in a high-profile Civic hybrid lawsuit this week over fuel economy claims. But Thursday evening, the automaker issued a statement on why it believes a Torrance Small Claims Court commissioner ruled in error when he awarded Civic owner Heather Peters $9,867.19 in damages. He ruled Wednesday that Honda negligently misled Peters when it claimed the hybrid could achieve as much as 50 miles per gallon.
NEWS
June 4, 1987 | JEFFREY S. KLEIN
There is an effort under way in Sacramento to make the people's court a richer place to visit. A state assemblyman has introduced a bill to increase the amount you can win in small claims court. The current limit is $1,500, while the amended bill increases the cap to $2,500. And thanks to Judge Joseph A.
BUSINESS
February 2, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch
This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details. There's a chess game afoot involving three distinct parties in the Honda Civic hybrid Small Claims Court case. Each will try to figure out what the nearly $10,000 award to Civic owner Heather Peters of Los Angeles means to its interests and will then map out a strategy. Trial attorneys have issued statements attempting to shore up support for a class-action litigation settlement between other Civic hybrid owners and the automaker that would pay the lawyers $8.5 million.
BUSINESS
February 2, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
The owner of a Honda Civic hybrid won an unusual Small Claims Court lawsuit Wednesday against the auto giant that some legal experts believe could change strategies for both Small Claims Court and class-action litigation. A Los Angeles County court commissioner ruled that American Honda Motor Co. negligently misled Civic owner Heather Peters when it claimed the hybrid could achieve as much as 50 miles per gallon. Court Commissioner Douglas Carnahan, who mailed his 26-page decision to Peters and Honda, awarded her $9,867.19 in damages.
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