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suing for back rent?


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#1 robertabrown

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:01 PM

after 4 yrs of living w/my boyfriend we have split. we added onto his house and I have lots of money invested. I have agreed to accept less than 50% of that amount in order to settle this peacefully and out of court. He sent me an email stating he owed me x amount of $ and would meet me at his lawyer's office to sign the legal paperwork and pay me. Now he is refusing to pay me. Will his email stand in court since he stated he owes me and stated exactly how much he would pay me? Also, he's threatening to sue me for 4 yrs of rent for the time I lived in his house. Is that possible? I offered to help pay the house note but he refused so I paid the utilities, water, gas, phone and cable and purchased “all” house food and toiletries. Can he sue me for back-rent?



#2 Daddyneedshelp

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 11:58 PM

HA HA..  " threatening to sue me for 4 yrs of rent for the time I lived in his house"  Never will happen.  It would seem he wants to cut short what he was or agreed to pay you in the first place.  That's like you suing him monies for sex while dating him.  Also I believe as I'm going through dealing with emails I believe you will have to suboiena the emails to show that they are true emails.  Now a days people can change what emails say and will need to be verified if used for court.   If you invested monies with the intent to get married then most likely if you can prove what you have spent into the home then he will have to pay you back.



#3 robertabrown

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 05:55 AM

Thank you so much for your time and reply. I greatly appreciate it and now realize he is only trying to bluff me into settling for less money. He's told me that I must agree to his lowered amount or he will pay zero. He's already paying me less than 50% of the amount I listed on the spreadsheet that I've invested into adding onto his house and there's probably $5-6,000 I did "not" include on the spreadsheet (because i was trying to be nice) so he's really getting a deal and I do not feel I should keep increasing my losses. Yes, we had every intention of marriage and discussed it. I had an inground pool installed, which is seperate from the money mentioned above, that cost me approx $13,000 more than what I've agreed to settle for. so right out of the gate I'm losing a total of $18-19,000 which is $13,000 on pool and $5-6000 on addition to house. This amount does not include the 50% of all other cost he's refusing to pay. It seems he has nothing to gain by going to court and I have nothing to lose. I want to avoid court if possible and that's the reason i've agreed to take such a loss BUT if he refuses to pay me anything and I have to take him to court i will ask for "everything" I am legally entitled to so...can you tell me if I could possibly be entitled to pain & suffering or mental anguish due to abuse while there and being the reason i left? it's my understanding that there is no common law marriage in Louisiana so does that mean I would not be entitled to any equity that was put into the house/house additions for the 4+ yrs I lived there? since i have receipts for all money i invested, emails from him stating he owes me and agreed to pay me but has now refused and I have to sue him, can i ask for judgement to have my legal fees to be paid by him? he tells me that his lawyer says he does not have to give me a single penny for the pool that I solely paid for because it's on his land, is that so? I greatly appreciate all of your time and assistance. I am trying to see if it's worth hiring a lawyer  because i surely do not want to lose any more money than i've already lost! :(



#4 jgower

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 08:16 AM

Any judge deciding on a lawsuit for back rent, of course, is going to want to see some kind of written rental agreement as the basis of the claim.  I will assume he doesn't have one.

 

Do not believe anything that "his lawyer says."

 

In my humble opinion, you need a lawyer working on your behalf yesterday. Your position in any kind of suit is much stronger than his, and I don't think his vindictive pettiness will come across well before a judge.  So get someone experienced working on your behalf and get returned what is rightly yours.

 

It is doubtful, however, that your legal fees can be added to any judgment, but it will still be much better to hire an attorney than do this on your own.



#5 Fallen

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 09:16 AM

Unclear why this is on the marriage-divorce board, despite the "every intention" and guy's status as boyfriend (not even fiance or husband).  You also do not mention having sought counsel, so it would be wise to do so (someone with broad civil litigation experience, it would seem).

 

It's unclear whether you're thinking of an unjust enrichment angle, but I'm glad that he sent an email mentioning that he "owed" you money (though we can't know if that was the word he used -- doubtful).  We can't know what some hypothetical court will make of the email he sent.

It's indeed possible that he may countersue you for rent -- anyone may sue anyone else for anything under the sun -- but I don't see that being successful (indeed, it's kinda absurd if you say you put "a lot" in the house, though of course we cannot know what you mean by "a lot").

 

"Can he sue me for back-rent?"

Same question, put another way.  CAN he?  Sure.  Would he win?  No(t unless he landed by some miracle a quite corrupt judge).  I'd say the water-utilities-food-toiletries angle cancels out any viable notion he'd have of you owing him rent, but that's for a judge to decide.

 

"can you tell me if I could possibly be entitled to pain & suffering or mental anguish due to abuse while there and being the reason i left?"

I don't see that, no.

 

"it's my understanding that there is no common law marriage in Louisiana so does that mean I would not be entitled to any equity that was put into the house/house additions for the 4+ yrs I lived there?"

Even if LA allowed formation of common law marriage, everything you've said specfically indicates you did NOT agree you were husband and wife and didn't hold yourselves out to others as such, didn't file tax returns as married, etc.  I'd discard this argument.  What you'd want is breach of promise, unjust enrichment and what not.

 

"can i ask for judgement to have my legal fees to be paid by him?"

You can ask, sure.

 

Please, yes, consult at least two attorneys, interview them, check them out with state bar, ask for client references even (which will surprise them, but if someone can't come up with contact info for at least a couple of folks happy with their experience, that's problematic).

 


I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#6 robertabrown

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 09:36 AM

jgower, no, there is no type of written rental agreement because it was never mentioned until now, 3 months after I've left him and he decides he's not going to pay me what he has already said he would pay. all i want and have begged him for is a peaceful resolution and thus is the reason i have not hired a lawyer already. his offer of the lesser amount was $2,000 less than what he admitted in his email to owing and promised to pay. after i refused that he counter-offered with $1,000 less. both times i told him I would not agree to anything less than the amount he promised to pay and admitted owing and I offered both times to allow him to pay the $2,000 or $1,000 on time if he needed. i have bent over more than backwards to accomodate him and feel he's drving me to the breaking point. i can't keep giving or he'll have it as though he owes me nothing. you've been a great encouragement. thank you for replying :)

 

 



#7 robertabrown

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 09:51 AM

Fallen, i placed my questions under marriage/divorce because it was as if we were so. No, we did not file income tax together because he owns a business and we did keep our money seperate but every other aspect in life was treated as we were married.

 

yes, in the email he sent to me the word "owed" is absolutely the word he used. His exact comment was "this is the amount I've come up with that i owe you but not sure I can afford this amount".

 

when I said that I've put a LOT of money into the 1800 sq ft addition to the house and pool house we built I am referring to $75,000+. That is a LOT of money to me, maybe not to others.

 

your mention of a corrupt judge is one of my biggest concerns. his lawyer is a very close personal family friend and they are friends with one of the judges in our parish. my greatest concern with taking him to court is that his lawyer will request to have our case put under their judge/friend. i'm thinking i may have no choice but to hire the judge's exwife as my lawyer in hopes her cases can never be in his courtroom.

 

in closing please allow me to emphasis that I am a Christian that attends church or prayer meetings daily. I pray for God's will and guidance in every decision to be made. I was not a Christian when living with my boyfriend. My point is that I refuse to be dishonest and have been totally honest with you guys on this board and with him. Most of the amounts that I charged him for were less than I actually paid because I wanted to be sure to be fair and this is how he treats me in return :( I decided to ask for legal advice online to gain knowledge of my rights before paying for an attorney because I am praying for God to lead me and show me if I should settle for $1,000 less to prevent court and more hard feelings or if I should go to court and ask for what is rightfully due me. My hearts' desire is to keep peace, which isn't happening anyway at this point but i've tried with all i have.

 

thank each one of you again and God bless! :)

 

 

 

 



#8 Fallen

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 11:43 AM

"No, we did not file income tax together because he owns a business and we did keep our money seperate but every other aspect in life was treated as we were married."

Well, not in any legal sense even if so in a functional way ... wouldn't matter if you'd lived together for 40 years, I'm afraid (again, even if you entered into a common law marriage where the law allows formation of them -- the fact that you refer to him as boyfriend would nix the very notion). 

 

If an attorney believes a judge should be recused, then (s)he'll seek that.  At any rate, worse-case scenario, that's why there are appeals (one can even often appeal a refusal to recuse oneself, though LA is a weird legal world all its own).

 

You being represented by an ex-wife wouldn't likely preclude a judge from hearing the case by default.

 

As for the other commentary, I'm not sure why you bring up religion or the notion that someone would think you weren't being honest (not that one has anything to do with the other).

 

The message boards can't provide legal advice as such; just information and feedback.  Now that you have that, I'd go forth and seek counsel.  Good luck and report back.  Some of us are always interested in how things turn out.

By the way, I wouldn't presume that a long, strong, firm nasty note from a lawyer wouldn't do the trick v. a court action.  I'd be "no more Ms. Nice; you overplayed your hand and played me, so your refusal to settle this is on you."  (If a trial costs you what you'd at one point decided to let him get away with anyway and the judgment comes back at the level you want, you're effectively no worse off than you'd have been had he agreed to cough up the dough and not play games.)


I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#9 robertabrown

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 12:46 PM

hi fallen,

 

i brought up my religion simply to emphasis that i was not trying to get blood from a turnip, so to speak. i am not trying to retaliate or hurt him in any way. i felt bad for all the things i'd been saying in my favor only and by asking about the equity. someone mentioned that to me last night so i thought i'd ask. i didn't want it to seem as though i was out to get what ever i can any way i can. actually, i'm still willing to settle for the original amount we agreed upon, which i feel is much less than what would be awarded in court after hearing from you guys. it's not all about the money, it's mainly about trying to settle this peacefully but I can't continue to let him take and take from me.

 

you have been kind with taking so much time to help me. i'm going to email him one last opportunity to settle for the amount we agreed upon and let him know if he isn't willing and i have to hire a lawyer there will be no settling after that. i will inform all of you on the outcome.

 

thanks again!!!



#10 FindLaw_Amir

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 12:51 PM

Keep us posted.


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#11 robertabrown

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 01:28 PM

update:

 

i emailed him with the info gathered from you guys and offered one last opportunity to settle and asked that he inform me of his decision by Monday afternoon. i told him we did not have a rental agreement and rent was never mentioned until 2 1/2 months after we split and his reply was...."do you have a signed agreement that i would pay you for the things you bought for the house while living there?"

 

i replied that i refuse to argue with him and asked that he only email me back with his decision to settle or go to court.



#12 Fallen

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 01:36 PM

I wouldn't have suggested contacting him again or bringing up the rent issue again, or even giving him "another chance" and indicating you'll take what he agreed to, but ... never mind.  I'd start gathering lawyer contact info and not waiting to see whether he'll string along.


I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#13 Daddyneedshelp

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 01:56 PM

Fallen is right. Don't engage with him. He has made his decision. He is just toying and playing games. Now you have to make yours up. Also it's always better to never give a heads up. Trust me I know. Lol

#14 robertabrown

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 02:24 PM

fallen and daddyneeds help,

i totally understand what you are saying but being the nice and attempt to be Christ like person that I am I want to settle out of court if possible. it hurts me to think of having to battle it out. i want peace, peace peace. i can't stand confrontation, bitterness and arguing. from a financial standpoint i know that i should have hired a lawyer the day i left but my heart wants to to give him the chance to settle out of court.

 

yes, i agree that he's toying with me and i'm not blind to that fact. i do realize it but again, the good heart in me wants to do the nice thing. i thank God everyday that I have a humble and good heart. he must one miserable person to be so tormented and angry all the time. i go to prayer meeting nightly and pray for him and his parents :) no, i am no longer in love with him, lol.

 

oh, by the way i am no longer allowing him to toy with me. when he came back with "so do you have a written agreement that i signed stating i'd pay you for what you bought for the house while living there" I did not even answer his question. instead I only replied that I wasn't going to argue and asked him please not to email me again unless it was to inform me of his decision to settle or go to court.

 

i'll continue to keep y'all posted :)



#15 pg1067

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 07:26 AM

Please note that I only quickly skimmed through the numerous follow up posts.

 

we added onto his house and I have lots of money invested.

 

"Invested"?  I assume this means nothing more than that you paid for some of the improvements to his house.  Correct?  Or did you have a written contract that required him, at some point, to pay you a return on your "investment"?

 

 

 

I have agreed to accept less than 50% of that amount in order to settle this peacefully and out of court. He sent me an email stating he owed me x amount of $ and would meet me at his lawyer's office to sign the legal paperwork and pay me. Now he is refusing to pay me. Will his email stand in court since he stated he owes me and stated exactly how much he would pay me?

 

Let's start with an assumption.  I'm assuming that you didn't really "invest" anything.  Rather, I'm assuming that you simply contributed to the cost of improving his home because you assumed you'd be together forever and might someday marry.  Perhaps you even had erroneous beliefs about what the relevant law was.  In any event, I assume your so-called "investments" were nothing but gifts.  Of course, I certainly could be wrong about that.

 

Assuming my assumptions are correct, then your ex-BF never had any obligation to you in the first place.  Thus, the question is whether his e-mail stating that he owes you $X is sufficient to create a debt despite the fact that his e-mail was incorrect and, in fact, he did not actually owe you $X.  I do not believe that is the case.  I have no idea how much $$ is at issue here, but you should consult with a local attorney if you really want to pursue this.

 

 

 

Also, he's threatening to sue me for 4 yrs of rent for the time I lived in his house. Is that possible? I offered to help pay the house note but he refused so I paid the utilities, water, gas, phone and cable and purchased “all” house food and toiletries. Can he sue me for back-rent?

 

Can he sue you?  Of course.  Anyone can sue anyone for anything.  Will he win if he does sue you?  Probably not.  You were, of course, his tenant.  However, the facts suggest that you lived with him pursuant to an oral or implied agreement that did not require payment of any rent.  Moreover, even if a court were to find that you had an obligation to pay a "reasonable" amount for rent, if you paid 100% of utilities and groceries, then 50% of that amount may effectively offset any rent owed.



#16 robertabrown

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 07:34 PM

Good evening everyone,

 

I told you that I'd keep you updated so here's the latest. I took your advice and got tough. I informed him that I would not compromise another penny and that a decision must be made today (almost 2 weeks ago). I asked him to reply back to me only to inform me of his decision to yes, that he'd agree to the amount that he stated he would pay me or no, he wants to go to court. He replied and said that he would agree to the amount. So now the amount has been settled

 

Today I received a copy of the Receipt and Release from his close friend/attorney that is acting as Notary Public to have the documents signed, witnessed and notarized. I would like to ask you to review and let me know if you see anything that I should be concerned with or request to be revised. My daughter that lived with us the entire time was at the age of 20 so there was never a minor child living there. I will ask for that to be corrected. The document is below: 

RECEIPT AND RELEASE

 

STATE OF LOUISIANA

PARISH OF

Be it known and remembered that on the day hereinafter set forth before me, the undersigned Notary Public, duly commissioned and qualified in and for the state and parish aforesaid personally came and appeared:

*** AND ***

(hereinafter referred to as the parties), who personally known to me declared unto me, Notary, and in the presence of the undersigned competent witnesses that, to wit:

The parties were in a romantic relationship from approximately May 2009 through July 2013 and resided together at (ADDRESS), (being the solely owned property of ***) and during the relationship, ***, paid for a pool, brick fence with light fixtures and certain other movable items and permanent fixtures for the home. 

For and in consideration of the sum of SEVENTY FIVE THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED NINETY TWO AND 37/100 ($75,792.37) DOLLARS, receipt of which is hereby acknowledged by the parties, ***, does hereby release, acquit, discharge and covenant to forever discharge, ***, for any claim she might have or that he might be legally responsible for and further discharge, ***, from any and all actions, causes of actions, claims and demands resulting from expenses incurred during their relationship.            The parties further declare that it is understood and agreed that this settlement is a compromise of a doubtful and disputed claim and this payment is not to be construed as an admission of any liability on the part of, ***, hereby released by whom liability is expressly denied. 

***, now declares to me, notary and the undersigned witnesses, that she understands that this compromise concludes all claims against, ***    ***, further agrees that this release is given by her after mature deliberation without any threat, duress or intimidation towards her or by the party released herein or by any other person or persons and in consideration for the foregoing payment that the party released herein is truly, finally and completely discharged from all claims aforesaid.

For and in consideration of the settlement amount set forth herein, ***, further agrees to defend, indemnify and hold harmless, ***, from any and all claims, damages, liens, costs and attorney’s fees resulting and to result from any claim and/or lien presented by any attorney rising out of any contract, agreement or contact with the parties in connection with this matter.

For and in consideration of the settlement amount set forth herein, ***, further agrees to fully defend and indemnify and hold harmless, ***, from any and all past, present and future claims, demands, damages, cost, expenses, losses, actions and causes of actions made by ***’s, minor child.

It is further agreed and understood that the restitutions herein are contractual in nature and  do not constitute a mirror recital.  The parties further declare that they have carefully read each page of this Receipt and Release, know and understand the contents thereof and sign their name of their own free will ambulation. 

Thus done and signed in duplicate originals on the                  day of                            , 2013, in the presence of me, notary and the undersigned competent witnesses.

WITNESSES:

 

                                                                                                           (SIGNATURE OF WITNESS)                                                                               ***

 

                                                                                                                                                            

(PRINTED NAME OF WITNESS)                                                            ***

 

                                                              

(SIGNATURE OF WITNESS)

 

                                                              

(PRINTED NAME OF WITNESS)

 

                                                                 

(NAME OF NOTARY)

LA BAR #: 0000

NOTARY PUBLIC

 

Thanks so much!!!

 


Edited by FindLaw_Kevin, 13 November 2013 - 11:16 AM.
This post has been edited to remove personal or identifying information. -Moderator


#17 FindLaw_Kevin

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 10:08 AM

It might be wise to take this contract to an experienced attorney.  Having mostly handled everything else without, you would probably only have to pay for an hour or two of an experienced attorneys time, and it would likely be well worth it to make sure that you're getting what you think you're getting.


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#18 pg1067

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 01:21 PM

Sorry, but this is beyond the scope of what you can reasonably expect of folks on a message board.






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