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Everything posted by KMG

  1. Well, it got worse. My attorney filed a motion to reconsider without telling us or letting us review it. Went to the hearing and the opposing attorney brought up a dozen cases that had nothing to do with our case, rattling off nonsense, the judge agreed with him, denied our side's motion. The other attorney asked the judge to increase his award for his legal fees and the judge said absolutely. So now we get to pay out even more. As we walked out, the judge asked the other attorney to stay to discuss "that other case." Hmm... Don't think we could've won no matter what. My question today, how do we pay the judgment and make sure the other attorney notifies the court to show it's satisfied? We don't trust them at all, obviously. I tried to see if the court could handle it, but they said no. We're thinking of sending it certified mail, with copies to our attorney and the court, or is there some legal form we need? We found the Satisfaction of Judgment form but in our state, that's for the judge to sign. We even thought of taking the payment to the attorney's office and having him sign something.
  2. Yes, the procedures and rules of evidence were exactly why I hired the attorney after the judge told me to. Unfortunately though, now I have the worst outcome, I am paying both attorneys and the double dipping landlord and I am the one who had damages, which also weren't presented by my attorney.
  3. Well, since both my lawsuits started at the same time, they might as well end at the same time. This one was finally dropped. The neighbor was extremely angry, he probably has a bit of dementia, according to his wife who snuck out to apologize to us. A few days ago he trespassed again, going way back into a secluded wooded area, we were afraid he would fall and sue us for the house so we had to put up no trespassing signs.
  4. I know! It was a jury trial. They never heard from our attorney that the landlord had NO damages because he rented to the tenant that blasted the music immediately. The attorney didn't explain clearly about quiet enjoyment or constructive eviction. Didn't mention unjust enrichment at all. We weren't allowed to mention the decibel readings. The landlord's side blatantly lied several times, which I guess is typical. And by the end, even the judge thought it was fair that we only use the property so many hours a week and the loud tenant could have a turn blasting loud music for so many hours a week. Except we didn't rent part time, we worked 8 am to 10 pm. And we didn't have limited hours in our lease. Ugh. I do think the judge added an extra sentence to the jury instructions on constructive eviction that didn't make sense and I would like to check that out, sounded like it came from a regular eviction instruction, where the tenant was liable for rent until it was re-rented, exactly the opposite of a constructive eviction.
  5. It was a breach of contract, commercial lease. We are a small business. We left two months early after landlord refused to fix a nuisance. He re-rented immediately and was in the unit upfitting for the next tenant days after we moved out. They sued us for that month's rent and the following month. We had dated photos and written proof that weren't brought up. The attorney barely touched on it, instead spent his time on one part of our counterclaim. I wouldn't sue for malpractice. I take responsibility for not insisting that I see what he had prepared.
  6. We lost a civil case, a jury trial. While our attorney did a good job on some parts, he did not get the most important evidence in, he got stuck on one minor aspect of the case that he thought would tug at the hearts of our jury, and missed talking about the very basic defenses of the complaint or getting in the dated photos and written documents proving our side. After the verdict, then our attorney really fought for us and the judge even gave us a small credit on the judgment because he knew that part of the case was proven through the testimony. It just wasn't pointed out to the jury and followed up with the rest of our evidence on that point, so they missed it. I am just sick, I had wanted to represent us pro se and hired the attorney only because the judge told me to at the pre trial hearing. He's an older man, very experienced and respected and we liked him, but he got off track and now we're out thousands of dollars. Do we have any options in a situation like this? Can we appeal based on an attorney forgetting to address the main defenses? This is SC Magistrate Court.
  7. The case has been continued and we did not have the scheduled pre-trial hearing. His attorney is refiling the complaint in a higher court. Our attorney believes it's to compel us to do something to our property. He believes this is good for our side, because now he can depose the plaintiff and hire experts. We have asked the attorney to file a counterclaim for whatever he can find. He said he will as soon as the updated complaint is filed. We don't have any idea what the neighbor wants us to do. And we can't imagine a judge or jury agreeing to force the lowest lying property to manage the higher property's rain water. That would set a terrible precedent.
  8. I agree with this. Let them leave. This happened to us once when we were renting a beautiful home in CA. The landlord told us he was going to list the home and asked us if we wanted to leave early. Of course, we did. Who wants their lives disrupted daily with strangers going through their homes? Not us.
  9. Yes, it can even mean noise. I've found several similar cases.
  10. I appreciate all your feedback, facetious or not! We rented half of a commercial building for almost 3 years, the dividing wall the landlord constructed when we moved in allowed us to hear conversations from the other suite and they could hear us, which wasn't a problem. Our business included taking phone orders, doing customer service, writing proposals, etc. We have been in business 29 years. In the last few months of our lease, the other tenant moved out and the landlord rented to a loud dance studio that blasted music into our suite. He didn't require them to put in soundproofing. We complained several times and the landlord finally told us they would not fix it and they would not ask the other tenant to turn down the volume. I replied that we couldn't work under those conditions so we would have to leave early. It took 8 weeks to secure a new location and move out, they continued to blast the music every day, and then they moved into our suite.
  11. This is small claims court. I've talked with two attorneys and have sat in on two jury trials to see how the court operates. I've researched tons of similar cases online, and have compiled our evidence - I have evidence for every point of the complaint we disagreed with and for every point in our counterclaim. I have proof of damages/lost revenue from multiple years of tax forms. I've been coached on how to question witnesses and get evidence accepted. I've read appeals on similar cases. A couple of times I got nervous and asked the attorneys to represent me, but they didn't want to go to small claims. So here I am. So I want to go to the pretrial hearing totally prepared for anything and everything, organized and professional. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to sit in on one to see how they do things. After the judge goes over things with the plaintiff, if he hasn't presented the correct lease, I do want to ask if he found it and if not, I want to ask the judge to dismiss the plaintiff's complaint for breach of contract since he doesn't have the contract. Does that make sense? He had three months since we answered the complaint to get it. I have it, but I don't have the burden of proof, correct? Maybe the judge will say no, but maybe he will agree with me. Can you help me with the wording of the motion? I don't want him to be able to sue me again, I don't want to pay his attorney fees. I'm a little confused on the terminology - directed verdicts, with prejudice, etc. And I do want to continue with the counterclaim for Constructive Eviction, so maybe I don't want the judge to dismiss the original complaint.
  12. No, we are not filing a counterclaim because even though he is dumping water on our property, we don't have any real damages. Maybe someday we will. Our pretrial hearing is coming up soon, hoping the judge dismisses his complaint.
  13. I want to thank you again for convincing me to call our insurance company again. They are handling the issue and so far we are extremely pleased! One of the attorneys came out to the house to take tons of photos and discuss the case. They filed a spectacular answer with a dozen defenses and requested a jury trial if the judge won't dismiss.
  14. Great, thank you, will check on the insurance again.
  15. We called the county office responsible for streets and drainage. He pulled up the elevation map and saw how much lower our property is. Then he came out to make sure there wasn't something else the county should do. I agree with you about the police not understanding all legal issues. I did call our homeowner's insurance. We have a large deductible so we would end up paying for the attorney. Because the plaintiff has no damages, I can't imagine that we would lose, so I don't want to pay for an attorney.
  16. Our house is the lowest house on the street. Our crazy neighbor just sued us for several thousand dollars because some day rain water may damage his property. When it rains, the excess water flows down from his property to the side of our house, where it then goes out to the street or back yard. His gutters point right at the side of our house. Our gutters go into longer pipes that point to the front drain and back yard so our water keeps moving. In our backyard, we dug a small brook that carries water out towards the woods where there is a natural spring. I guess he is thinking that some day during torrential rains that enough of his rain water will pool against the side of our house and flow back uphill onto his property again and flood his basement. He wants us to do something else on our property to handle his rain water. I suggested calmly that he should take care of the rain water on his property, like also digging a small brook, because we didn't have a problem. We called the county and they laughed because our property is lower than his. We told a police officer friend and he suggested we sue him for harassment. I have photos of the neighbor trespassing on our property. He is a constant complainer, control freak, hates animals and threatened us a couple of weeks ago that he would get rid of our dogs just like he got rid of the neighbor's dog. We are careful around him because other neighbors have told us that he actually shot 2-3 animals years ago. Our dogs rarely go out, his recent complaints were actually about a stray pack of dogs, not ours, and we have photos of that as well. I have to file our answer. On the one hand, I just want to deal with the bogus water complaint and be done with it. He has no damages, nothing has happened, and I don't think a property owner can tell another property owner that they have to something about rain. However, we really want him to leave us alone. We are wondering if we should countersue for harassment and ask the judge to issue a no trespass order. I'd really like a tall privacy fence on our property line because he can see over our retaining wall and we are all uncomfortable in our backyard. We just put in a new furnace/ac unit and are worried he could damage it out of retaliation for losing this case as well. Thanks for any insights on how we can/should answer this complaint.
  17. This is very small town stuff. The amount of back rent is less than my attorney's fees would be. The court's office will assist in making sure you have the right forms and fill them out correctly, they just won't give legal advice, of course. The advice to opt for a jury (no extra fees) was two fold, first, in case the judge golfs with the attorney or landlord and second, that it would be a David vs Goliath scenario, with me being an older kind grandma figure who owns a well liked family business, going against the big city attorney and landlord. But you are correct, I know just enough law to get me in trouble. I'll go to the court's office next week after I have all our evidence together and then before trial, I'll have my retired judge friend grill me.
  18. Yes, sorry for the how in the world question. I do know anyone can sue, it's just frustrating to have to deal with this. I've kept good documentation just in case we were sued and consulted with a retired judge and the local police along the way and have tried to do everything correctly. I'll be representing myself against a well known attorney and have been advised to request a jury trial. In the complaint for breach of contract, the attorney lists the wrong address and attached a lease that we did not sign. I have the email where the landlord sent us the corrected lease with the right address and with an addendum of changes. That's the one we signed years ago. They do have our signature page though. Also, in another point in the complaint, the attorney doubled the amount of the monthly rent. I'm assuming that if I just ask for a dismissal for these errors that they will just re-file.
  19. I am the tenant. Our former landlord is suing us for rent because we vacated the commercial property a few months before the end of the lease. We had given 2 months notice after attempting to get him to resolve a nuisance he caused, which he refused, and paid up until the last day we were there. We left due to a classic constructive eviction which I am going to counter sue him. While gathering the evidence online last night, I came across an online post where the new tenant in our old space announced they were moving in. This was 9 days after we vacated. We have dated photos showing the space was being renovated the following week. We are being sued for rent for that month and the month following. How in the world are we being sued, besides the fact that the landlord thinks we may be unaware that he had re-leased the space and renovations had started? In South Carolina, are there any kind of additional damages we can sue for because of his intentional attempt not only to get us to leave but now his attempt to double dip and collect rent from us while he was renovating the unit for his next tenant?
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