Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Dismissed Without Prejudice

I wish I had good news to share. I wish instead of trying to explain the very stupid judgment that was handed down today I was posting the best happy dance video ever. But I'm not.
Small Claims Court was very interesting. My friend and former co-worker, Sara, was there with me. We heard cases from someone who parked in a handicapped spot in her apartment complex and got towed, but thinks the complex should pay for it because there wasn't enough parking (she lost), to a boyfriend and girlfriend fighting it out over who owes who what. The judge seemed very reasonable. We thought I had a good shot.
But the defendant didn't show up. Her lawyer did. I was very worried about what that could possibly mean. I was never given a chance to explain my case. Instead before anything else could happen her lawyer made a motion to dismiss because apparently I have a case open against her with the Utah Wage and Labor Commission.
This was news to me.
Yes, I opened a case against her back in August. I canceled that case, via phone call, back in October when they advised me that they were going to be very useless in this case. And that if I continued with them it would be years before the case would ever get settled. That was October 7. I filed my lawsuit on Oct 31. The defendant has refused all communications from the Wage and Labor people since August. I had letters from the State proving that.
With their motion to dismiss they had to show my W&L case. This was the first evidence any of us have ever seen that she has accepted a letter from them.
So my case was "dismissed without prejudice" because I have no way of proving that my claim was canceled. My side of the story was never heard. I was stuck between a lawyer and a judge using terms I have never heard before. The judge even snottily told me to stop taking the advice of W&L and get advice from a real lawyer.
And the defendant yet again gets away without having to pay me the wages I earned while employed by her.
If we're going to pretend there is a brightside to this, it would be that we can now go back to W&L and prove that she's received something from them. This also proves that she knows she owes us/me. She wasn't trying to fight that. She is just trying to prolong this further.
All in all, this sucks. I've been angry and crying ever since leaving the court house. I'm so mad that the bad guy keeps winning. And in the meantime I get to keep on making payments to the bank to repay them for her bounced check.
I'm angry and hurt. Justice wasn't served. And she keeps getting away with murder. It just all really sucks.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I'm so sorry.

    My first thought... "Your honor, perhaps I could afford a lawyer if I weren't paying penalty fees for the defendants' bounced checks."

    Then under my breath I would say - but you don't know anything about struggling paycheck to paycheck because my taxes pay your fat salary don't they? And I don't get to withhold my money from you now do I?!!!!


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