Small Claims Court 5: We settled but…

A big “but:” They didn’t pay me. It’s a shocker. They failed to send me a check for $2500. Which is what we settled for on March 27.

The coop owed me $3097 for repairs I had to make to my ceilings, due to damage caused by leaks from apartments not owned by me. After a couple of appearances in Small Claims Court, I was gung-ho for trial. But I agreed to settle for $2500, after determining that there was an actual date by which they had to get me a check.

That date was April 24, 2013.

I had written on my calendar page dated April 24, “If you didn’t get $2500 today, go back to Small Claims clerk and file default affidavit.”

I waited until Tuesday, April 30 to file the default affidavit, not because I was generously offering the defendants a few days wiggle room, but because I was going to be in the same courthouse — in Housing Court at 9:30 on April 30, for a hearing on my Order to Show Cause to Punish for Contempt. (You remember that, don’t you? You don’t? Well, pull yourselves together and catch up with my Sidebar Housing Court series. The last post was Housing Court 17: Contempt 3.)

A lot of courts, a lot of appearances, lots of stuff going on.

So it wasn’t until I finished up in Housing Court (I’ll report on that separately, in Housing Court 18: Contempt 4) and fortified myself with soup dumplings that I took my yellow Small Claims Court settlement document to the Small Claims Court clerk on the third floor of 111 Centre Street.

There was a line, but it moved quickly. As I waited, I filled in the bottom affidavit, stating that the defendants had defaulted on payment. Got up to the window, signed the affidavit in front of the clerk who notarized it, collected it and told me I’d get a Notice of Judgment in the mail within the week.

Yesterday, Thursday May 2, I got that notice. And you know what? The amount of money I am now owed is not $2500. It is $2736.99: the court added on interest and disbursements.

But even more important, Chaz, the individual defendant — whose lawyer, Larry, had insisted on having dismissed from the settlement — was back as a defendant, along with the Little Crooked House Tenants Corp., the coop.

At the bottom of the Notice of Judgment it says, in large bolded type: THE JUDGMENT IS VALID FOR A PERIOD OF 20 YEARS…

There’s a lot more it says on both sides of the paper. On the back side, under INFORMATION FOR THE JUDGMENT CREDITOR (that’s me), it suggests that I contact the judgment debtor (the Party who owes me money) either directly or through that party’s attorney…

So that’s what I did. Over to Staples, to my favorite copier, double-sided copy made, stamped envelope addressed to Larry at the ready … and I dropped it into a mailbox.

They now have 30 days to pay me. If they don’t … well, I can do all kinds of things.

I marked 30 days in my calendar. That’s a very busy calendar, isn’t it?

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