Since I wrote about today being my court date I have to write about what happened,
Small claims court is weird if you have never been. It’s basically, like my husband says, “10 minutes of court to keep people from shooting each other over civil disputes without tying up the legal system.” You see in Egypt you would be in court about 3 years over something like this!LOL
Basically the judge warned the renters that they couldn’t prove any of the claims they were making, or it would be very unlikely anyway and asked them if they want to dismiss it before we even start. Of course they said no.
The short version is basically that we would have had them pay everything, and the judge even said he thought we made our case… But, in Wyoming there is a law that says you must give a written notice within 30 days of the tenants vacating (which passed over the weekend) of all charges to be deducted from the deposit. Which means we have to give them thier deposit back.
I got such a notice together and was unable to get them to give me an address to mail it to. The bad thing is since I never managed to do it so as a result we can't deduct cleaning and replacement charges from the damage deposit. The good part is that the judge thought we were in the right and said if there was any leniency in the law about this notice he would’ve ruled in our favor… But in light of that law we have to give notice to have the legal right to deduct these charges from the deposit.
What can we learn from this??? Well I think we will be getting that business attorney my husband has been gripping about for so long. If we had known the importance of that notice we would have found a way to get it to them even if it meant posting it in the newspaper or something. And, I think that this small claims thing is pretty fair for the most part… And I have to admit that I did derive some evil pleasure for seeming the smirk on the judge’s face when he read the pain and suffering part of the claim.
So, I am out $150 more than I wanted to pay them, but that’s OK. They didn’t get all the other crazy judgments they were seeking. Now I know that everything goes to the tenants in writing from now on.
Oh, yeah... And, Alhamdulilah, no one thought we were there to blow up the building or anything.