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Comments: 134 • Responses: 20  • Date: 

TumescentAndroid30 karma

Can you provide us details of your litigation? Like, how much of a hassle was it to sue them and how much of your time did you spend pursuing the infringement? What was their counterargument in court or was it an open and shut case? Thank you for sharing your experience.

Crabmeatz28 karma

The process was surprisingly easy. I suggest just doing an internet search for "How to file small claims lawsuit in (City,state)" for information that applies to you. I collected my phone records, and verified the origin of every single call before my court date. I probably spent 5-10 hours in prep work. The court case itself was very easy. I had a court date, which I had to show up for in person. The company representative was a local, low level manager who had only gotten a short briefing on the the case, hoping for a default judgement. He made a false statement about the company's effort to settle out of court. I told the judge that he was misinformed, gave my version of events, and provided a copy of the federal law that was violated. There were no lawyers involved, and my entire trip to the courthouse took only a couple of hours. I received my money less than a week later.

Mexicanmilkyway16 karma

Is OP answering any questions? Don’t see her/him replying.

Crabmeatz7 karma

I am, I'm just slow.

linkhandford14 karma

Do you ever get phone calls from them anymore?

Crabmeatz15 karma

Like magic, they stopped as soon as I sued. What a coincidence!

sleepyj9107 karma

Did you hire a lawyer? Do you study law or know lawyer's closely?

Crabmeatz4 karma

There were no lawyers involved. I didn't hire a lawyer, and they didn't send a lawyer. I did a good amount of research on my own on how to sue telemarketers, and that was it. I don't know any lawyers, and didn't consult with any lawyers. It was really easy, but you have to do everything properly, with documented proof of the harassment.

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tripletexas9 karma

How could this person have sued under a federal statute in "small claims court" (state level court)?

Are there some jurisdictions that would possibly allow this, because I can't think of any that would?

Crabmeatz1 karma

I'm not a lawyer, so can't give you a specific citation on why this works. However, in my personal experience, it does work.

tripletexas1 karma

Can you submit a copy of the judgment?

Crabmeatz1 karma

I don't feel comfortable with that, and frankly I think the only hard evidence I ever received was the check from the company. I do recall the judge specifically asking me if it was a federal law, and I had to provide her with a printed copy of said law.

matches053 karma

Did you have to pick up every single time or did missed calls count?

Crabmeatz1 karma

I only counted calls where I picked up. I verified every answered call from my records. I would encourage you to do further research on the law, which may very well include unanswered calls.

arbitrarist22 karma

Did they threaten you after you filed for small claims?

Crabmeatz2 karma

No, they just sent a check!

Hillary_Clingon1 karma

Whats the real secret these big companies don't want you to know?

Crabmeatz3 karma

That they are violating the law, and you can sue them for telemarketing harassment.

RollTide8651 karma

I assumed you hired a lawyer and since a lawyer can cost a lot of money (even basic lawyers can cost a few thousand), how did you net that much money if you had to pay lawyer/attorney fees?

Crabmeatz1 karma

I did not hire a lawyer. I got every penny.

TheCrawfishBandit1 karma

How were you able to identify the company and how much of a fight did they put up?

Also, what was the legal reasoning for the claim, just harassment?

Crabmeatz1 karma

It was direct marketing, so obviously identifying the company was trivial. They were violating the TCPA

f_ranz12241 karma

How much did you spend in total to get this done? You mention the payout for the violations only. Were they required to foot the bill? Did your lawyer require an upfront payment?

Crabmeatz2 karma

I paid nothing. This was a few years ago, so there might have been a double digit fee to appear in court, but I got every penny of the settlement. I represented myself.

Overthinkerolympics1 karma

I have an area code in a different time zone and I am constantly woken with calls - would the before 8 am apply to your area code or where you live - which is also the address on my cell phone contract?

Crabmeatz1 karma

It depends if you have a business relationship with the company. If you have an east coast phone number, then a company cold calling you could argue ignorance. However, if the company has a record of your west coast address, that is more important than your east coast phone number.

Chelcsaurus-rex1 karma

What if they use spoofed numbers? There's no way to do any of this, is there?

People keep calling and texting me wanting to buy my parents house... they aren't selling and I'm a good 10 hour drive away. Doesn't matter to them.

Edit: one of them told me about a website they use. I will try to find it in my messages.

Crabmeatz1 karma

If they are trying to sell you a specific service, then you can always go back to the company that provides the service. I think resellers are a bit of gray area, but ultimately the company trying to get your money is the one that is on the hook.

jplank19831 karma

How many calls were there total and how much did you get per call?

Crabmeatz1 karma

I don't remember the total number, but in total it exceeded the 5000 dollar limit of small claims court. I believe the fine is roughly 100 dollars per call, and I think I had records of 100+ calls during that 6 month period.

buttbanger691 karma

So why didn’t you take it one step further and get all the money you were entitled to?

Crabmeatz2 karma

Considering how easy it was, I really happy with the 4500. I think it would have been more trouble than it was worth to appeal for the full amount.

dafunkmunk1 karma

Wait, so the sum of violations was more than the $5k maximum for small claims court so they gave you less than the maximum? They should have owed you more than $5k and they got away with paying $4.5k. Unless I’m missing something, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense

Crabmeatz1 karma

The maximum I could sue for was 5k, but the final award is up to the judge's discretion. I sued for 5000, and she ultimately awarded me 4500, but I never saw details of her reasoning.

blondeprovocateur0 karma

thousands of dollars

It was $1,000.25 wasn't it?

Crabmeatz1 karma

4500 actually :)

rupertpepkin0 karma

Are you serious Reddit? just because a major corporation you remove the post?

Crabmeatz1 karma

I don't really have any proof of the experience :(

Half-life22-1 karma

How much did you get and where are you spending it ?

Crabmeatz1 karma

I got 4500 dollars, and it went toward a new car.