Originally Posted by bigchuck
A contractor is suing me for my allegedly not payng him for some 'hourly unpaid wages' using his terminology. There are many issues regarding the work he did, the quality of the work and much work paid but not done.
The point being I was willing to leave well enough alone... and if he was willing to call it even... I would not sue him for bad work or incomplete work....
But now I am forced to Reply to this small claims suit in RI...... and prepare a counter suit.
My question is... since the counter suit may exceed the$$ limit for small claims court and I woulod not want toi have the ability to appeal if I lost the counter claim... I woulod prefer to issue a suit in Superior Court.
If that is what seems bestm do I need to make that known at the Small Claims Suit Court..... and just proceed with no counter suit...
How would I handle this...
In addition I would prefer not to air the countet suit...., and give the contractor a roadmap how to make additional arguments I may bring up if ther countert suit were intermingled at small claims court...
He provided very very little detail of WhY I owed him the $2500 claim...and for what work it was for.... and I am not wasnting to help me make his case,,
A suit filed in a superior Court will void the Small Claims lawsuit and move the matter into the superior Court.
In some States - California for example - if the counterclaim is OVER the Small Claims limit the Judge will order that the case be moved to a superior Court. You would have to check with your local Small Claims Court Clerk to find the policy in your State.
I don't understand what you mean by "I would not want to have the ability to appeal if I lost the counterclaim." Why wouldn't you appeal a verdict that would go against you?
I realize you don't want to provide fodder to the Plaintiff in Small Claims Court but you need to make full disclosure in Superior Court so he would have the info in advance of that hearing in order to defend himself.
Keep in mind that Attorney's fees in a superior Court will "probably" be in excess of 1/3 plus expenses and disbursements.
Sometimes winning a smaller amount in Small Claims makes more sense.