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mattDefendant

Sued in California, using Accounts Stated defenset?

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Hi,

 

I'm being sued in California by a local debt collection lawfirm for $2,000 for relocation money paid to me, by my former employer 2 years ago.

 

My initial contract stated I would be responsible for returning $2,000 in relocation money if I left the job in less than one year, and the money would be taken out of the wages owed to me at termination. If the balance is not enough, I needed to pay the remaining amount within 30 days of departure. I left after 10 months, and no money was deducted from my final payment at termination (which was about $4,000). The HR person in my exit interview with the company orally said I don't owe any debt to the company as long as I didn't share company secrets as I put in a lot of overtime in my final weeks.

 

My final ADP pay stub after I left the company show the monies I was paid, and show no outstanding debts owed from me to my past employer. I also received no request for repayment for over a year from date of departure.

 

Can I use this as proof of the agreed upon accounts stated between employer and employee? I haven't seen accounts stated used as a defense before, but it sounds like all the requirements exist here.

 

I'm worried that since I don't have proof of what was orally said by HR, I can only use the pay statements as proof of accounts stated.

 

The only evidence filed by the Plaintiff is the original contract that was signed.

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Do you remember who the person in hr was? It is hearsay unless you can subpoena that witness. I would use all the other stuff in support of it, but your defense would be something more like Rescission or abandonment of contract? I think @racecar may know, he is great on the defenses.

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Thanks for the quick response!

 

I did a discovery requesting notes from the HR interview, but was told no records exist. I can subpoena the witness, but an interview of the witness is complicated enough that I might have to hire a lawyer for that.

 

I thought hearsay is when someone repeats what someone else said, when the first person has no direct knowledge of the events. But in this case, wouldn't I be a witness since I was present when the Plaintiff's representative gave me the instructions? For example, if John tells Bob that Charlie doesn't need to pay him back, than Bob's testimony would be hearsay, but if John tells Charlie that Charlie doesn't need to pay them back would that still be hearsay? Otherwise I'd imagine anything oral can only be substantiated by the person that makes those statements? But I'm not sure...

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No in legalese hearsay is anything that cannot be authenticated, like that contract is hearsay....why. How I you know it is a true copy? If they don't have all the people present who signed the contract, and try to use an affidavit to get it in, it is hearsay unless that person was present when you 2 signed it, and testifying to that fact if called.

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The only evidence filed by the Plaintiff is the original contract that was signed.

The Offer, Acceptance, Money that's all they need.

 

What else do they need? NOTHING ELSE

 

The elements necessary to establish / form a contract whether it is oral or written:

1. An offer;

2. An acceptance of the offer; and

3. "Consideration" (that is, usually money or something in exchange to support the offer and acceptance).

 

The plaintiffs carry the burden to prove all elements of a contract.

 

If they claim attorneys fees that would have to be in the contract.

 

$2,000 in relocation money

A partial breach can be remedied (made up) by a small reduction in payment or other adjustment.

You should talk to your old employer and offer to send back $200.00.

 

No point in being sued if you can work something out.

They would be entitled to actual damages only. Mabey around $200.00.

You worked 10 out of the 12 months.

 

Did you do what was required to do under the contract?

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Don't worry right now about what is hearsay and what isn't. What evidence, if any, has Plaintiff produced to support its claim that you were paid "relocation" money with repayment contingencies? Is it your only defense that an employee from the HR department told you not to worry about paying the money back as long as you didn't share any secrets and worked a lot of overtime? Even if that person had the authority to modify your contract in such a way, can you prove you did not "share any secrets" and worked "a lot of overtime"? What is the definition of "a lot of overtime"? Could you have worked "a lot of overtime" even if you wanted to?

 

I also received no request for repayment for over a year from date of departure.

 

Did the contract include a provision requiring the company to make a request for payment in the event you breached the contract? If not, how does that obligation arise?

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What else do they need? NOTHING ELSE

 

The elements necessary to establish / form a contract whether it is oral or written:

1. An offer;

2. An acceptance of the offer; and

3. "Consideration" (that is, usually money or something in exchange to support the offer and acceptance).

 

The plaintiffs carry the burden to prove all elements of a contract.

 

If they claim attorneys fees that would have to be in the contract.

 

$2,000 in relocation money

A partial breach can be remedied (made up) by a small reduction in payment or other adjustment.

You should talk to your old employer and offer to send back $200.00.

 

No point in being sued if you can work something out.

They would be entitled to actual damages only. Mabey around $200.00.

You worked 10 out of the 12 months.

 

Did you do what was required to do under the contract?

 

Yes, I understand this. I sent a settlement offer but it was ignored.

 

 

Don't worry right now about what is hearsay and what isn't. What evidence, if any, has Plaintiff produced to support its claim that you were paid "relocation" money with repayment contingencies? Is it your only defense that an employee from the HR department told you not to worry about paying the money back as long as you didn't share any secrets and worked a lot of overtime? Even if that person had the authority to modify your contract in such a way, can you prove you did not "share any secrets" and worked "a lot of overtime"? What is the definition of "a lot of overtime"? Could you have worked "a lot of overtime" even if you wanted to?

 

 

Did the contract include a provision requiring the company to make a request for payment in the event you breached the contract? If not, how does that obligation arise?

 

The Plaintiff has not filed any proof that relocation money was paid to me. During discovery I asked for all evidence showing damages but none was provided except being referred to the original contract.

 

My proof is the written payment statements which are the final accounts stated. They show no debt owing between the plaintiff and I, and based on accounts stated doctrine, accounts stated form a new contract that supercedes previous ones and is the final amount owing between two parties.

 

I mentioned the "no request for payment for over a year" because it shows that they agreed with the pay statement  sent to me, since no compaints were raised with the pay statements in a reasonable time.

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