I’ve always been leery of the legal system. I’ll have a post at some point about my one and only dealing with the legal system at a later date, but suffice to say, that one dealing is the reason I try to avoid having to deal with the system. The Ex-Girlfriend is less cynical, or perhaps was. This post is about her recent experience, followed by a few questions.
Here’s our side of the story. The Ex-GF was negotiating with another individual. The other individual was to provide some business services and had come highly recommended. After an initial contact, the other party sent the Ex-GF a proposal. The Ex-GF requested numerous and significant changes, but anticipating successful conclusions to the negotiations (see the earlier comment on lack of cynicism), made a good will payment equal to $1,000. Long story short… 13 weeks later, there was still no further proposal. The Ex-GF made many and repeated attempts to call the other party. Finally, the Ex-GF finally got through, and told the other party the deal was off. The other party refused to return the $1,000. The Ex-GF took her to small claims court.
Two things came up:
1. The guy running the court was clearly not a judge. He repeatedly referred to the proposal as a contract.
2. The other party indicated that the Ex-GF made no attempt to contact it. The Ex-GF did not have her phone records (cellphone and landline) with her, which was a mistake.
As to item 1, I was under the impression that, a contract requires both an offer and an acceptance. It seems to make no sense to have someone making decisions, even in Small Claims Court, who is unclear on this. But on the other hand, if it is I that am unclear on this, I should note that I have in front of me a contract that says Bill Gates owes me $10 billion. I have another one that notes that the money Warren Buffett intends to give to charity actually belongs to me. Sure, those bastards refused to sign the contract, but a contract is a contract.
As to item 2… an attorney friend of the Ex-GF (actually, a former boyfriend of hers – does that make him the Ex-GF’s Ex-BF?) says everyone lies in Small Claims Court and nobody cares. Is that true? If the Ex-GF were to send photocopies of her phone bills (for three months) to Small Claims Court, would the other party be prosecuted? If not, why not? After all, if there is no penalty for perjury, the system cannot work at all. I understand that the system is not intended to provide justice, but rather to enforce the law, but if its not making any attempt to do either, what use is it?