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Old 01-30-09, 11:23 AM   #1
permanentjaun
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Where do I have to go to court in this situation?

I contracted this guy online to write a computer code for me that would trade currencies for me in a very systematic fashion. Typically it would take a week for someone to code the program. I think he had the first version of the program to me within 3 days of paying him. It has been three months now and I still not have a working version of the program.

He has sent me at least 20 versions and I would even say the number could be as high as 30-40. I think I gave him plenty of time and I finally said, 'I've had enough. Refund my money and don't bother trying to send me the final version.' He has previously sent me versions that have expiration dates and the final version does not have an expiration date. So when I told him to not send me the final version I literally meant that I want my money back and it will be as if you've given me absolutely nothing.

So he sends me an email anyways with the final version and says our project is closed and if I want to take it to court I may. So I would like to take it to court. Even if this final version does work, I can't trust that it would work with my real money. I would test it one week and it'd be fine, but the next week it wouldn't work. This is because the markets would produce a trading scenario in the 2nd week that didn't present itself in the first week. This is why I see no point in testing this final version. I've given him 3 months to provide a working program and he has not.

My question to you guys is about where I can file for a trial in small claims court. He lives in California and I live in Massachusetts. Can I file the claim in Mass?

I have a very solid case against him and I've dealt with a lot more BS with this guy than I presented to you guys here. What can I do?
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Old 01-30-09, 11:30 AM   #2
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I can't answer the court/law specifics, but I can tell you about a similar experience.

I was used by a friend of mine as an "expert witness" for a very similar case years ago. On the opposite side, though. My friend wrote software for a company and they did not want to pay her telling her the it did not work even though they were obviously using it on their website after they didn't pay her for the work. The company counter-sued for something or other too.

Anyway, the bottom line is that unless you can find that 1 judge in 100 that has any clue about software, he'll probably throw the case out like they did with my friend. The judge admitted he didn't understand what was even going on with the case and just threw it out. Waste of time and money for both parties.
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Old 01-30-09, 11:36 AM   #3
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An employer of mine got sued by a customer once, and since we are located in Texas, the case was heard in Texas. The customer tried to have the case moved to his state, but since he ordered from Texas, the goods shipped from Texas, etc. the judge said case would be in Texas.

When the customer found this out, the case was dropped.
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Old 01-30-09, 12:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by permanentjaun View Post
I contracted this guy online to write a computer code for me that would trade currencies for me in a very systematic fashion. Typically it would take a week for someone to code the program. I think he had the first version of the program to me within 3 days of paying him. It has been three months now and I still not have a working version of the program.

He has sent me at least 20 versions and I would even say the number could be as high as 30-40. I think I gave him plenty of time and I finally said, 'I've had enough. Refund my money and don't bother trying to send me the final version.' He has previously sent me versions that have expiration dates and the final version does not have an expiration date. So when I told him to not send me the final version I literally meant that I want my money back and it will be as if you've given me absolutely nothing.

So he sends me an email anyways with the final version and says our project is closed and if I want to take it to court I may. So I would like to take it to court. Even if this final version does work, I can't trust that it would work with my real money. I would test it one week and it'd be fine, but the next week it wouldn't work. This is because the markets would produce a trading scenario in the 2nd week that didn't present itself in the first week. This is why I see no point in testing this final version. I've given him 3 months to provide a working program and he has not.

My question to you guys is about where I can file for a trial in small claims court. He lives in California and I live in Massachusetts. Can I file the claim in Mass?

I have a very solid case against him and I've dealt with a lot more BS with this guy than I presented to you guys here. What can I do?
which court depends on the monetary limits

here in columbus ohio small claims is anything up to $3k, muni court is $3k-$24,999, and common pleas civil is $25k and up..........most other places have similar guidelines, check local civil rules

as far as jurisdiction and venue, I'm pretty sure you would be fine filing the case locally on your court, I see that kind of thing done all the time, one of the advantages of being the plaintiff

I am not an attorney, I just work for 41 of them, I handle all sorts of legal work in all areas.

Hopefully you have a contract with this guy or you may end up not getting very far.
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Old 01-30-09, 12:22 PM   #5
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Absent a few exceptions, it is a well-established legal principle that the appropriate jurisdiction is where the defendant lives, or in some cases, where did the conduct occur giving rise to the claim. In this case, since the coder lives in California and did the work there, California would be the appropriate jurisdiction.

My gratuitous advice to you (and I am not your lawyer nor am I providing legal advice over the Internet), is to forget it and move on. Unless you have a written contract and can prove demonstrable financial damages, you pretty much won't have much of a leg to stand on. Combine this with having to physically travel to California and file a case there, and you will see that sometimes the best thing to do is to chalk it up to experience and move on.
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Old 01-30-09, 12:37 PM   #6
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I think I can file the claim in Mass. This is from the Massachusetts small claims court information page.

Where do I file a small claim?

You may bring a small claim only in the court for the area where either the plaintiff or the defendant lives or has a place of business or employment. A small claim against a landlord arising from the rental of an apartment may also be brought where the apartment is located. You may find it easier to enforce a decision in your favor if you bring your small claim where the defendant lives or works, but you are not required to do so.

BTW, here is the 'contract' that the guy had written, which I did not see before payment.

The agreement between the client and the
coder:
(I)The coder informs the client the quote
determined by the job.(II)The client pays full
amount up-front.(III)The coder programs the
request, and then sends the client the program
with a 5-day trial.(IV)The client searches for any
possible errors, if any, and reports them to the
coder to fix them; the coder then fixes them and
sends another 5 day trial.(V)If the client does not
report any errors to the coder within those 5
days, then the project is closed, and the coder
sends the client the program without the
trial.(VI)If the clients says there are no more
errors, then the project is closed, and the coder
sends the client the program without the
trial.(VII)The source code is priced at 25% of the
payment.(VIII)If client needs more than 5 days to
test, the client should inform the coder of this
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Old 01-30-09, 12:42 PM   #7
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Old 01-30-09, 01:44 PM   #8
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Without having reviewed the appropriate court rules or appellate decisions, I find it difficult to believe that a Boston small claims court could assert jurisdiction over a defendant who resides in California and where the conduct occurred giving rise to the claim. Since the defendant has no physical presence or business location in Massachusetts, I would be astonished if the Massachusetts court rules would allow such a case to proceed. But try filing the case and report back to us how it goes. And again, you have records showing actual, tangible financial losses because of the coder's conduct?
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Old 01-30-09, 02:26 PM   #9
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That's not a contract. Those are more like terms of work. You need a contract signed by both parties that stipulates the job, purpose of the code, terms of agreement, payment, etc. Without one, you're likely wasting your time and money in this. Unless this was a large sum, it might be best to chalk it up to experience and move on.
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Old 01-30-09, 03:20 PM   #10
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Whenever we do business with any in-state or out of state vendor, our contracts always specify the venue for this type of stuff. We always keep it in state and in county.

If you don't have this in your contract it may be difficult to have your case heard locally.
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Old 01-30-09, 04:03 PM   #11
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. And again, you have records showing actual, tangible financial losses because of the coder's conduct?
I only want a refund of $182.75 for the services.
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Old 01-30-09, 04:39 PM   #12
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Here is what I think you should do: for whatever reason, you are not listening to the advice given on this thread. I think you should go down to the government building, get the forms and try to file a claim in small claims court. If you are successful in terms of establishing jurisdiction, getting a judgment and collecting on that judgment, by all means report back. Be sure to keep track of how many hours of your time it takes to accomplish all this.
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Old 01-30-09, 04:59 PM   #13
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Here is what I think you should do: for whatever reason, you are not listening to the advice given on this thread. I think you should go down to the government building, get the forms and try to file a claim in small claims court. If you are successful in terms of establishing jurisdiction, getting a judgment and collecting on that judgment, by all means report back. Be sure to keep track of how many hours of your time it takes to accomplish all this.
Wow, you're cool. Settle down.
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