Monday, March 14, 2011

Today on The People's Court...

As happy as I am to have my deposit back, the very bitchy side of me thinks it would've been a hoot to take CPSL to court. And I would have loved it even more if we could have been on Judge Judy or The People's Court. Now that would have been some fine TV...

I could see it going down something like this:

(music to The People's Court playing)

Announcer: The plaintiff, SweetPea, says that she lived in the defendant's rental for almost a year and had to endure his pot-smoking and drinking. When she moved out he failed to return her rental deposit even though she left the place in immaculate condition. And now she says she's it was an illegal unit so she shouldn't have been paying him any rent at all. She's suing for all she's owed up to the maximum, $7,000.

(music still playing, with me arranging all my papers at the plaintiff's desk and looking angry)

Announcer: The defendant, CPSL, says that SweetPea didn't pay on time, left the place a mess and cost him a bunch of money. He says he doesn't owe her a cent and he's going to prove it here in court, once and for all.

(music wraps up and the honorable Judge Milian sits down)

Judge: OK, SweetPea, what's going on?

Me: Well, I moved out of CPSL's rental on December 12th, 2010. He kept telling me that I would get my deposit back, but so far I haven't seen a check. And now he's avoiding my phone calls so I decided to sue him since I figured it was the only way I was going to see my money.

CPSL: (mutters under breath and looks all huffy)

Judge (turns to CPSL): Be quiet. You'll get your turn soon. (turns back to me) But I see here that you are suing for the maximum allowed in Oregon. Why is that?

Me: Well, after I did some digging I found out that the rental was not legal and that by Oregon law I don't have to pay rent for an illegal unit so I decided to sue for my rent back as well since he wouldn't just give me my deposit back. He caused me a lot of problems by not just giving me back my money.
(glares at CPSL)

Judge: OK. We'll get back to you in a second. (turns to CPSL) What's your side of the story? Why didn't you give her the deposit back?

CPSL: Well, Judge... she left the place a mess and bounced a check once and cost me a lot of money so I decided to keep it.

Judge: Did you notify her in writing of why you were keeping the deposit?

CPSL: Um, no. I didn't know I was supposed to do that... (looks around stupidly)

Judge: Do you have any evidence as to how dirty the place was when she left?

CPSL: Well, I had to clean the carpets and I paid someone to come in and clean because she didn't. It cost me a lot of money.

Judge: Do you have any receipts showing what it cost you?

CPSL: Well, no. I don't have any (looks around stupidly)

Judge: Then how am I supposed to know how much it cost you?

CPSL: I don't know. But I'm telling you it was dirty.

(Judge turns to me) 
Judge: Did you leave the place dirty?

Me: Nope. And I have the pictures to prove it... (hands over pictures with time-stamp)

Judge (looking over the pictures): Looks pretty clean to me. (turns to CPSL) Do you want to see these pictures?

CPSL: No. But I'm telling you she left the place a mess...  

Judge: Except she has the pictures proving she didn't (rolls her eyes). So, you don't get to keep any of the deposit for cleaning. Do you have anything else? 

CPSL: Well, she bounced a check and it cost me hundreds of dollars. 

Judge: Do you have evidence of that?

CPSL: Um, yeah... (hands over a hand-written note in a 5-year-old's scrawl with some figures)

Judge: What's this?

CPSL: My proof.

Judge: Of what? That you can't write? Let me explain something to you in small words so you'll be sure to understand. You don't get to sue for overdraft fees just because she bounced a check to you once. You get the amount stated on the lease, which is (looks at the paperwork) $25. That's it. If you can't afford to have a rental property and all that that entails, then you shouldn't have tenants.

CPSL: But that's not fair. 
Judge: Fair? (bangs her gavel) Just give her the money back. $7,000 for the plaintiff.

Me: (laughing) 

Seems like it could have been fun. After all, he's a major idiot...

Maybe I should send a little note to the new tenant so they don't get screwed either. Hmmmm.....  


  1. That would of so been worth watching

  2. I am still surprised there wasn't any stick-figures or 'frowny-face' drawings on the thing he really did give to you. I wonder if he even owns a ruler upon which to write a straight line... if so, he only uses it to retrieve corn chips from under the fridge... [crunch!]

  3. I kept that paperwork so I could have a good laugh whenever I need it :)