• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

Help, I am being sued by my jewler!!!

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.



I would greatly appreciate it if someone could assist me with the following issue. Approximatley one month after purchasing an expensive diamond from a jewler in New York, I started to receive phone calls from the salesman asking me to come to the store and return my diamond. The first time he called he stated that he did not know the details of the diamond that he gave us. The second time he claimed that he had given us an inferior one. The third time he stated that in fact they had given us a superior diamond and that we had to return to the store and give them more money. After listening to his obvious lies I just ignored him and told me not to call him. Today I was served with a notice to appear in small claims court $3,000 suit. The problem is that I gave the diamond to my sister shortly after purchasing it and she lives in China.

What obligations do I have in this situation. I have heard of caveat emptor, what about caveat seller?



The seller will try to get the sale rescinded based on mutual mistake -- you didn't intend to purchase a 'superior' diamond & they didn't intend to sell it at that price. The problem is that the diamond is gone. You will have to make all "reasonable" efforts to get the diamond back. However, if you cannot obtain the diamond, the jeweler will have a hard time proving it was of superior quality.

You might file a motion asking the court to order the jeweler to pay for shipping & insurance to get the ring back to the States, assuming your sister will even send it back. You're going to have to provide lots of proof that *she's* the one who won't cooperate & that you honestly tried to convince her to send it back. Maybe she could be available for a phone call from the judge? The worst that can happen is you have to pay an extra $3000. If I were the judge, I wouldn't award the seller a dime if he couldn't get the actual ring into court with an independent appraisal that it was superior to the ring described in the sheet.

Get How to Win in Small Claims Court from the library or bookstore to help you prepare. You can also consult with a lawyer in NY prior to court.

This is not legal advice and you are not my client. Double check everything with your own attorney and your state's laws. [email protected] - please include some facts so I know who you are!


Senior Member
In addition to Tracey's response, here are some other 'thoughts':

1) You don't say where you are. You mention the jeweler in NY, the diamond in China. I assume the jeweler is suing in NY courts. If you are not in the same state, or even county, then you might consider requesting a change of venue to your location. This in itself will sometimes 'kill' a small claim action since it could cause hardship to the Plaintiff.

2) With the 'ever-changing' story by the jeweler, did he ever send you any notice in writing??? If not, I would request that he do so. At least that way you will know which story is going to be his claim in court.

3) Finally, without the actual diamond in possession for evaluation, I agree with Tracey that the jeweler will have a very hard time trying to prove any difference in stones. I might suggest that your sister get the stone appraised where she is (China??) for the record (make sure the appraisal is in English). That way you will at least have something to compare any claim against and to challenge any 'superior' claim by the jeweler.

4) Finally, if the merchant made a true error and provided you with an incorrect stone, I would feel that he should have a greater responsibility for his error. Some challenge if it comes to that: What 'system' does the merchant have in place to assure the customer is getting the correct stone?? What didn't 'work' in this case?? Has he turned is 'error' in to his insurance carrier?? etc.

Just some random thoughts.....

Steve Halket
Judgment Recovery of Houston
[email protected]
This is my PERSONAL OPINION and is not legal advice! Consult your local attorney for your specific situation and laws!

Find the Right Lawyer for Your Legal Issue!

Fast, Free, and Confidential