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relocation headache

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When my former employer recruited me he told me that he needed me asap. I explained to him that I had just signed a lease that had a few more months left on it and that it would cost me a lot to buy out the remainder of the lease and move out of state. He told me that he would have his lawyers call and get me out of it and not to worry about it. He gave me $400.00 to place a deposit on a new apartment. Three months later I got a collection notice from the community where I used to live. I gave him the letter and he said he would take care of it and apologized for not have taken care of it sooner. I did not recieve any other letters or correspondence from a collection agency or their client. A few months after that he and got into a disagreement and I was terminated. A few months ago I applied for credit and this showed on my credit report. I sent several registered letters via mail in which I received no response except a return to sender stamp. The amount I am being charged for is $1400.00. I know it would fall under small claims court. I would like to know what my chances are at winning this case in small claims. I do not have a written agreement, it was verbal. I do have the returned letters. I do have eye/ear witnesses to this agreement but they are of no help because they still work for him. Is there a statute of limitations on amount of time one has to submit a claim? Do I have to go to a small claims court in the city/state that the incident happened or where the company and/or indivdual resides. Am I better off going at him or his company? I would really appreciate any comments or advice! Jroc in jax.



JROC: If you do choose to sue in a small claims court, the general rule of thumb is that the small claims court has to be either nearest where the defendant lives/works, or where the contract took place. You can find out more about small claims at this web site. By the way, you can also find an attorney (labor law) near you at this web site, see the attorney listing. Your total damages might be higher than you think if the state where the employment took place has a law against fraud in inducing a potential employee to move his residence to take a position. The fraud may also have to include misrepresentations about the form of compensation, which in your case would be that the former employer buy out that lease. In California (where I am a licensed attorney) that is found in Labor Code Section 970-972. In California, the time limit in which to bring a suit of this type is one year from the time of termination. However, that statute of limitations may be different in the state where you formerly were employed. Hope this helps!

Mark B. Replogle

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