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What's with the ads?

#1 OrganicJen

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 07:19 PM

eta


Edited by OrganicJen, 26 October 2017 - 12:50 PM.


#2 maize

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 07:23 PM

That was not a good faith estimate.

I think the contractor should pay damages.
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#3 onelittlemonkey

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 07:25 PM

They have an estimate in writing? I’d side with the home owner.
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#4 Arctic Mama

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 07:36 PM

How was the contract written? Was it cost plus?
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#5 eternalsummer

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 07:42 PM

not a good faith estimate, agree.  contractor can pay for putting the cheapest replacement tile in.


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#6 Ali in OR

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 07:44 PM

As long as it's in writing, I side with the home owner.

 


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#7 Selkie

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 07:56 PM

Was there a written contract including the price that was signed by both the homeowner and the contractor?


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#8 bolt.

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 08:04 PM

I'm largely with the homeowner, but there might be some nuance around whether the contractor directly induced or encouraged them to destroy their own property. It *might* be considered their own decision (not something the contractor did) even though they did it in response to the quote.

It's also a question of whether they pay for the damage, or whether they are required to do the original work for the original estimate, or pay for someone else to do it. There are different solutions.
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#9 OrganicJen

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 08:06 PM

How was the contract written? Was it cost plus?


Not sure of these details.

#10 OrganicJen

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 08:08 PM

Was there a written contract including the price that was signed by both the homeowner and the contractor?


 


Edited by OrganicJen, 26 October 2017 - 12:35 PM.

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#11 happysmileylady

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 08:12 PM

I dunno.  I am kinda stuck on the fact that the homeowner is the one who ripped out the tile.  If the tile contractor had ripped out the tile himself and THEN hit the homeowner with a higher price, I would be ALL OVER the homeowner's side.  But because the home owner ripped out the tile themselves....it makes things more complicated.

 

And, the whole "you should have known it was a crappy estimate" is totally bogus.  Homeowners get estimates because they DON'T know. 

 

 


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#12 OrganicJen

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 08:12 PM

I'm largely with the homeowner, but there might be some nuance around whether the contractor directly induced or encouraged them to destroy their own property. It *might* be considered their own decision (not something the contractor did) even though they did it in response to the quote.

It's also a question of whether they pay for the damage, or whether they are required to do the original work for the original estimate, or pay for someone else to do it. There are different solutions.

 


Edited by OrganicJen, 26 October 2017 - 12:35 PM.


#13 Selkie

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 08:22 PM

Yes, contract in writing with the estimate and they both signed it. Plus, at the contract signing owner had to pay a percentage of the estimate up front, and the amount of the check matches with the estimate.

 

Then the contractor should be legally obligated to uphold his end of the contract and install the specified tile at the agreed-upon price.


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#14 happysmileylady

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 08:23 PM

Yes, contract in writing with the estimate and they both signed it. Plus, at the contract signing owner had to pay a percentage of the estimate up front, and the amount of the check matches with the estimate.

 

Ah Ha!  then yes, I would sign with the homeowner.  The price is in writing in a contract....doesn't MATTER what the homeowner did.

 

 

Years and years ago, I got a tattoo.  It was custom, but not big or involved, just a cartoon character.  The guy quoted me $135, so I agreed.  We got started, this thing ended up being SO SO much more involved than either of us anticipated.  He told me like an hour and a half, we were there for FOUR freaking hours.  He told me at the end that had he known it would take that long, he would have set up a separate appointment.  (btw, it looks TOTALLY AWESOME, it's the FAVORITE of my 3 tattoos.)

 

 

BUT.......he still only charged me $135.  I gave him a huge tip and I recommend him to EVERYONE who has asked, but yes, he only charged $135, exactly what he quoted.  The work was WORTH more than $135, for sure, but had he quoted me something higher, I probably wouldn't have done it, just because I had a specific budget.  The point being, someone who makes an honest mistake doesn't make their customer pay for their mistake. 
 


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#15 TechWife

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 09:04 PM

I think the only money the homeowner is due is their deposit because it was not a good faith estimate. The homeowners did their own tear out, so that's on them. If they can't afford to replace the tile knowing the real cost, they need to choose a less expensive option. If they can afford it, I recommend going with a different contractor.

Situations like this are why it is important to get more than one estimate and to clarify them if there is a big discrepancy. The cheapest option isn't always the best option.

ETA: There is a big difference beteeen a contract and an estimate. Contracts are binding, estimates are not. Both should have been very detailed, including the specific tile that was to be used, right down to the manufacturer, size, color.

Edited by TechWife, 17 October 2017 - 09:09 PM.

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#16 maize

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 09:19 PM

Thing is, it sounds like this contractor knowingly gave a dishonest low-ball estimate in order to trick the homeowner into hiring them. That is a dishonest and predatory way of doing business


With construction and home remodeling projects estimates do sometimes come up short, work is more involved or materials more expensive than anticipated, but it doesn't sound like the contractor is even claiming that that is the case here. If he claims that the homeowner should have known the estimate was impossibly low then there is no way he as a professional in the business did not know when writing it out that the estimate was dishonestly low.
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#17 FaithManor

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 09:31 PM

A lot of this depends on the state. Some states are pretty strict on contractors and there is recourse if the estimate is more than a certain percentage off with estimates coming with expiration dates to allow updates for price changes.

Some states not so strict.
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#18 OrganicJen

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 09:49 PM

Thing is, it sounds like this contractor knowingly gave a dishonest low-ball estimate in order to trick the homeowner into hiring them. That is a dishonest and predatory way of doing business


With construction and home remodeling projects estimates do sometimes come up short, work is more involved or materials more expensive than anticipated, but it doesn't sound like the contractor is even claiming that that is the case here. If he claims that the homeowner should have known the estimate was impossibly low then there is no way he as a professional in the business did not know when writing it out that the estimate was dishonestly low.

 


Edited by OrganicJen, 26 October 2017 - 12:35 PM.


#19 FaithManor

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 09:54 PM

The contractor actually later said in their deposition (under oath) that he never intended to do the job at that price, it wasn't a reasonable price, but that it was the owner's fault for believing him in the first place, and their old tile was ugly and crappy so he shouldn't have to pay them anything.


Said under oath, this might constitute fraud in some states.

Edited by FaithManor, 17 October 2017 - 10:08 PM.

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#20 OrganicJen

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 09:56 PM

Sad under oath, this might constitute fraud in some states.


 


Edited by OrganicJen, 26 October 2017 - 12:36 PM.

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#21 eternalsummer

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 10:05 PM

OrganicJen, the contractor sounds like a real winner.  I cannot imagine the homeowner losing this case, but who knows.


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#22 OrganicJen

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 10:29 PM

OrganicJen, the contractor sounds like a real winner. I cannot imagine the homeowner losing this case, but who knows.


 


Edited by OrganicJen, 26 October 2017 - 12:36 PM.

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#23 gardenmom5

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 11:01 PM

was the low-ball estimate in writing?

was the low-ball estimate *explicit* in what it covered?

 

eta: I saw the update with the deposition that he is *admitting* he never intended to honor the estimate.  I hope your state is one that would find that as grounds for fraud.


Edited by gardenmom5, 17 October 2017 - 11:04 PM.

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#24 OrganicJen

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 11:06 PM

was the low-ball estimate in writing?
was the low-ball estimate *explicit* in what it covered?

eta: I saw the update with the deposition that he is *admitting* he never intended to honor the estimate. I hope your state is one that would find that as grounds for fraud.


 


Edited by OrganicJen, 26 October 2017 - 12:36 PM.


#25 Dust

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 11:20 PM

I agree but he refused to settle out of court and is forcing them to go to trial so I was wondering if maybe there was something we were missing lol. They aren't even asking him to honor the contract and pay for someone else to do that exact work with the tile they picked out, they just want enough money to pay for the cheapest tile so they can have their floor back to as close to it was before they met him as possible. So they aren't even trying to get the tile they picked out for him to install in the first place, they are being as fair as they feel they can.

 

I wouldn't assume that there is something the homeowner is "missing."

 

I assume the contractor knows that many people are scared of taking it to court, and that if they have to go to trial, the homeowner might just drop it and then the contractor can get off free. 

 

Though, wouldn't this just be small claims court? There wouldn't be a jury... 

 

Do people hire lawyers for small claims court? Is this beyond small claims with the accusation of fraud? It's possible he could be hoping the homeowner wont want to pay for a lawyer and will therefore drop the case.

 

 

If it isn't obvious, I admit my knowledge of the court system is weak, and mostly based off of TV shows :coolgleamA:


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#26 OrganicJen

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 11:38 PM

I wouldn't assume that there is something the homeowner is "missing."

I assume the contractor knows that many people are scared of taking it to court, and that if they have to go to trial, the homeowner might just drop it and then the contractor can get off free.

Though, wouldn't this just be small claims court? There wouldn't be a jury...

Do people hire lawyers for small claims court? Is this beyond small claims with the accusation of fraud? It's possible he could be hoping the homeowner wont want to pay for a lawyer and will therefore drop the case.


If it isn't obvious, I admit my knowledge of the court system is weak, and mostly based off of TV shows :coolgleamA:

 


Edited by OrganicJen, 26 October 2017 - 12:36 PM.

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#27 OrganicJen

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 11:45 PM

was the low-ball estimate in writing?
was the low-ball estimate *explicit* in what it covered?

eta: I saw the update with the deposition that he is *admitting* he never intended to honor the estimate. I hope your state is one that would find that as grounds for fraud.


 


Edited by OrganicJen, 26 October 2017 - 12:37 PM.

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#28 gardenmom5

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 12:44 AM

Yep I know they are going for fraud among other claims, although fraud requires proving a whole list of elements so it isn't easy to get, but they have a bunch of different claims against him. It's sad because they are truly different people now. They are afraid to trust anyone anymore, and they have become more reclusive etc.

 

fraud can be a trick to prove -because you must prove *intent*.  (stupidity isn't illegal.)

that in his own deposition - he admitted he never intended to do the project for his quoted amount, should help their case of proving intent  to commit fraud.


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#29 OrganicJen

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 01:51 AM

eta


Edited by OrganicJen, 26 October 2017 - 12:37 PM.

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#30 foxbridgeacademy

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 02:03 AM

Yes, contract in writing with the estimate and they both signed it. Plus, at the contract signing owner had to pay a percentage of the estimate up front, and the amount of the check matches with the estimate.

This is what would make me side with the owner 100%.


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#31 eternalsummer

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 03:51 AM

Look, if he said under oath that the estimate was a deliberate lie, I don't see how he comes out of it in any kind of good shape unless the entire jury is full of shady contractors and their cousins.

 

If it is a small community I might worry about his knowing the judge (because otherwise why the hell would he be willing to go to court with such a bad case?), but otherwise I'd just assume he's gotten used to getting to fleece people and needs to get un-used to it.


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#32 Twolittleboys

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 04:30 AM

Based on the details given, my personal recommendation would be that the contractor has to do the job for the original estimate (or close to it). However, I am horrible at legal questions and my personal feelings are generally quite different from the actual outcome...

 

While I completely understand that you don't want to give actual details, I think that makes it impossible to give much of an opinion. Changing just one or two aspects might change everything from a legal perspective (or not - impossible to say). For example I would expect most people to have no idea about the cost of tiles so it would be ridiculous to expect them to know the estimate is wrong. But for some other things it is different. If for example someone offers to sell you a new Porsche for 5000 you can be expected to know that something is wrong (just as an example).


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#33 transientChris

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 05:18 AM

I have watched People's Court since Judge Wapner. Judge Millian really explains the laws of whatever state the plaintiffs are in.  And what I have observed over the years is that laws vary a lot.  With him admitting fraud, I think they will win.  BUt what exactly- certainly their deposit.  If the contract is held to be a binding contract, which is what it seems to be based on your explanation, normally the defendant would have to perform the service and then your relatives would have to pay the remaining costs. Since he is unwilling, he is the one who breached (obviously) but judgements are to make you go back to your original condition.  So if someone breaks your tv, you don't even get another cheap one if the depreciated cost of that tv is less than what you would get for resale.  So I am not so sure whether they would even get the cost of the cheap tile.  WHat they are normally going to get is the depreciated value of their old tile plus maybe something for the labor.  But that is in a case without fraud,  There is a concept in the law that you can get more ancillary damages if you negatively depended on a contract to be fulfilled which may come into play with ripping up the old tile.  So if it wasn't tile but windows and you took them all out and hauled the old windows away that morning in anticipation of windows being put in, I could see a judge ruling you not only getting depreciated value of windows but the cost of hiring a person to temporarily board up said windows and the boards which to do it with.  

 

The big difference potentially in this is fraud.  I could well see the judge or jury ordering up payment for low cost replacement but again it may be still minus whatever they were supposed to pay under the original contract. So lets say tiles were $5000 and they had put down $2000.  The real cost of even cheap tiles was $10,000.  Contractor would be liable to pay them $7000 plus court costs in most cases.  

 

Have they contacted BBB and seen if there are other cases?  What about contacting media-  in our city, news stations like to cover such stories and sometimes the contractor just buckles under and actually performs the contract. 


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#34 Ravin

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 08:35 AM

I dunno.  I am kinda stuck on the fact that the homeowner is the one who ripped out the tile.  If the tile contractor had ripped out the tile himself and THEN hit the homeowner with a higher price, I would be ALL OVER the homeowner's side.  But because the home owner ripped out the tile themselves....it makes things more complicated.

 

And, the whole "you should have known it was a crappy estimate" is totally bogus.  Homeowners get estimates because they DON'T know. 

 

It comes down to whether reliance on the estimate was reasonable. It may depend on the specific language of the contract signed, but since a deposit was made, a contract was formed...I think the contractor is in the wrong and hopefully the law backs that up. 


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#35 Rebel Yell

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 09:58 AM

Whatever happens, I hope the court doesn't rule that the original contractor has to perform the work. NO WAY would I trust him to do a good or even acceptable job, even if he is truly capable of top-level artisan-quality work. I would never trust a buttonhole like that to not intentionally screw something up just to be a spiteful weinerhead.

If I ruled the world, I would get three estimates for builder-grade (not bottom, not elite upgrades) tile installation from local established businesses of good reputation, and require the original estimate guy to pay the average of those estimates for one of those contractors to do the work.
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#36 Janeway

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 10:01 AM

Since it is in writing and signed, I would side with the home owner.

 

 


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#37 Beebug123

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 10:27 AM

Our experience in court was that it was/is a corrupt system. Retired police officer sued us after we had sold our house and moved away (he was upset that we sold he had tried many times to sell and never could) for parking a trailer on our own property, adjacent to an easement. Which, because he used a tape measure he had decided (after the fact we moved) was his property. He also didn't live in the home, it sat vacant 10 of the 12 years we lived there, only first occupied by renters. We ended up paying him a lot of money in "damages" for longer than we owned our trailer for even. Without any proof whatsoever that the property was his. He never had a survey done, nothing. But we no longer lived there and the trailer was no longer parked there to prove it.  Although we knew we were correct once we "lost" the case we just let our insurance handle it. It still kills me today and you know that whole truth is stranger than fiction?


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#38 PeppermintPattie

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 11:18 AM

I agree but he refused to settle out of court and is forcing them to go to trial so I was wondering if maybe there was something we were missing lol. They aren't even asking him to honor the contract and pay for someone else to do that exact work with the tile they picked out, they just want enough money to pay for the cheapest tile so they can have their floor back to as close to it was before they met him as possible. So they aren't even trying to get the tile they picked out for him to install in the first place, they are being as fair as they feel they can.

 

The contractor does sound like a sociopath! 

 

The only thing I don't understand is why they're asking for only a small amount of money. I'm guess the original tile was high quality, since it was old but still did the job of covering the floor. Shouldn't they be getting it replaced with equally high quality tile? The cheapest tile might end up being a problem in the not-so-long run.



#39 OrganicJen

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 11:26 AM

The contractor does sound like a sociopath!

The only thing I don't understand is why they're asking for only a small amount of money. I'm guess the original tile was high quality, since it was old but still did the job of covering the floor. Shouldn't they be getting it replaced with equally high quality tile? The cheapest tile might end up being a problem in the not-so-long run.


 


Edited by OrganicJen, 26 October 2017 - 12:37 PM.


#40 SKL

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 11:31 AM

It would depend on what the written estimate said.  Did it correctly specify the amount of space to be tiled, the type of tile to be bought, the specific labor that was included and excluded?  Hopefully the jury has enough information to determine this.  If the written estimate was accurate as to the requested goods/services but priced too low, then that is on the contractor IMO.  I don't think a jury would expect you to "know" that was a low price if it was something like tile, which is not bought and sold by everyone all the time.

 


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#41 OrganicJen

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 11:35 AM

Our experience in court was that it was/is a corrupt system. Retired police officer sued us after we had sold our house and moved away (he was upset that we sold he had tried many times to sell and never could) for parking a trailer on our own property, adjacent to an easement. Which, because he used a tape measure he had decided (after the fact we moved) was his property. He also didn't live in the home, it sat vacant 10 of the 12 years we lived there, only first occupied by renters. We ended up paying him a lot of money in "damages" for longer than we owned our trailer for even. Without any proof whatsoever that the property was his. He never had a survey done, nothing. But we no longer lived there and the trailer was no longer parked there to prove it. Although we knew we were correct once we "lost" the case we just let our insurance handle it. It still kills me today and you know that whole truth is stranger than fiction?


That's awful. I've seen many things like that happen where people just lie and end up winning. You never know how thing will turn out.