The Court Has Spoken: J. Money Wins!!!

thumbs up
WE WON! WE WON!!!  The judge has ruled, and we officially beat our ex-employer! :)  7 months of waiting and wondering, and the “little guys” come out victorious – W00T!

And guess what?  It WAS exactly like the movies!!! Haha… seriously, it was wild.  I got called up to the stand and everything.  Hawk up, shirt and tie on, it felt pretty good.  Even had a little audience going on!  I was nervous as $hit, of course, but once I was up there and talking it got easier as the time went on… though I did make a fool of myself and try to move the chair I was in, only to realize it was bolted down! Haha… man I felt like an idiot.. (Strike it from the court!)

There was something else stupid I did too — I had calculated all my numbers wrong!  This entire process I had it in my head that I was owed $2,100 or whatever when I was REALLY owed almost $3,000!  I was so used to looking at my net earned on my paycheck, that I forgot I needed to be paying attention to the GROSS amount – d’uh.  My lawyer should have caught it, of course, but we’re not exactly her biggest clients ;)  And LUCKILY I realized it an hour before go-time so we got it all squared away before I had to hit the stands… but boy was I flustered for a while.  If we didn’t get to talk I didn’t know what I was supposed to say up there??  Do I keep my original number and LIE on the stand??  Or do I revise it and then confuse/make my attorney look bad?  I’m SOOOO glad it didn’t come down to that. But it all goes to show the devil’s in the details…

So, what happens now?  Well, two things.

  1. I’m owed DOUBLE my money now :)  Awww yeahhhh!!!  My original $3,000 turned to $6,000 when my ex-CEO decided to let all that time pass in between (and act like a jackass all the while).  Apparently there’s some law that allows penalties to accrue for every day late, up to the maximum of what you’re suing for, so legally I’m owed 6 grand now.
  2. BUT, we now have to go FIND the money :(  Which is both exciting, and maddening, at the same time.  Yes, the court filed a judgement against them, but it only really matters IF they still have any money, and more importantly, IF we know where to look for it!! (the right bank accounts, etc) And any smart man trying to wiggle out of responsibilities can easily hit that xfer button and do their best to try and lose us… at least from my understanding of it so far.  It’s all jacked up.

Regardless of how it pans out, though, our mission of sticking it to him was successful and we can now move on :)  We went there and did what we had to do, and now it’s up to the good ol’ money Gods to see if we can collect.  Anything from this point forward is really icing on the cake. It’s time to lock this one up, and concentrate on the future.  I’m done messing with jokers ;)

PS: Some of you were asking about how much it cost to do all this stuff.  Which is a very valid question!  So far we’ve only paid $100 each – which covered little fees here and there to get everything submitted and on track. The money to our attorney relates back to whether we COLLECT in the end or not. If we get our hands on it, she takes a BIG cut for helping us get it: 40%, I believe (it’s been a few months since I’ve looked).  But if not, she gets paid squat.  A pretty hefty risk on her side, but a nice payoff if it all comes through in the end.  And so far,  she’s made the right call ;)

(Photo by greggoconnell)

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  1. Adam July 18, 2011 at 5:59 AM

    This is so good to hear J$, I hope things continue to work out.

    I love how your attitude has remained so positive and *strong*. And that you’ve accepted that sometimes it’s best to focus on the future than get bogged down in the past.

    That said, it’s still going to be sweet if/when those dollars hit your account :)

  2. Chet July 18, 2011 at 6:56 AM

    Way to go J$.

    Congrats, I am sure you are glad this ordeal is over with.

  3. Melissa July 18, 2011 at 7:46 AM

    Awesome! Glad to hear it’s all working out for you.

    And that’s a great surprise with the $6000 instead of $2100. Especially since the “found” money in penalties is what your attorney will collect, more or less, so it’s really like you’re getting your full paycheque without being out any fees for an attorney at all. (Sort of.)

  4. Maria Nedeva July 18, 2011 at 7:49 AM

    Great news, J$ and well done! Finding the money is another matter entirely; the important thing now is that you won…and this makes you ‘a a man who stood up for his rights and won’.

  5. Kevin July 18, 2011 at 7:56 AM

    Thats fantastic new J$, I’m glad to hear that you won your case and where able to stick it to your X-employer.

    But the bigger questions still remains after ya get your cash will you enjoy your extra 3k over what you thought you were going to get either going out on the town, taken a trip or buy something nice. Or do you plan to invest it or pay down some stuff. (If it was me I’d do both 1000 for some fun, and 2k to pay down the house)

  6. Sarah July 18, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    Awesome. Very. Very. Awesome.
    (And hawk up and suit? I really hope you took a picture.)

  7. No Debt MBA July 18, 2011 at 9:14 AM

    Congrats on winning your back pay PLUS interest! Even after the lawyer’s fee you still keep $3,600 which is a lot more than nothing! Did your lawyer give you any advice about taking the stand? That would be nerve wracking for me.

  8. Jenny~Z July 18, 2011 at 9:16 AM

    Yay!!!! CONGRATS :D

  9. J. Money July 18, 2011 at 9:21 AM

    @Adam – Thanks dude. Yeah, I mean it def. took me a few months to get over it and realize I have more important things to do with my life ;) I was pretty pissed for a little bit there, but as with everything you can’t dwell on it forever!
    @Chet – I am :) I hate when things linger for so long, it really drains you.
    @Melissa – Yes!! Isn’t that awesome? Originally I remember telling our group I didn’t care about any of the extra as I just wanted what was rightfully due to me, but I’m glad we ended up fighting for it. This makes it pretty win-win all around, and sticks it to our ex-employer even more – I love it.
    @Maria Nedeva – Awww, thanks Maria :) You’re right that it feels good just knowing we fought and WON now!
    @Kevin – Oh man, that IS a reat question. To be honest, it hasn’t even crossed my mind yet. I really really doubt we’re gonna get that money, but if we DO I’d probably end up dropping it into my business savings account for future projects. I had to dip into it back in December BECAUSE I didn’t get this last paycheck, so it would be nice to have it topped off again :)
    @Sarah – Haha, unfortunately there were no pictures to be had. I was being too nervous and scrambled to even think about capturing the event! :)
    @No Debt MBA – Oh yeah! We had to meet a few days earlier and prep for it :) Exactly like how they do in the movies!!! It was awesome. And the excitement of trying something new was the only thing holding my nerves together, even though I was still nervous when the time came. But she walked us through all the questions, and our answers, before hand so it was nice and easy at least once we got started… the only thing that could have jacked it up was if the Judge jumped in and started asking away OR the defending counsel. But luckily it was pretty open & close, so no one knocked me off track.
    @Jenny~Z – Thanks Jenny!

  10. Jerret July 18, 2011 at 9:51 AM

    Congrats! Maybe your next step is to click on your adsense ad at the bottom of your post about debt collections. Ha!

    I may be headed to court next month with my landlord. Hopefully not but we’ll have to wait and see.

  11. NancyO July 18, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    take it to Judge Judy. She’ll pay the settlement.

    ANNNND, you’ll get a free trip to LA + hotel, accomodations, etc.

  12. Miriam July 18, 2011 at 10:14 AM

    Congrats! Pretty nice that you get more money than you were expecting, which is almost like the lawyer not taking so much to begin with XD

  13. cashflowmantra July 18, 2011 at 10:17 AM

    Congratulations. I hope the process of finding your money is easier.

  14. Crystal July 18, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    Congratulations!!! I hope everything is completely cleared up soon, but at least you have the satisfaction of legally sticking it to them under your belt in the meantime!!!

  15. jolie July 18, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    congratulations on your big win! I hope the money gets found so you can celebrate with your $6000.

  16. crashdamage1957 July 18, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    I’m with Crystal; getting the money would be icing on the cake, but we all know its not about the money. Winning must have just felt FABULOUS.
    I’m just sort of disappointed that this case wasn’t picked up by one of the TV court shows, but they only deal with small claim filings, not class -action suits. This would have been an interesting and therapeutic case for many people to watch, i have to think.

  17. Jen @ Master the Art of Saving July 18, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    Awesome! I knew ya’ll would win and stick it to him. ;-) I bet you feel so much better getting that done with. Are u and ur wife going to do something fun w/ the money when/if you get it?

  18. Evan July 18, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    I am shocked it made it this far into litigation. The company has to have some cash if for no other reason then they have to be paying their attorney something…

  19. Evan H. July 18, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    I think Big Perm (Friday) said it best:

    “Playing with my money is like playing with my emotions”

    Congrats on the win J$!

  20. BigAssSuperstar July 18, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    Get a lien on his house … or his car … or his favorite not-yet-paid-for asset. Make it impossible for him to enjoy life without paying you first. Make it impossible for him to sell any of his crap with a clean title without giving you guys satisfaction first.

  21. Carol in Mpls July 18, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    Congrats on the win! Shows that principles do matter, and however much money you end up getting will just be frosting on the cake.

  22. Ashley @ Money Talks July 18, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    Congrats on your win. We looked into suing my neighbor after he did $2,000 worth of damage to our car and didn’t have insurance. But we decided not to when we found out that even if we get the judgement we then have to go and find the money. I know he has nothing and I really just wanted to move on with my life.

    And on the lawyer fees… with her taking 40% it’s like all the fines for being late your employer has to pay is paying your lawyer… which is cool. At least you walk away with what you should have had all along.

  23. Tim July 18, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    Way to stand up to the man! Too often it’s the big businesses that are winning law suits against the little man. It’s hard to win against a business that can afford an army of lawyers. Congrats! This is one for the underdog!

  24. J. Money July 18, 2011 at 10:10 PM

    @Jerret – Hah! The odds ;) I hope you don’t have to man, it’s not a fun ride even WHEN you win. I’d gladly have nipped it early on if I had a choice in the matter.
    @NancyO – You know I would!!! That would be hot :)
    @Miriam – Well, only if I end up seeing any of it ;) We won, but it doesn’t mean there’s money to be received yet if the company has none (or more than likly – is HIDING it).
    @cashflowmantra – Thanks dude!
    @Crystal – Yup! And I’m actually closing this whole chapter out now, so I’m not even gonna think avout that money or the case or anything anymore. If it comes, it comes and it’ll be a nice little surprise :)
    @jolie – If by “celebrate” you mean “put in my savings account!” Haha… but I still count that as sexy ;)
    @crashdamage1957 – Yeah, for sure… though kinda boring as there really wasn’t much drama to be had. It would have been like watching it on C-Span or something :)
    @Jen @ Master the Art of Saving – Nope! Well, not “fun” like going out and buying something or splurging on ourselves or anything like that. I’d just invest it back into my company (aka savings until I need it) and it’ll make up for the money I took out earlier when I got laid off before I had a good system down.
    @Evan – True, but who knows how they have everything structured over there… I know we can’t touch any of the higher-ups personally, that’s for sure. They’ve covered themselves well from what I hear.
    @Evan H. – Haha, TRUE THAT. Love that movie :)
    @BigAssSuperstar – I wish we could my man, but he’s got that whole company locked down pretty good. No one can touch him or the actual investors that OWN it all. So they can shut down any day (if they’re not already) and that would be that. Nothing to even liquidate really.
    @Carol in Mpls – Yup! Exactly. I’m just enjoying this as a “win” and then carrying on with my life finally :)
    @Ashley @ Money Talks – Oh yeah, I’d gladly give all that money to our lawyer for getting us to where we are today. Even if I just got $1,000 I’d be happy! :) That sucks about your neighbor and your car situation, man… I hate when there’s nothing that can be done about things, it makes me feel so useless. Sorry ya’ll had to deal with that, but I’m glad you’ve moved on! We have to do that a lot in life, eh?
    @Tim – Yessir! Even IF it was a no-brainer of a suit, haha… “if you don’t pay your employees, you’re breaking the law.” Doesn’t get more clearcut than that ;)

  25. daisy July 18, 2011 at 10:24 PM

    Congrats! I’m not surprised that you won. It’s pretty awesome that you get double.. that will take care of your lawyers fee!

  26. 20 and Engaged July 18, 2011 at 10:40 PM

    Congratulations J! And double the money too? That’s awesome :)

  27. Rafiki July 18, 2011 at 10:47 PM

    Two thumbs UP to Mr. J. Money and to justice.

  28. First Gen American July 19, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    Hurray. Nice to know the little guy still wins out once in a while.

  29. Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager July 19, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    Congrats (again)! Hopefully they can find you $6K soon!

  30. Jaime July 19, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    Yay! Congrats dude. You really have to fight for your money sometimes, but it’s totally worth it. :)

  31. J. Money July 20, 2011 at 9:26 AM

    @daisy – Yup! And I hope we get it if not just so SHE can get paid :)
    @20 and Engaged – Thanks!
    @Rafiki – Def. to justice :)
    @First Gen American – It’s a tough battle sometimes, but if we don’t fight it the answer will always be NO!
    @Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager – That would be nice :)
    @Jaime – Thanks! A very nice ending, to a ridiculously long issue.

  32. kirazona July 20, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    Way to go J$! On the collection side though, you can totally do this! When companies go out of business, everyone gets in line who is owed money from them. The good news is that former employees who are owed back wages move to the front of the line. Thus, you will get paid before they have to payback their line of credit from the bank, you just need to get in line.
    But the other thing you can do is pull their credit report/DnB. It costs around $30, but it will tell you where all their active banks are. And if they have a line of credit somewhere and you serve the bank with your judgement – BAM! They can take it out of their line of credit.
    Anyway, my point is that you can get the money and it’s not that hard. We did this succesfully with a back wages thing earlier this year. The guy didn’t pay, so we used their credit report to find the $$$. And we sure found it too! And got paid back everything!

  33. J. Money July 21, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    Woahhhh, really???? I did NOT know that! I knew we’d be 1st in line if company goes under, but def. not about that credit report stuff — good idea!! I didn’t realize you can pull credit reports on other people/businesses?? man… this could totally change the game, THANK YOU!!! Off to email my attorney…

  34. K August 8, 2011 at 7:07 PM

    One thing you/ your attorney might want to investigate, depending on the laws where you live, is do a UCC search with the Secretary of State and find out what financing statements are on file – if they company has a loan secured by business assets such as machinery & equipment, accounts, general intangibles, chattel paper or government payments it would be recorded there. As your Judgment is for past wages, that would be a priority debt and depending on what assets the company has left versus what they still owe the their creditors, the creditor might consider paying the Judgment to keep a priority position on the assets.

  35. J. Money August 14, 2011 at 9:40 PM

    Okay – I’ll run it by our attorney – thanks! Though we didn’t have much machinery or anything that I know of. But then again, there was obviously a LOT of things I was unaware of, haha… appreciate the tip, my friend :)