General Question

chelle21689's avatar

Should I sue my ex boyfriend?

Asked by chelle21689 (4961 points ) November 20th, 2012

When I was with my ex money owed just accumulated to about 5,000. He just kept promising to pay me back and I believed him. My mom also loaned him $500 so he could try to get his so called camera business started up. I mean, he bought a camera but just never really pursued it seriously. He was broke but when he joined the army he said he’d pay me back once he was deployed. About a year ago we broke up and we were on good terms. I realized while we were together before we broke up that $10–20 was being charged to my bank account each month for an xbox live which was his from his account which he claimed he didn’t know about. He said he thought his BROTHER was paying for his online access to xbox online…

He began to pay me back but once he met his new girlfriend he stopped communication because his fiancee was jealous and upset that we spoke even if it was about finance. We then only communicated about finances up until he was deployed. He wrote in his messages that he promised he’d factor me in once he got back from deployment because he will have a lot of money.

Well he’s back from his deployment. It’s been almost a year now. I messaged him, I texted him, no answer. I know he seen it because Facebook says “seen on this date blah blah”. He is ignoring me now and won’t answer me whatsoever.

1. Is it worth taking this to court? He lives in California and I live in Ohio
2. What are the chances of me winning if I have Facebook messages about us discussing payment owed to me?
3. What steps should I take if I should sue?

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38 Answers

chelle21689's avatar

It’s not necessarily about money…but the fact that I sacrificed so much for him duing his hard times and the fact my family was there to help him out…and for him to not even pay back at all is ridiculous. He just got back from deployment he should have that money. It’s not like he has any children or anything…or credit!!

I just hate how much he’s changed just because he got a fiancee that he feels the need to stop giving me what is owed. Everyone sees him as a great guy and all that but I just feel like this is out of character and I never really knew him or he just changed.

gailcalled's avatar

Do you have a signed, notarized and dated written agreement? If yes, then it’s worth the trip to Small Claims. if it is “he said, she said,” you are legally out of luck.

It is about money. The emotional issues are important but not germane. Don’t confuse them.

Can you get a friend to actually show up at his apartment, knock on the door and ask him about the unpaid debt?

chelle21689's avatar

When you ask me about the agreement, do you mean with the money owed to me? I never had him sign a contract at the time we were dating because we were together for sseveral years and friend before dating that I trusted him.

So the Facebook messages about payments owed and how much doesn’t count? In the messages he does talk about how he promises to pay and how he is factoring me in on all this.

I am on good terms with his mother and brother but I doubt they would try to get him to pay.

gailcalled's avatar

I am not a lawyer but I would doubt that anything written on F/B could be considered a contract.

And, yes, of course, I am talking about the money he borrowed. What else could I be referring to.

chelle21689's avatar

I thought you meant after.. guess I’m sh!t out of luck

Seek's avatar

I’ve seen text messages and email used against people in Small Claims. An admission of a debt owed right there, in writing, from an account that, presumably, only the owner of the account has access to.

I don’t see why Facebook messages would be any different. Only the person who owns the account should have the password. Screenshots are your friend.

chelle21689's avatar

So it looks like it can be used after googling it

Do you guys think it can be worth the money?

I’m scared to sue him because I’m afraid of making him hate me even though I shouldn’t care anymore since he cut me out of his life and he isn’t the one making effort.

nuclear's avatar

If you are sure the screenshots could be used, go for it. I hope that there is evidence of an express agreement in the information you can access. Although you may have a verbal contract, those are rather difficult to prove and have upheld in court.

Plus, if you didn’t have a pre-acertained repayment date, this could also pose problems, he may argue that he is in the process of repayment or was not aware it was “due”. You could see all sorts of interesting excuses arise.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, you can sue him in small claims court. You must take as much documentation as you possibly can to prove your case.

chelle21689's avatar

In the Facebook messages he promises to factor me in and pay when he gets back from deployment. Well, due dates up and he’s BACK. So does that count as a “date”?

Also, he lives in California and I live in Ohio so how would this work? Would he have to come here or I over there?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

You could take him to small claims court, so long as you have plenty of written/texted proof that he admitted to owing you money. Whether or not it would be worth it is totally up to you.

blueiiznh's avatar

If you have a good trail of timing and recollection on the original agreements, then the courts would hear it. If you can substantiate it with text, email, paper trails, then this will help.
Just know that you may bear some cost if the court does not see it that way.

I believe the small claim can be filed in your current location. Sometimes the sheer magnitude of you taking it to court and it be a visible action he will have to explain may get him to start paying again.

chelle21689's avatar

Also, I have proof of Facebook messages of me asking why the hell was $10–20 being changed to my account each month…and him replying to it saying he’ll fix it. He never did and I had to go through series of steps to take care of it.

My bank statements also have the proof of tthe $10–20 being charged each month and the bank tellers told me it came from CALIFORNIA.

So that’s proof right?

gailcalled's avatar

I’m scared to sue him because I’m afraid of making him hate me…

This is a completely separate issue and one that you can work on. Ask yourself why you are giving so much power to this man. What if he does, for valid or invalid reasons, dislike you? So what?

None of us operate in a world where we are beloved by all those we come in contact with, remember.

chelle21689's avatar

I know gailcalled, that is why I should take it aside since he’s out of my life.

Coloma's avatar

Unless you are destitute I think it best to just cut your losses and move on.
Do you really WANT to keep this alive and continue to be consumed with unhealthy and negative feelings? Bottom line, it is OVER, and the most important thing you need to do is take care of yourself, which includes caring for your mental and emotional state.
I advise to let it go, change your bank acct (s) and focus on rebuilding your life.

city_kid's avatar

If you talked to him about it already and that didn’t work I would talk to his family about it.
One time I had some who owe me money and I managed to get action through the person’s family. Just make sure your nice about it.

chelle21689's avatar

I don’t like that lady lol

marinelife's avatar

Take him to small claims court. Print out the Facebook messages in which he acknowledged owing you money.

You may get a judgement, but getting him to pay that might be hard too.

Still, it is worth it.

wundayatta's avatar

I agree with @Coloma. To fight this will take a lot of time and energy, particularly psychic energy. Of course, even if you win in court, you may never get any money. How far will you pursue it before giving it up as a lost cause? The problem is that the more time you sink into it, the more invested you get, and the harder it is to let go.

I might write a letter to his parents and maybe other family members, asking them to either pay off his debts for him, or to urge him to pay what he owes. I would try to talk to him about it. But I’m not sure I would put much more effort into it. When you write to his parents, you document the case with your facebook pages printouts and what not. Make your best case.

Now you have tried shaming him into it. Maybe you have tried begging. But whatever you’ve tried hasn’t worked. Maybe shaming his parents will work. Depends on their character. But I would not spend much more effort on it. These kinds of things can eat you up and get you angrier and angrier and turn you into the kind of person who thinks this is a good idea.

Coloma's avatar

Oh gawd, Judge Judy, horrible woman, horrible, anyone that watches Judge Judy is a moron! lol

jca's avatar

A lawyer told me once “You can wallpaper your wall with judgements, and the person still won’t pay.”

I am more in the “let it go” camp. You can pursue it, and it will take time and energy, and possibly dealing with his family, who, although they are friendly to you now, may not continue to be friendly to you once they hear what’s going on.

Maybe you are in bad financial shape, and have a lot of time and energy to pursue this. Maybe you don’t need money that badly and realize that it’s not worth pursuing.

Only you know how badly you need a possible $5,000. If you are very desperate for money, it may be worth pursuing. If not, and if you don’t have the time and energy to invest, then let it go. That’s a question that only you can answer: “How much is it worth to you?”

wildpotato's avatar

Actually, the Judge Judy idea is a good one. The program, and others like it, pay for the court costs and for the judgement as well. Some friends of mine did it (they were both the plaintiffs and the defendants), had a lot of fun, and got their stuff paid for. sorry guys, I hate linking to other q & a sites, but it’s a particularly inormative answer: Check this out.

tedd's avatar

I would pursue it.

But you will need paperwork confirming he owes you and that you gave him money, or you won’t get anywhere.

I’m not sure what hoops you’ll have to jump through since it’s across state lines.

YARNLADY's avatar

I believe small claims court requires both people to be in court at the same time, but I might be mistaken. As @jca ways, winning a judgement does not automatically equal getting paid.

glacial's avatar

@wildpotato So if he agrees to do a show like Judge Judy, he doesn’t actually have to pay anything, and gets to be on TV to boot? I always wondered why the defendants agree to do this! Yeah, that might get you your money back, @chelle21689.

Shippy's avatar

It is kind of a fact, when we break up a relationship, both parties lose a lot. Emotionally, financially and sometimes objects they shared. This includes money. I personally wouldn’t go there. I’d accept these losses and move on. You never know one day his conscience may prick him and he will pay you some. When you most need it.

jca's avatar

@chelle21689: As far as him hating you, that is totally besides the point, like @gailcalled said. If he really liked you, would he disrespect you this way? Yes, if it’s going to cost $5,000 for his friendship, who needs it?

deni's avatar

I honestly think it’s going to cost you more to take him to court than it’s going to be worth in the end. I mean, only you know how much he truly owes you. If it is substantial enough and you really can’t get over not having that amount of money back, then do it. But I think it will be a huge hassle, and frustrating. @Shippy said it well, we always lose a lot in relationships. Often at least part of that is financial, that’s just the way it is. And also, life isn’t all about money, so unless you really need the money to live, I’d just give it up. Cut him out of your life entirely rather than having him hanging around as this stressor that is probably not going to bring anything good in the end anyhow for what its worth.

chyna's avatar

I have caught some episodes of Judge Judy and she has said that women almost always loan men money, men very seldom loan women money. I wonder why that is?
I think that men that “borrow” off of women and don’t pay them back are useless bums. I don’t see why you would care what this person thought of you, he should worry that you think he is a bum that uses women. His new girlfriend did not get a prize with him.
I would let it go and let this be a lesson: Never loan money that you can’t afford to lose.

Jeruba's avatar

My opinion, for what it’s worth, is that you ought to decide on your own what to do or not do about this. Involving anyone else in your decision puts the responsibility in the wrong place. Nobody will want to be the person who steered you wrong.

Ela's avatar

In my opinion, there are two things you never lend out with the expectation of having them returned. Books and money. It really sucks to trust and give someone so much, then have them treat you this way. But, honestly, he is only treating you in a way you are allowing him to.
With the distance and all the turmoil he is bringing into your life, if it were me, I personally would let it go. For me it would be a small price to pay to rid myself of him and all his drama.

Ela's avatar

p.s. you deserve so much better than this

Seek's avatar

^ I never lend books. Ever. I’ll give you a book, but I will not lend one.

wundayatta's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr That’s how I feel about money, too. I would prefer to give it and not lend it to friends or family. If I do lend money, I only lend it if I can afford not to be paid back.

redellbabymomma19's avatar

@chelle21689 sue him hard…make sure you do bring those messages to court because this is a lot of money he owes you and it is possible you can go bankrupt for these things he is acessing that require money!

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