Jeffrey L Smoot’s Answers

Jeffrey L Smoot

Seattle Bankruptcy Attorney.

Contributor Level 8
  1. Can an auto repair shop hold a car hostage for payment?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Jeffrey L Smoot
    2. Shawn B Alexander
    2 lawyer answers

    Look to the Automotive Repair Act, Chapter 46.71 RCW. A written estimate is normally required for any repair over $100, but there is an exception if you dropped the car off for repair and authorized repairs to be made. An automotive repair facility that fails to comply with the estimate requirements is generally barred from recovering more than 110% of the amount authorized by the customer, and is not entitled to assert a lien. But as Mr. Alexander says, if the shop won't release your car until...

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  2. I have a judgement against my tenants and have also filed to move it to a civil case. How do I file for a lien?

    Answered about 3 years ago.

    1. Jeffrey L Smoot
    2. Dorothy G Bunce
    3. Theodore Lyons Araujo
    3 lawyer answers

    Recording the judgment lien will perfect the lien as to real property only. A lien against personal property only attaches from the date of levy against the property. RCW 4.56.190. Recording the judgment won't give you a lien against personal property. You have to levy against the property by execution or garnishment. If one of the tenants has a steady job, a wage garnishment may be the easiest and least expensive way to collect. You should have an attorney assist you with collection of your...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  3. Discovery in Small Claims Court?

    Answered about 3 years ago.

    1. Jeffrey L Smoot
    2. Charles Joseph Michael Candiano
    3. Michael E Catania
    3 lawyer answers

    You should definitely be prepared to offer documents and witness statements at the small claim hearing to rebut any false documents and any other evidence that the employer may offer against you. If you lose in small claims court you have the right to appeal to the superior court. The appeal will involve a trial de novo, a completely new trial as if the original trial in small claims court had never taken place, but under RCW 12.36.055 the appeal is "upon the record of the case" so it is...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  4. Subcontractor filed a lawsuit to foreclose on a lien, but used it as a place holder and doesn't serve papers for months.

    Answered about 4 years ago.

    1. Jordan K. Foster
    2. Jeffrey L Smoot
    3 lawyer answers

    Casey, you may still want to review the paperwork to see if the publication was done correctly. They are supposed to make a diligent effort to locate and serve you before resorting to publication; if they didn't do so, you could request that the service be nullified and the case dismissed.

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  5. Subcontractor filed a lawsuit to foreclose on a lien, but used it as a place holder and doesn't serve papers for months.

    Answered about 4 years ago.

    1. Jordan K. Foster
    2. Jeffrey L Smoot
    3 lawyer answers

    As Mr. Foster states, a lien foreclosure action must be served on the owner within 90 days. RCW 60.04.141. Based on your timeline, it is possible that the sub is utilizing the court rule allowing service by mail. CR 4(d)(4). You should check the case docket to see if a motion was filed and an order entered allowing service by mail, and if so carefully check the papers you received to be sure they comply with the requirements of the court rule. A link to CR 4 is provided below. If service was...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  6. I bought a house with a deck, but it is not up to code like the seller told me.

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Jeffrey L Smoot
    1 lawyer answer

    It depends on your contract with the seller or inspector. Did you hire an inspector to inspect the house before you bought it? Did you waive inspection in your purchase contract? If so, then you probably do not have a good case against the seller for misrepresenting the condition of the deck. The "economic loss rule" would most likely bar a misrepresentation claim where your contract allocated the risk of loss. Recent cases including Jackowski v. Borchelt, 151 Wn. App. 1 (2009) and Cox v. O’...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  7. How to fill out Affidavit of Service- to serve someone

    Answered about 3 years ago.

    1. Peter Michael Schneider
    2. Jeffrey L Smoot
    3. Theodore Lyons Araujo
    3 lawyer answers

    This affidavit of service form is not very good. As an affidavit, it would need to be notarized but no notary signature block is provided. If it were considered as an unsworn declaration under RCW 9A.72.085 it would have to recite that it was true under penalty of perjury. But as to how to fill out the form, both previous answers are correct. On line 3 you would put the address where the defendant was served. At the bottom you would put the server's address.

  8. My paid parking receipt fell off window of car. Received a ticket. I have receipt showing that I paid on time. Help?!

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Jeffrey L Smoot
    1 lawyer answer

    I haven't seen a parking ticket in awhile, but if I remember correctly you should have the option of paying, admitting the infraction but requesting a court hearing to explain the circumstances, or denying the infraction and demanding a hearing to dispute the ticket. You should deny the infraction, demand a hearing, and submit a letter to the court with a copy of your receipt proving that you paid for parking at the time in question and ask that the citation be dismissed. You will most likely...

  9. After occupying a unit for fourteen years, can I legally be charged for replacing the carpet, which was not new when I moved in?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Jeffrey L Smoot
    2. J Patrick Diener
    3. Elizabeth Rankin Powell
    3 lawyer answers

    If the carpet needs replacement due to ordinary wear and tear (which seems likely if the carpet was not new when you moved in and you lived there for 14 years), you should not be charged for replacing it. Ordinary wear and tear means gradual deterioration resulting from use, lapse of time, and to a certain extent the operation of the elements. If the carpet is just worn out due to age and ordinary use, you should not have to pay for its replacement. However, if you damaged the carpet beyond...

  10. What is the worst that can happen by avoiding being served? Is it illegal?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Shawn B Alexander
    2. William Thomas Willard
    3. Jeffrey L Smoot
    3 lawyer answers

    It is not illegal to avoid service of process. In most cases, however, service is inevitable. As Mr. Alexander notes, if you avoid service long enough, the plaintiff may still serve you by publication in most cases. If you are being sued and are liable for attorney fees and costs under a contract or statute, the fees and costs of publication will be added to the judgment that you might eventually have to pay. Avoiding service, such as not answering the door or coming out of your office to be...

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