One of my family members wanted a puppy from me and the price for the puppy was $100 and she paid me $40 and agreed to pay me the remaining $60 when she got her child support. So we made a handwritten agreement stating that she would pay me the $60 on 3-20-12, but it wasnt notarized? And i have messages before the 20th just asking to make sure she was still going to pay and she said yes in the emails. Now she gave the dog to her brother who will not pay me anything for the dog and she is now telling me that we never signed a paper and that i forged her signature which isnt true at all. I still have the paper she signed and i wanted to take her to court but wasnt sure if the agreement i had would work?
Elder Law Attorney
Yes, the written agreement can be introduced in court without notorization. Very few written contracts are notorized. The question is- do you want to spend the money going to court to get $60.00? I don't know what small claims costs in Kentucky, but in Maryland where I practice it would cost well more than $60.00 including filing fees, service of process fees, and fees for execution of judgment.
1 lawyer agrees
I agree with Attorney Mauro. There is no requirement that a contract be notarized, in order to be enforceable. If your family member denies the signature in court, it will depend on who the judge believes. I think that based on the facts you have stated, you have a very good chance of winning a small claims action. The practical problem will be collecting that judgment. The family member may not be collectible. If she cannot pay you $60 for your puppy, how are you going to collect a judgment? I am also not sure it is worth the time and hassle to take her to court for $60. Even if you can collect court costs, as well, you are still talking about at least a couple hours worth of time and the stress of dealing with the court. I would personally rather have the dog.
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