I had to move because he would not fix it and I would not pay rent because I require hot water and the ability to cook for my child. He also came in the house to do repairs when my child was home alone and the sheriff said he was not allowed to do that either. He did not give my deposit back and I think we can sue him for breach of contract. I do have the letter from the gas company showing it was shut off due to safety along with pictures and it could have blown the house up, he used tubing instead of steel pipes had it running into the ground like this and into the attic next to the heater. I know I can take him to small claims court but I want more than $5000.00 . If I take it to small claims court and loose can I appeal their decision?
Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
Dear Fort Smith Tenant:
I am an attorney licensed to practice law in New York. I do not practice law in Arkansas.
You should read up on your rights as a tenant in Arkansas at:
Ordinarily, you can sue for as much as you want (make up a number) but all Small Claims Courts have limited monetary jurisdiction so if you want to sue in Small Claims Court but your claim exceeds the jurisdictional limit, you lower your expectations or go to a higher court.
You may have a real claim that an attorney may prove useful in stating in a professionally prepared complaint. The old landlord may be insured and so, the amount of damage you may claim in the lawsuit as inflicted on you and your family may be covered by insurance.
If you value the claim you have and want the best chance of winning don't go to court thinking of your appeal rights if you lose in Small Claims Court. The practical reality is if you cannot prove a case in Small Claims Court you are not going to win on an appeal.
You want the best chance at winning a significant judgment hire an attorney.
Because you may be concerned that no attorney took a look at your question, I want you to know, that may not be so.
As far as a reason why your question was missed along the way: Your question may have "aged out" of the most recent questions posted and the longer the time the question is not answered the further it moves away from the newest and most recent questions; sometimes a question posted in AVVO does not lead to an answer that may solve your problem or direct you to a solution; lawyers when answering online questions where no lawyer and client relation may exist may be shy sometime to propose an answer that may be construed as legal advice. When I look to the older unanswered questions, even when not in my state, I try to put information where you may find a source to help yourself, and I will always suggest that you seek local counsel as well.
You may try again and redraft the question. It is possible that your question is not clear for an attorney to answer.
The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.