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Re: Email messages @ small claim court
on May 10, 2012 @14:18
Each state differs. In small claims court, The burden of proof lies with the petitioner, and it is a "preponderance of the evidence" proof, meaning 51% or over. Proof can be ANYTHING tangible...contracts, receipts, testimony, photos, etc. In the end, it's the call of the Judge. So depending on the judge and if your state has made a decision regarding email communication as evidence, it can go either way.
You lease agreement should have stated the amount of security deposit plus you should have issued receipts for it if in cash. The bank that holds the security deposit account can issue you back statements to show the deposit amounts/activity as well as a copy of the actual check. If the tenant says the deposit was $1550, she has to prove that as in canceled checks or receipts. She also has to prove you told her she didn't have to pay rent, as in something written by you that ammends what is in the lease.
Your tenant is trying to scare and manipulate you to try to get one over on you. Don't let her, call her bluff.
From now on, if you do communicate with her, only communicate through written certified mail and stay to the facts. Do not argue back and forth. Or refer all correspondence to be handled by your lawyer if you decide to involve one.
File your case and proceed from there.
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