Do I have a good defense for small claims court? How? 10 Answers as of May 22, 2015

I signed a written contract with a roof contractor that indicates my $1000.00 deductable is waived and they are now taking me to court to try and get roughly $500.00 from me that I do not owe them. It does appear that his numbers on what I signed do not reflect my insurance companys estimate and looks like this is money that they should be requesting from my insurance company and not me. I wrote the roofing company two payment checks reflecting the exact amount that came to me from my insurance company. The original conversation was that I would not pay anything out of pocket and they even offered me $500.00. I never got the $500.00 and tried to get it after a period of time but gave up and do not really care about it anymore and now they are trying to get money from me. The guy has a lawyer and I am asked to appear in court. I assume this is small claims but do not know how to tell from the paper work handed to me. I do not care about the $500.00 that he promised me and I am satisfied with the job done but I do not owe them a penny and would like to be prepared for the court appearance and understand how this works. First of all if I even have a case here. Thank you for your help.

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Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
You might want to consult a lawyer who can review all the facts with you. A $500 claim is for small claims court. If your contractor did not specifically agree to accept the sum of money in the insurance company's estimate or if the insurance company did not undertake to pay the full cost, your case is not strong. Review all the written material related to this contract. Then contact the claims people at the insurance company. It is at least possible that they will pay the difference. Good Luck.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 5/22/2015
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
Contact the insurance company.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/22/2015
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
You have an opportunity to show up in court and present your side of the story. Bring all of the documentation you can, and talk to your insurance contact ahead of time, you may have to subpoena the insurance claims adjuster and/or his records. As for whether this is small claims, you are right, it sure sounds like it, but I don't understand your comment that you can't tell from the paperwork. It should be right on there, in black and white in English, so read it.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/22/2015
Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
Assuming this is in California, the court papers you were given [needs to be personal service on you or given to adult member of your household that would give it to you] will state if Small Claims or Superior Court, location, court number. both of you appear to have been trying to pull a fast one on the insurance company by making it pay the full amount actually charged by the contractor and not the cost less $1,000, so if the judge is told that he/she may very well throw the case out because unclean hands.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/22/2015
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
First if the other guy has an attorney you are not in small claims court so your question is misleading. Contact an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/21/2015
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    Pay the $500 and move on with your life.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 5/21/2015
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    Be prepared, if you go by yourself to Small Claims Court, to tell the judge just what you've said here and back it up with as much paperwork as you have. I would also suggest you request the $500 promised you. You should also seriously consider consulting a lawyer. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/21/2015
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    You say he has a lawyer, but no lawyers are allowed in S.C.Court. If you were served with a summons in the Superior Court, you need to file a response within 30 days of service. If it is in Small Claims, just show up. In any event if insurance is involved you should notify that company, as they may have a duty to indemnify you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/21/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    I would have to see the documentation to form an opinion, but generally you are entitled to what you contracted for (in writing), no more and no less.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/21/2015
    Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC | Daniel A. Edelman
    An attorney would have to review the documents in order to answer the question.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/21/2015
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