Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in Virginia

Today I filed a civil suit against an old friend that never paid off a cell phone bill I set up for her. She took the cell phones and didn’t turn them back into the company she sold them through a cash for device program but I can’t get that information without a member of law enforcement calling the company to release it. And the police dept told me this is a civil matter but how am I to fully represent myself when I can’t get all the information needed to prove myself?

Asked on 7/24/19, 4:57 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jonathon Moseley Jonathon A. Moseley

I don't think you would need this information, if I understand correctly.

You don't need to show what happened to the phone. You only need to show that (1) you paid for it and (2) you are being billed for the full amount.

You only need to prove -- which you can do through your own testimony -- that she used the phone and phone account. She received a benefit from it. And she knew that you expected to be paid back.

That will be the hardest part: Proving that she knew you expected her to pay for the cost of using the phone, rather than it being a gift.

If you have the bills you can show what you paid out of pocket, both for the monthly service and for the phone.

That's how much money you are out of pocket.

It doesn't matter what she did with the phone. It only matters that you had to pay a specific certain amount to pay for the phone.

But as I said the hardest part is showing that she had knowledge that you were not letting her use the phone as a gift but you expected to get paid back.

This can be shown for example by the fact that she actually did pay some of it.

This is a type of lawsuit called quasi-contract or quantum meruit.

it means that she must pay for the amount of the benefit that she received.

But it only works if you can convince the court that it is unambiguous that she was supposed to pay, it was not a gift.

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Answered on 7/24/19, 5:26 pm

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