6 responses

  1. Shirley Card
    May 17, 2018

    I was sued in small claims court in Auburn, Al. I went to court on my own, but never had a voice of the matter. Now I want to appeal.
    The court Date were May 15, 2018, What should I do?


    • John Watts
      May 19, 2018


      Contact my office at 205-879-2447 so we can find out more about your case and help you think through an appeal. Check your order (I’m assuming you received an order where the judge ruled against you) as it will normally tell you that you have 14 days to appeal.

      There are so pros and cons to appealing.

      We’ll be glad to help you think through those options — call us and ask to speak to Carolyn at 205-879-2447.

      Talk to you soon!



  2. Stacey
    October 18, 2018

    My aunt and uncle sued the contractor who did not correctly pour their concrete slab. (He was a subcontractor for renovations and created this outside contract.) He was removed from the job by the general contractor for poor work performance for the original renovation job and my aunt & uncle sued him for the concrete slab.

    He countersued under the contract with the general contractor. On the day of court, he hires an attorney and the trial judge ruled in his favor without submission of receipts and knowing that his counter claim was under the original contract.

    I do not believe they should pay and should appeal. They are in their 80’s and this is an outrage. What should they do?


    • John Watts
      October 20, 2018


      Sorry this happened.

      I can’t tell you what they should do.

      But I can tell you that if they do not appeal or ask the court to reconsider (and very strict time limits so have to figure those out) then they will owe the money from the judgment and the judgment will be final.

      So very quickly I would get with a lawyer who does construction work and find out options.

      If the lawsuit was in small claims or district court in Alabama, there is a 14 day time period to appeal from the date of the judgment. (Again you must verify this). So if they don’t have time to find a lawyer they could appeal and then find a lawyer.

      Best wishes and I hope they will be successful — very frustrating to have a bad contractor and then owe that contractor money.

      John Watts


  3. Michael Veach
    December 30, 2018

    I have to give you the complement of saying you are the first person that has provided any rationale for the right of a de novo ( been doing my homework and picking my daughter’s – Bama undergrad – Penn Stae Law third and a half year – brain.) appeal to Circuit Court. Had it been clear that “just ‘cause I ain’t happy” was grounds for appeal, I wouldn’t have wasted 8 months messing with Small Claims court; going to straight to Circuit Court. Given your explaination, it seems to me that Small Claims court is a waste of time, money, and resources; so shut it down. Any educated, industrious, person with a couple of hundred dollars to spare need not worry about Small Claims court; the dog has no teeth. I won my judgement for $5795.00 – for a business’ epic fail in installing – this is Alabama – a lift kit in an old Jeep. So the business owner appealed out of spite. Do you do Calhoun County? If I can get my hard loss back, I’ll use the extra I will be awarded to cover havimg some help being a pain in Circuit Court. I can pay even if I lose. You definitely have a better grip on this, and an ability to explain it, that I haven’t found locally.


    • John Watts
      January 8, 2019


      Glad the article helped.

      Most people don’t appeal from small claims. The result in circuit court tends to be the same. But it is possible and now you are dealing with this in Calhoun County circuit court.

      I don’t really the type of case you are dealing with but I’m sure there are some guys in Anniston that can help you.

      I do understand your frustration — I would say maybe 1 out of 500 cases is appealed. No scientific basis but that’s my experience and belief.

      Sorry you are having to mess with this!

      John Watts


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