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Being harrassed
February 24, 2007
1:37 pm
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shyshy
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I think I may have posted about this here when it happened and I got mixed responses. A few months ago my son was at a park with a friend of his. His friend had his PSP with him and asked my son to hold it for him while he played soccer. He told my son he could play with it if he wanted to. My son didn't feel like playing with it so he just put it in his bag.

A little while later a bee came buzzing around my son and he grabbed his bag and swatted the Bee with it and ended up hitting the bleechers with it. Well, when the bag hit the bleechers he heard something crack. It was his friend's PSP. Turns out he either put it in the wrong bag or grabbed his friend's bag instead of his by accident to swat the Bee with.

I got a few phone calls from the kid's mother asking me to replace the PSP. The first thing she told me was her son got the PSP as a gift from his uncle and was told not to take it to school with him. He took it anyway. I told her I would see about getting the PSP fixed. She called me a few days later and said she wanted a new one as the PSP was only a month and a half old. I told her I am a single parent supporting two kids on my own and could not afford a new one but would be willing to check with my son's father and see if he could help. Well, he couldn't. So, I went on Ebay and placed a bid on one and of course didn't win it because I can't afford much.

She called again about a week or so later asking what we could do to take care of the situation. I told her about the Ebay auction and explained to her again I am living pay check to pay check. I then asked her what exactly she had in mind and she said she didn't know. I told her the best I could do was continue and try and find one on Ebay. Well, I didn't win any of the bids and eventually stopped trying. I could not afford to buy him a new one and I thought she would just let it go as a lesson for her son to learn.

Today I got a certified letter in the mail from her telling me she expects me to pay for the PSP within ten days. I don't know what I should do about this or even what my rights are. I wrote her my own letter basically explaining to her that even if the PSP was only a month old it was still used and I couldn't see buying a new one to replace a used one. Furthermore, I can't see having my son pay for something that he broke by accident being that it was her son who was the one being negligent to begin with. He wasn't supposed to take the PSP to school let alone let someone else hold it for him. That was a risk that only HE is responsible for, not anyone else. So why hand the kid a new PSP??

It is not my place to discipline her child though but I did offer to fix the broken one while all the while wondering if it really IS even broken!! The kid hasn't said anything else about it to my son so for all I know it probably just has a cracked screen or something and this lady is just looking to put some money in her pocket. I know it shouldn't matter if that's the case, I know but should I or shouldn't I be responsible for this?? It's not like my son used the PSP without his permission!! In fact, he didn't even use it. This is all beside the fact that I cannot afford to buy him a new one.

What do you all think and is there any way I can protect myself?? She didn't mention court or anything and I wonder if she would even consider it over 200 dollars but just in case, I would like to know what my rights are and what everyone's opinion on this is.

February 24, 2007
5:07 pm
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gracenotes
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shyshy,

I agree with you. Her son was given the information to not take the PSP to school. That was the first thing he erred at. Any responsibile would let it stop there and use this as a opportunity for her son to learn an important lesson about responsibility. Second of all, it was the kid's choice for hand over it over to her son. I don't think when I let someone borrow something that I would think of asking them to sign a waiver stating that, under no circumstance will the item be damaged in any way, intentionally ro unintentionally. Thirdly, your son did not intentionally damage this item. He's a kid, for heaven's sake, and sometimes things get broken.

This kind of pushes my buttons. This parent is like some of the parents I have dealt with on my school job. They cannot teach their children responsiblity, so when something goes wrong they find someone else to blame, place their kid on a pedestal as being above doing any wrong. Its really too bad.

I think the only thing this parent could do is take you to small claims court. But, what judge, in my opinion, who hold you responsible for the full cost of this? Or any cost of this? I would think any judge would be a responsible even person to see this for what it is.

I would tend to ignore her letters if she is not in your immediate circle much, or, if she wants to go to small claims court, or whatever they have in your state, I don't think she would have a case. Just my opinion.

February 24, 2007
5:19 pm
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horsefly
this is off....be on this forum for years....not just since last year..we can email each other Now? that Nappy is long gone....
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ShyShy, This pushed a button in me..Because I was a single mother with a son at one time..He is grown now but I remember the soccer and baseball games like they were yesterday....There happen to be alot of self rightous people out there.....even with children...Believe it or not that is not your responsibilty, it her son's for placing anything he owns in someelse's care.. There is no no way she can hold you to that much cost for this....Just my opinion, but she is bluffing you..and I think if she would like to come down to earth...with the rest of us, than you might consider a hearing it out and maybe paying part...I said maybe.....other than that she is a devil ....The courts will laugh at her..horsefly

February 24, 2007
5:39 pm
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addicts wife
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(((ShyShy))))
ICk... In our house... no matter how crapy we feel about the consequences, If Jacob was told NOT t obring something somewhere adn something happens t oit, we explain that that was WHY we make certain rules becaseu when you break them you see what can happen, rules arent made by parents to be jerks, we're older and have foresight...etc.
Too bad, so sad...
This mama seems a little umm, nasty? I can see being upset becasue it is a peicy object, then again Such pricey things should be left at home IF they are lucky enough to get them, PERIOD.
IS there a way the tow of you can work something out? Is your son old enough to work off the price of this item through allowance?
I'd SERIOUSLY consider stating that you will only pay for HALF of the item since she stated herself tht her son was NOT supposed to bring it with him and it ws clearly an accident that your sone DOES take responsibility for, he is not 100% responsible.

???

February 25, 2007
6:15 pm
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shyshy
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Hi everyone and thanks for your responses.

Gracenote and horsefly: It amazes me, really the amount of energy that this woman is putting into this incident. I would NEVER even THINK about calling someone's mother up and telling her that her son broke my son's PSP and what can we do about it. This woman has called me four times!! And now sent me a registered letter!!

On one hand she's asking what can we do about it and on the other hand, the only thing she is interested in is getting the money that the PSP is worth. Cause, in her letter she's not asking for a PSP, she's asking for a cashier's check or money order to be mailed to her within ten days!! Like she's a bill collector or something!!

I also agree with the fact that HER kid is the one responsible. My son didn't ask to play with it or even hold it!! Her son wanted to play soccer and probably didn't feel like putting it in his bag so he chose to hand it to my son thinking he might want to play with it. My son was doing his homework and just took the PSP and put it in the kid's bag.

She plays it off like she is strict with her son "told him not to take it to school" etc but when he violates her rule she's going to get him a new one??? I think she's just looking to put this money in her pocket!!

addictswife: My son is 14 now but he does not get an allowance because I can't afford it. I also cannot afford to buy this kid a new PSP and I told this woman this. I'm a single parent with two kids and one income. I think she assumes that because I own a house I must have money or something. Or maybe her family members are telling her not to let it go. Perhaps the uncle who actually paid for it??

Anyway, I typed up a response to her letter and intend on sending it certified just like she did. I basically responded to some of the things she said in her letter.

She made reference to me acknowledging the incident that happened and that I had told her I would work with her to replace it. I told her in my letter that she never asked me to "work with her". She simply wanted me to pay her the money the PSP cost like she is in her letter to me and furthermore, I've even yet to see this so called damaged PSP. I also told her in the letter that she told me her son was not to take the PSP to school and he took it anyway. He violated her rule and because of it it ended up broken. That PSP was HIS responsibility and HIS only. Not anyone else's. I also told her in my letter that I never acknowledged the fact that my son was responsible for the damage nore did I tell her I would be replacing it.

I ended it by telling her I will not be sending her the check or money order she is asking for.

Hopefully this will be the end of it but a friend of mine told me she will probably take me to small claims court and try and claim lost wages for having to take time off from work etc.

February 25, 2007
10:39 pm
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Zinnie
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She can take you to small claims court and file suit for up to $5000. Sad isn't it?

The hard call here is that although it was accidental, your son did break it. HOWEVER, I do agree with you on all of the other accounts - 1. Is this really broken, or is it only a small crack or something of that nature, and 2. Perhaps most importantly? He was told NOT to take this to school with him, she even states that to you.

I would perhaps write her back, sending it certified to make sure she gets her letter... and state that she has told you that she told her son not to take this expensive device to school and he did. He not only took it to school with him, but, he then gave it to another child (yours) to play with - showing even less responsibility. Your son did not intentionally break this, it was an accident, and in the spirit of making your son take responsibility for his actions - as we do often have to pay for our accidents when we have them that you can not pay for a new one, but as it was an accident, and on a device that should not have even been there, you are willing to pay for half.

Does that seem fair?

Z.

February 26, 2007
6:49 am
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taj64
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Hi. Reading this makes me angry. Aggressive people will take advantage of situations. As I see it, it was her son's reponsibility no matter what happened with it. You should just simply tell her to take it to small claims court and walk away. I know you feel bad about it, as it appears you have a much kinder heart than this woman does. She is rude, insensitive and unwilling to compromise. And furthermore she should not have let her son bring an expensive toy to a sporting event where it is likely many people around. Others should never rely on someone to watch their property in situations like this. Many that is how this family acquires all their expensive equipment by taking advantage of situations to gain. I would let this go and shake it off. You are not responsible for other's actions even if sometimes it happens to be a child. Maybe this other woman doesn't want to disappoint her child so she tries to take advantage of others that she doesn't know. Hopefully this will be the end of it until small claims court. She is likely not to win it and not worth taking it to court but don't be surprise if she does. There are people out there that indeed make a mountain out of a molehill just to win at all cost.

February 26, 2007
8:23 am
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shyshy
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So, part of me is thinking about offering her half and the other part is thinking of letting it go to court. But, what if it goes to court and I lose for 5,000?

February 26, 2007
10:26 am
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horsefly
this is off....be on this forum for years....not just since last year..we can email each other Now? that Nappy is long gone....
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shyShy, I think you should consult a lawyer for some free advise to be for sure....for peace of mind maybe, then if he says she is an idiot (Ithink she is personally)...Then I would just blow her off.....horsefly

February 26, 2007
10:45 am
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nappy
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Well if you have ever looked at Judge Judy, then I think that you might have to pay. Just because when the other boy gave the P2P to your son, he should of told him that he wasn't going to look after it and that he wasn't going to be responsible for it because those things are very expenses.

Then you don't want her to take you to court because then you just might be paying more for being in court, then you would trying to pay for a P2P.

February 26, 2007
11:11 am
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gracenotes
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shyshy,

You are not going to lose for $5000. I think the previous poster was just letting you known that is the maximum in one state.

If you even went to small claims court (and it costs money to open a case), she could only sue for the amount of the PSP, at least in my state. Small Claims Court is mainly about monetary things. What else is she supposed to sue for? Pain and suffering? Loss of income? Emotional distress? There is nothing else except the loss of the item she would sue for. Also, she would need to present the item as evidence and probably would be under the burden of proof to prove it is broken, what it would cost to repair, replace it, show a dollar amount.

I did Small Claims Court once in my life over someone who rented a room from me and did not make good on the last month's payment. That's all I could sue for -- the last month's rent -- I won, but in that case is was worth it for $525.

I would not pay for half of this, for any of this. Your thoughts about this seem very reality based. Maybe a letter would be appropriate to clear your mind and state your position. But, if she is a personality disordered person, it might make her more angry.

People like this will often use the I'm suing you, throwing you in jail kind of approach. They just do, and they may throw it in front of your face, but its mostly fluff.

I think, even if you went to Small CLaims Court, that you would not have to pay a dime. I wouldn't pay her anything. May this be a lesson for her is responsibility.

February 26, 2007
5:02 pm
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Tiger Trainer
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I think your best bedt is to do nothing unless she takes you to small claims court. I agree that she won't be able to sue you for more than the amount of the PSp.

However, she is worth worrying about. stick into the back of your mind and get on with important things. She is real bugbear and idiot. dont waste time with her.

February 26, 2007
5:31 pm
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horsefly
this is off....be on this forum for years....not just since last year..we can email each other Now? that Nappy is long gone....
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ShyShy, This has bugged me today again.. No I wouldn't nor you wouldn't do what she is doing..But I have seen parents try to place all the blame on the other kid..Don't accept the blame...It is not like you did anything yourself . Realize she is unreasonable and if she can reason you will find out sooner or later..Than maybe you can work it at with her...but if it still check into your leagal rights if it makes you feel better...Grrrrr If she hadn't been so attacking to you things wouldn't have gotten so out of hand....horsefly

February 26, 2007
6:43 pm
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truthBtold
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I have just one word for this whole mess:

"UNACCOUNTABILITY"

(look it up for a clearer understanding.)

I would just be willing to bet that this mother is not pissed off about this CURRENT situation at all.

What it is IN FACT doing is bringing into the light some event from HER past where someone WAS accountable for something much more significant and important....but never fessed up to it.

Otherwise - why make such a big deal deal about this minor incident.......really?

Think about it.

Words have always been my ammunition.

Perhaps you might want to consider writing this mother a firm and tell-tale letter suggesting WHY she is being so petty and unreasonable.

You may well just strike a chord so strong within here that she would be embarrassed to persue this any further.

(just my suggestion.)

I have short poem that I wrote many years ago....it says: Whey you make a BIG DEAL about nothing........maybe there's a BIGGER DEAL in your past in which YOU are doing NOTHING ABOUT?????

food 4 thought.

February 26, 2007
8:27 pm
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shyshy
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Hello everyone. Thank again for all your responses. It all makes a lot of sense.

I got tired of thinking about this and I really hate negative vibes so I ditched the original letter I wrote her telling her I wasn't paying her anything and wrote her another one telling her that even though I don't consider this to be my son's responsibility I am willing to replace the PCP for the sake of putting this whole mess behind me.

I also told her that she has to send me the broken one along with anything else that comes along with it when you purchase it before I will release the new one and if I don't hear from her within ten days I will assume she is not interested in my offer and consider it done and over with.

I just sent the certified letter this afternoon. I will keep you all posted.

February 26, 2007
8:29 pm
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shyshy
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In other words, with this she better know this is the best she's going to get, take or leave it and I'm NOT sending her any money. A new product to replace the old broken one and she has to give me the one that doesn't work. I think that's fair!

February 26, 2007
8:46 pm
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truthBtold
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shyshy,

That is MORE than fair and makes loads of sense.

It's in her ball court now.

That was a very wise thing for you to do.

Maybe now you can get some well deserved sleep and peace tonight.

Hopefully, it will all blow over since you are not appeasing her threats and are calling her bluff.

the bitch.

February 26, 2007
10:17 pm
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horsefly
this is off....be on this forum for years....not just since last year..we can email each other Now? that Nappy is long gone....
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ShyShy , I support your decision however it makes you comfortable. I know ther are always details when it comes to children..Like is your child gotta deal with her child and his friends stuff.. All I know is you have to do what you feel is right for you....( although I do think she is worth a dime) ..Compromise is usually the best policy ..but I think you are definitely being fair...and I just do not want anyone to make it so easy for them but hard on you(in your pocket) But I support what you have decided on how to deal with this and please keep us posted..horsefly

February 26, 2007
10:23 pm
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horsefly
this is off....be on this forum for years....not just since last year..we can email each other Now? that Nappy is long gone....
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Shyshy, Plus atleast she will have to show the faulty one..atleast for the effort of you supplying the new one,,,Could be a good plan..? horsefly

February 26, 2007
11:21 pm
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Zinnie
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Shyshy,

I totally agree with what you did. That to me is more than fair. Again, she told the child NOT to take the device to school - he did, and he showed even less responsibility by handing it off to someone else while he ran off to play.

Again though the other point I was trying to make is that IF in fact your son did break it - accidently and again, I state IF - for some reason the more I think about it, the more I wonder... did her kid break it accidently - and instead of getting in double trouble - 1st for taking it to school with him, but 2nd for breaking it - he just blamed your son. Sorry - I got off track there - but, the other point I was originally trying to make, is that you do want to set the example to your son that he must be responsible for his actions - accidental or not. Does that make sense?

Although again... the more I think about it, the more I have to wonder if your son even broke it, or was he just a convenient scape goat?

In any case, you did the right thing.

Z.

March 1, 2007
5:12 pm
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gracenotes
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shyshy,

That's a great way to handle this! Very wise. You have said exactly what needs to be said and can let it go.

And, as mentioned previously, the ball is in her court. I will be very curious to see if she even responds. She might not.

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