The case of Jane Wesley vs Larry Carrey started out as a simple car damage case.
Ms. Wesley’s car door was damaged by Mr. Carrey when he kicked it while she was still in the car, she testified.
She presented two written repair estimates to me, one for $457 and the other for $540.
Under Small Claims rules, the average of the two repair estimates is valid proof of damages in this kind of case.
I said that I would award her the average sum of $498 based on her estimates.
At this point, the case became more complicated.
Ms. Wesley asked me to double the damage award to $996 against Mr. Carrey to compensate her for her “pain, suffering and humiliation”.
She said that she and Mr. Carrey are apartment neighbors in the same building, and that Mr. Carrey lives in an adjoining apartment on the same floor.
He is, according to her, a drunk, an insomniac, is presently unemployed, plays loud “heavy metal” music at all hours, and she believes, is a drug abuser as well.
After she first tried talking to him about his conduct, he began to make threatening telephone calls to her, and writing threatening notes to her that he slipped under her door.
She then tried to resolve the matter by bringing Mr. Carrey’s conduct to the attention of the landlord, the local Housing Court and the local police.
When that didn’t work, she tried to get an “order of protection” against Mr. Carrey, as was suggested by the desk officer at her local police station.
She did not tell me where she went to get one.
An “order of protection”, which is not issued by Small Claims Court, generally provides in substance that if Mr. Carrey did not stop threatening her and start behaving himself, he could be fined or jailed by the judge of the issuing court.
The car incident occurred on a night when Ms. Wesley was parking her car on the very street where she and Mr. Carrey live.
He appeared at her car windshield and asked to talk to her. When she refused to open the car window or door, Mr. Carrey became agitated and kicked the car door, badly denting it, she said.
Ms. Wesley said that she was fearful when he appeared at her car and was very frightened when he kicked in the car door.
Mr. Carrey apologized for losing his temper, and said that he would stop bothering Ms. Wesley in the future.
Should I hold Mr. Carrey responsible for the damage to Ms. Wesley’s car, and also double the damage award because of his conduct?
To see my decision, click on the link below – “Decision”