Hello! We hired a fraudulent bookkeeper (contractor not employee) who did not file any taxes for us during her 10 week tenure. This caused us almost $2k in penalties/interest from the state, various cities, IRS and unemployment. She filed no returns and paid no taxes on our behalf for two months. She didn't fulfill any of her bookkeeping duties except to pay A/P. So we didn't pay her after we fired her and replaced her. We went to small claims court (she sued us for non-payment) and I proved with hundreds of pages of evidence our contract, when the contract was broken (within the first month) and the damages resulting thereof. She filed no evidence and kept saying that we didn't respond to her emails, which was a lie. Regardless, she offer no evidence to that claim. I proved that we had no prior penalties/interest in 12 yrs and that we hired a bookkeeper immediately after this one who righted our books within weeks. We counter-sued the Plaintiff for damages based on Material Breach of Contract.
The hearing officer found in her favor for her claim of payment due for $1300 on her claim and found in our favor for the counterclaim for material breach and damages. He did not award us our damages ($3k) but instead awarded us the same amount as the Plaintiff.
We are considering a Motion to Vacate Judgment which is our only appeal option in Arizona. The appeal is below. My question is what are the possible consequences of this Motion? The only reason we are appealing (besides the issue of fairness) is because we don't want to have to tell our insurance (in perpetuity) that we have a judgment against us. It's ridiculous.
I appreciate any advice you may have to offer and we are prayerfully considering our actions which have to be decided within 10 days. Thank you! CampergirlAZ
Our Motion: We are asking the Court to: vacate the judgment for this case. The Defendant proved with
copious evidence a Material Breach of Contract including: the existence of an
oral contract, a breach in the contract’s terms that fundamentally broke the
contract and damages to the Defendant from the Plaintiff’s breach. The evidence
submitted by the Defendant proves that all three elements occurred within the
first month of Plaintiff’s contract when she did not file any tax payments or
returns resulting in penalties to Defendant. As these non-actions resulted in
multiple penalties and interest to the Defendant, the Defendant was harmed and
suffered a substantial loss.The Defendant also proved with evidence work of unacceptably poor
quality by the Plaintiff as well as fraudulent billing practices. This judgment as such gives life to the
Plaintiff’s claim that she did quality work in total, fulfilled her obligations
and is due payment. The evidence presented in court shows definitively that she
did not. The Plaintiff breached the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing
in the contract with the Defendant.
This judgment does not reflect the evidence presented in court. The
judgment in this case suggests that the Plaintiff won her argument and is due
her damages when, in fact, the contract was breached by the Plaintiff in April
2015, the first month of her contract. Then the judgment states that the
Defendant won their case but is not due their damages, rather, the same amount
sought by the Plaintiff.
We are asking for the evidence in this case to be reviewed and for
the judgment to be vacated.