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I won a claim in small claims for $2405. The defendant submitted a counter-claim and won $205. I received two separate letters in the mail, one for each claim.

Must I send the $205 to her for the counter-claim regardless of whether she pays the $2405? If she owes me money, why would I pay her?

Information for the jurisdiction of San Francisco, California is most desirable.

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You can offset the amount but you must go to court to do it. The court can then grant you an offset. This document from a law office describes the details.

The risk you run if you do not pay and do not do this properly is that she, with a valid judgement in her hand, can take enforcement action including garnishee of bank accounts and seizure of property (of course, you can do the same to her).

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