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I am a small business owner in Alabama. We had a customer who was happy with the repairs we did to his vehicle. After picking up the vehicle he brought ANOTHER vehicle to us to customize and he was happy with that work. Unknown to us he needed to apply for a salvage title for the vehicle. He realized when he went to apply for the salvage title that only certain repair places can do the work for a salvage title so the great person he is decided to blame us and sue us in small claims court.

We are baffled as to why, but he won the judgement. The judge seemed to ask him all the questions that I would have asked him. Everything the judge asked and said in court seemed as if she was pointing out all of our points showing we performed the work requested and that he was happy enough to bring us more work but alas, we lost. Even more annoying is there was no reasoning for the ruling as the judge is not required in our small claims courts to give the reason, which I would like to know so we can learn from this to protect our business in the future. PS: (although I wanted to appeal for principal, I’m learning as a new business owner that the time and money involved doesn’t always make sense so we begrudgingly did not file an appeal).

Onto my question: The customer won the judgement. We have not paid the judgement yet but we’re just recently notified of winning.

Today we received notification from square that the customer has requested a chargeback.

My question is if the customer took the steps to get the courts involved, can they now ask for chargeback? Our initial thought is it should be handled through the courts to ensure the proper steps are taken through the court to show our payment of said judgement.

If it should be handled through the court instead of the customer now initiating a chargeback, what should my response be to American Express (the card that the customer used)?

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I don't see any obvious reason that he can't make a charge back. Indeed, the judgment would solidify his ability to do so.

You would be justified in turn to insist that he treat the charge back as a satisfaction, or at least a partial satisfaction, of his judgment depending upon the amount involved. A charge back in this context is really just a form of payment. Money leaves your bank account and goes into his, just as it would if you had written him a check.

There should be a form of filing a satisfaction (or partial satisfaction) of judgment with the court to reflect your payment (or partial payment) of the judgment.

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