Valley woman sues dry cleaner over jacket

It started as a dispute with her dry cleaner.
 
Kristen White of Phoenix says she took her leather jacket in for cleaning.
 
But she says when it came back, the jacket was much different.
 
"All the hardware was missing down the front, from the collar. Silk threading is pulled out. There are actually holes in the leather," Kristen says as she shows me the jacket.
 
She says the jacket was a "splurge" buy and cost her thousands. 
 
So, she contacted the dry cleaner, RAVE FabriCARE Inc. in Scottsdale, and owner Stu Bloom.
 
Receipts show the business lowered the price for the cleaning, but Kristen says they would not reimburse her for the damaged jacket.
 
So, she sued RAVE FabriCARE Inc. in small claims court.
 
For a minimal filing fee, it can be a good option for consumers.
 
You can file for up to $3,500.
 
In her case, Kristen says she and Bloom showed up and presented their sides.
 
And Kristen ended up winning. She got a judgment against the business for around $2,500.
 
That was more than three years ago.
 
"I didn't have a clue that the defendant had the opportunity to just not pay," Kristen says.
 
Even if you win in court, no one forces the losing side to pay up.
 
The winning party might have to take additional steps to secure payment.
 
So, Kristen let me know.
 
Stu Bloom would not answer our questions on camera.
 
And email after email to us, he questioned the court-ordered decision.
 
He says Kristen gave "no evidence whatsoever of the price she says she paid " for the jacket.
 
And he says the hearing officer who handed down the judgment was "ignoring the facts."
 
Bloom also admits in an email, that the jacket hardware was missing. But he says he found it and sent it to Kristen.
 
Kristen says she never received any hardware.
 
And Bloom says he offered to exchange the jacket for payment. Kristen says that never happened. 
 
Then he made the same offer to us.
 
At this point, Kristen was willing to give him the jacket, even though her judgment did not require it.
 
Bloom says he'd get back to us about that exchange within a certain time period.
 
That never happened.
 
So, we went to see him at RAVE FabriCARE Inc. in Scottsdale, with Kristen and her jacket.
 
"Can you just pay the judgment? You can get the jacket back. It's right here," I told him.
 
Bloom said he wanted the jacket delivered to his attorney and a check would be forwarded.
 
Instead, one week later, RAVE FabriCARE Inc, sued us.
 
They sued our parent company, Scripps, my producer and me separately.
 
The suit claims "Rave has expended significant time responding to ABC15 over the past three months."
 
"We intend to recoup, amongst other things, the value of that time," the lawsuit states.
 
The suit was filed in the same justice court where RAVE FabriCARE Inc. was sued by Kristen, and lost.
 
Kristen is moving on.
 
She says she is looking into wage garnishments, liens and any other way she can collect her judgment.
 
That judgment is now up to more than $3,000 with interest.
 
Stay tuned.
 
Find out more about how to file a small claims suit in Maricopa county.
 
Learn the various methods to  collect a judgment.
 
Need my help? Call the Let Joe Know Action line and talk to the Assistance League of Phoenix volunteers live Wednesdays and Fridays from 11-1 at 1-855-323-1515. Leave a message anytime.
 
You can also e-mail me , send me a tweet @letjoeknow or "like" my Let Joe Know Facebook page and tell me about it there.
 
 
 
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