Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Legality....

I am positively buried in red tape over here.

  • I go to court in July to contest a speeding ticket. I've never gone to court by myself, and quite frankly, the idea of standing before a judge and pleading my case scares the shit out of me.
  • I'm sending certified letters to Boink Magazine in a last-ditch effort to get my money & magazines, before I have to take them to small claims court. I really don't want it to come to that.
  • I just had to draft a letter for J. to send to a NY court, requesting more time on a plea bargain for a speeding ticket he got on the way back from Canada.
  • My mother is getting sued for a mortgage she co-signed on over 20 years ago. She doesn't remember doing so, AND she filed for bankruptcy since then... but she's getting sued anyway. My lovely father (see past entry) was served the papers months ago and simply ignored them.

I'd like a lawyer just for this month. I don't want to have to think about all this shit. I don't have a legal brain at all.

7 comments:

Aaron (thehumburger@yahoo.com) said...

I wrote for Issue 6 of Boink and was also stiffed on the payment. My guess is they're closing shop so decided to screw the contributors and keep their money. (They'd previously told me they were doing an Issue 7 and were going to use one of my stories in it; I don't think they wouldn't pay if they wanted to use a story of mine in an upcoming issue.) Anyway, I was pretty ticked, was wondering if there was any effective way to make them pay. Do you know of any? Is a small claims suit possible?

Eponine said...

Hi Aaron!
I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who's been fucked by boink. Well, not "glad" because I'm sorry you got screwed too... but, anyway.. You are the first person to come forward with a similar problem.
I'm sending them last final letter-- I'm going to send three copies, certified mail-- 1 to Christopher, one to Alecia, and one to their literary agent in NYC. I am sending them copies of all the emails that have gone back and forth between Christopher and myself (thank GOD that gmail saves everything!!), in which he states I'm going to be paid .05 cents a word for my work.

After this, I'm heading to small claims court. They only owe me $50 and two magazines, but I'm ripshit enough to fight for it. How much do they owe you? Maybe if we could find enough authors screwed by Boink we could really have a BIG case & bring them down completely.

I wonder how long this has been going on.

Did you deal with Christopher as well?

aaron said...

They owe me about 220 bucks for a 4,000+ wd story. I'd written for them before, and for the book as well, and had gotten paid both times. That's why I figure they've discontinued the mag. If they were going to put out more issues I don't think they'd stiff a contributor they planned to use again (that’s what they’d told me anyways). Still, it’s definitely been a sketchily (if that’s a word) run operation. I’d have to keep emailing them just to find out if they were running one of my stories. Most reputable places have you sign a contract saying you give them the right to publish your work even if they’re not paying.

I found one article about dealing w/ deadbeat editors. It suggest, among other things, sending a complaint to the Attorney General's office and Better Business Bureau. I found those links and they're easy enough to do. I'll probably notify Christopher and Alecia that I’m going to do that, and tell their agent and the editor they worked with for the book (Benjamin Greenberg, Warner Books: benjamin.greenberg@hbgsusa.com) about the business practices of the people they work with. And that I’ll spread the word on review and comment boards, etc. I figure these people won’t want any negativity associated with the book they’re selling, so hopefully will put a little pressure on them.

I hope I still have the email where they said they were paying five cents a word.
Do you have addresses for Chris and Alecia other than the Boink address on Newbury St? (I read on one site that Alecia moved to NYC.) Do you know anything about a small claims suit, like how much it costs, if there are minimums, etc? I was hoping to find more people that got burned in the hopes that more voices would put more pressure on them. I’d actually started a Yahoo Group where people could share info, but so far it’s a group of 1. Oh well. You don’t happen to be the person who posted on Yelp (I think the name was Daniel D. or something) about not being paid by them. I sent a message but I don’t know if you have to check the Yelp accout to get it, and who knows if they do.

Eponine said...

I don't have any addresses for them other then the Newbury Street office, no.

I also tried to get the word out (http://www.myspace.com/boinkmagazineisascam) but like you said, I only have 3 people in that group-- and one of them is Tom)

I don't know much about going to small claims court, but someone told me that because they are the party causing all the trouble, they would be the ones in charge of all the legal fees)

I did not post on Yelp, but I did post on Amazon (which I'm pretty sure got deleted as soon as I posted it), some random persons blog, and some other review site-- I don't recall the name of it, I signed up just to make the review.

Eponine said...

Wait, I lied-- Yelp WAS the place I posted the review.

Aaron said...

I did find one other Boink writer--Megan Lentz--who didn't even know they published her story. She's none too pleased either. She said she works for some publishing co. and is going to check w/ their permissions dept. to see if they know of any options.

I started a Yahoo Group (http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/boinkcontributors/) and posted a few links there to forms for complaining to the Attorney General's office and Better Business Bureau, stuff like that. If we ever find more people it might be easier to have one place to share info instead of doing it separately. I'll check out the myspace page too.

Damn, you paid for 2 magazines through their webpage and they never sent them?! That's really low.

Have a bangin' 4th anyways.

Eponine said...

It was complicated... they DID mail out the package, but they misaddressed it. Since it was sent Parcel Post, no attempt was ever made to correct the situation-- they just forwarded the magazine right back to the company. (I was able to tell all of this by the tracking number)

And of course, my messages to Christopher alerting him of the problem went completely unanswered. I bet that guy never checks his email/voicemail.