Q. Dear Rabbi
I’m in a dilemma.
The other day while shopping for Pesach my friend texted me and asked me if I would pick up a few items for him including 10 pounds of hand Shmura matzah. I agreed and asked him for his visa number because I didn’t want to lay out all that money. He asked me to leave everything on his porch covered up so that it wouldn’t get wet (if he didn’t answer the door). To make a long story short his credit card was rejected – I texted him and he agreed to pay me back if I put the order on my Visa card, And so I ended up paying for everything. I dropped the entire order at his front porch when he didn’t answer the doorbell (as he asked me to). I sent him a text indicating what he owed me (just under $400). The next day he wrote back and said there was nothing at the door and he questioned whether under the circumstances he owes me anything.
I’m unhappy to be out almost $400. He is a g-d fearing Jew so I think he will pay up if you think he should.
A. On question 915 regarding a monetary shailah we wrote: “Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that monetary questions of factual cases, where two or more parties are involved should be clarified and answered only by a competent Beis Din or preferably a mediator with both sides equally represented and where all sides of the case and arguments can be evenly questioned and explained. (As there is always at least two sides to every story).
The Rov also suggested that before you file a claim in Beis Din, since you are seeking reimbursement and are the party collecting, the onus of proof is on you. You should therefore consider well if you have the necessary evidence to back your claim, and avoid further losses in monies, effort and time.”
It may also be advisable to contact your friend’s Rabbi, maybe he can find a way to settle the case in a friendly way.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit’a