In 1999 MetroActive.com in San Jose, California, reported Shelly Ashworth sued a modeling agency and won. She got her money back.

The report went on to say Vladimir Kompelmakher also took legal action against the same agency on behalf on his daughter Rita.

Rita wanted to sign up for the modeling services; her mom paid the agency; and her father filed the lawsuit.

It is possible to sue a modeling agency in a Small Claims Court when the financial loss from the modeling scam is less than the maximum amount classified as "small" claims. (Check your state for exact numbers.) Most modeling scams result in a loss of $500 (e.g., photos) to $5,000 (e.g., conventions), so most victims can sue the offending agency in a Small Claims Court.

The Kompelmakhers filed their lawsuit in a Small Claims Court. They won the lawsuit and got $1,000 back.

You can fight for money or fight on principle. After Mr. Kompelmakher got $1,000 refunded out of $1,200 spent, he still wanted the last $200, but at that point it was more about the principle than the money.

Vladimir Kompelmakher is determined to get the rest of his money back. For him the remaining $200 have become a matter of principle.
"I cannot believe they can cheat us so badly," he says incredulously. "Do they think they are above the law?"

Lawsuits are filed for three reasons: 1) to get money back; 2) to expose a scam; and, 3) to put a company out of business.

In the case of a lawsuit against a modeling agency in Tampa, Florida, which looked like a class-action lawsuit, the St. Petersberg Times reported:

[Lois] Krebs and about 40 others who bought photographs at Models 2000 have written affidavits supporting a Hillsborough County civil lawsuit against its owner, Nancy Sniffen.
And Tampa police say they are conducting a criminal investigation of the agency at 4844 W Gandy Blvd.
"I want her shut down and I want restitution paid to the other victims," said Rick West, a retired Detroit firefighter, who is suing Sniffen on behalf of his 17-year-old daughter Christy.

At the end of its guide to avoiding modeling scams in the state of California, the BBB said:

If an advance-fee talent service willfully violates any of the provisions relating to such services (if, for example, they ask you to waive your rights relating to their services), or if they breach their contract, and either the violation, or their breach results in injury to you, you may sue them. If appropriate, the court may issue a restraining order. You may also ask for money damages, and you may be awarded up to three times the amount of your damages, plus attorney's fees and costs.

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