Asked by VickRoo on 02-01-2021 17:17:57
Question posted in the Intellectual Property Law category relating to KwaZulu-Natal


My father agreed to do layout design on a book for a family friend in late 2019. The book was a historical collection on buses from a certain area. All communication regarding the work was done on my dad's personal whats app. My father has a printing company, however, WE DID NOT DO ANY WORK ON THE BOOK from the resources of the company. I was a graphic design student at the time so I decided to help as we knew this man since I had been born, he was like an uncle to me. I would design the book, all 340pages of it, between my free time after college and church work. I would meet with This family friend almost 3 times weekly, this was when covid came and slowed meetings.

During meetings, I would show him the way I had played work out and per page, he would give me feedback and I changed it accordingly. He spent depending on the day 2-5 hours with me going through the layout and making adjustments and giving ideas for the design itself. It was in February of 2020 I had finished the book. The family friend had been making slow deposits of the total payments to my dad, into his personal account.  Once he had paid the full amount to my father, I was told to create a packaged file, which contained the Adobe Indesign File, Idml file(Which allows it to be opened by other Adobe Indesign Versions),  PDF (For Print), All images and fonts packaged and loaded. This would allow him to take the file, print & edit it in any way he saw fit. As an addition, my dad designed the cover for the book for free as a gesture. 

Months afterwards he informed us he printed out the book, the book was presented to us, he even messaged us to give us a compliment of the layout. He addressed us about changes he wants to make to the book and how he wants to add more information and images. I decided to look at what he wanted to see what could be done.  We spent a Saturday ( The family friend and I ) in which he gave me a folder filled with information as well as a formal list of changes he wants to be done, the changes were for each page and did not have to do with errors regarding the original layout, these where authors corrections and as such after our short meeting that day I told my dad about it as well as showed the list of changes. My dad then approached the family friend with an offer on what it will cost to do the changes, again on a personal basis, this was not offered by the company my dad owns as he gives invoices for that. However, the family friend did not like that we were charging him for the changes and expressed this in his message to my dad, afterwards he also broke into our property and stole my dad's phone, while being on a call with a client. 

My mother, best friend and I went to retrieve the phone and did, afterwards the situation was mediated by a police offer where he did apologies and promised not to come near us again. However months afterwards we received a summons to small claims court in which we had been summoned for a breach in contract. It is now 2021 and we will be in small claims court for the 4th time.  The court hasn't made a ruling though the family friend has made a claim that it was our company who he worked with, despite the what's app chats and payment information is presented, the judge doesn't seem interested in hearing our side of the case, even refusing to take my statement as a witness into account, despite the fact that I designed the book.  We are awaiting our next date in the first week of Feb


How do we move the case to the high court?, As we feel the judge isn't being fair and is not hearing our side of the issue.

How do we formally complain about the advocate in our case?

Is their away for the case to be reviewed?

Information Requested by Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 05-01-2021 23:29:25

Hi there,

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Att. Patrick 

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