Legal question - small claims to get my money - Page 2

Legal question - small claims to get my money

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Thread: Legal question - small claims to get my money

  1. #16
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    Americans understood the right of self-preservation as permitting a citizen to repel force by force
    when the intervention of society... may be too late to prevent an injury.
    -Blackstone’s Commentaries 145–146, n. 42 (1803) in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)


  2. #17
    Member Array abjz71's Avatar
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    you might try contacting wage and hour

  3. #18
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    You have 3 things to prove :

    1. You would need to be able to show you did the work, anything that verifies that... people, witnesses, etc.

    2. You only have a verbal agreement on wages, so that may be a tough one unless he admits that was the amount he agreed to pay you. Anything at all in writing or anything else that shows or implies it would help you.

    3. That you were never paid, now... there.... he has to be able to prove that he did.

    You should add in cost of the small claims fee, gas, costs, etc. to do it.

    You might try the Dept of Labor of your state, they can be very very helpful in these types of situations and cases, as well as collect the funds for you. I took a case to them and not only did I get paid, but... they ticked them off so much by trying to dodge and ignore them, that the state fined them $10,000 on top of it.

    Also, in this state, the Company has to be financially viable and if they are not paying their employees due to lack of funds, they can lose the contract, have to pay fines, be barred from future contracts, etc. That would encourage the guy to get you to not cause him additional problems if you have those same types of requirements there.

  4. #19
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  5. #20
    Senior Member Array highvoltage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eagleks View Post
    You have 3 things to prove :

    1. You would need to be able to show you did the work, anything that verifies that... people, witnesses, etc.

    2. You only have a verbal agreement on wages, so that may be a tough one unless he admits that was the amount he agreed to pay you. Anything at all in writing or anything else that shows or implies it would help you.

    3. That you were never paid, now... there.... he has to be able to prove that he did.

    You should add in cost of the small claims fee, gas, costs, etc. to do it.

    You might try the Dept of Labor of your state, they can be very very helpful in these types of situations and cases, as well as collect the funds for you. I took a case to them and not only did I get paid, but... they ticked them off so much by trying to dodge and ignore them, that the state fined them $10,000 on top of it.

    Also, in this state, the Company has to be financially viable and if they are not paying their employees due to lack of funds, they can lose the contract, have to pay fines, be barred from future contracts, etc. That would encourage the guy to get you to not cause him additional problems if you have those same types of requirements there.
    And in some places you might also have to prove you attempted to collect payment. Small claims should be your last resort, not your first choice.

  6. #21
    Distinguished Member Array razor02097's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tally XD View Post
    (no written contract)
    IMO This is how you got shafted...

    IANAL but I would think it will be more difficult to make the case in small claims court since you don't have a written agreement for cost, time, job details, etc.

    Hope you get it sorted out. Maybe a scare tactic like a friend who is a lawyer or can act as one? Might get him to just pay you instead of having the headache of a court case.
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  7. #22
    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    You may be able to place a lien on the vehicles. If you go to court don't just ask for what's owed, ask for punitive damages, court costs, attorney fees if any and any other expenses you incurred.
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  8. #23
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    Been to small claims court

    I've been to small claims court. It is a fairly simple process, but there is a dollar limit to the amount of the claim.

    Before you file, I recommend you write a letter to the owner of the company stating your position, the dates you performed the work, the hours you worked, and the amount you are expecting to be paid for the work that was performed. Mention the letter is a followup to your prior phone conversations. Provide a clear reasonable date, such as I expect to be paid by cashiers check by xy date (give them 10 days from the date the letter is mailed.

    Send the letter by registered mail, and get a signature receipt for the letter. Also send a copy by registered mail to the registered agent for the company. You can find that information by looking up the company with your state's corporation commission - there is no charge for the lookup in most states.

    If they fail to pay, then go to the clerk of the court where you live, pay the fee, and file the lawsuit. Be sure to ask for the amount owed plus reasonable expenses (phone calls, cost of registered letters, etc).

    When you go to court, have copies of the letter, and your phone records with the dates, times, and length of calls to the owner of the company. This will help you establish that you did in fact have conversations with the owner. The registered letter proves that the owner, and their registered agent were aware of the issue.

    If would also be helpful if you could get a written statement from some one who can verify that you were there and performed the work. Do you have any receipts for materials/supplies that were used?

    Give it all to the judge. If the owner pays after you have filed, but before you go to court, don't stop the suit. Make sure the money is good - deposit the funds (better yet, cash it). Go to court at the appointted time and explain that they paid, but getting a judgement will make sure the owner does not come back against you.

    Good luck.

  9. #24
    Distinguished Member Array Tally XD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by automatic slim View Post
    You may be able to place a lien on the vehicles. If you go to court don't just ask for what's owed, ask for punitive damages, court costs, attorney fees if any and any other expenses you incurred.

    Cannot file a lien on state vehicles. These are law enforcement vehicles as well.

    Also, I wasn't working for the state at that time. I was working for the company who contracted the job with the state.
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  10. #25
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    Talk to the DA??
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  11. #26
    Senior Member Array rolyat63's Avatar
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    Demand Letter

    Quote Originally Posted by ctr View Post
    I've been to small claims court. It is a fairly simple process, but there is a dollar limit to the amount of the claim.

    Before you file, I recommend you write a letter to the owner of the company stating your position, the dates you performed the work, the hours you worked, and the amount you are expecting to be paid for the work that was performed. Mention the letter is a followup to your prior phone conversations. Provide a clear reasonable date, such as I expect to be paid by cashiers check by xy date (give them 10 days from the date the letter is mailed.

    Send the letter by registered mail, and get a signature receipt for the letter. Also send a copy by registered mail to the registered agent for the company. You can find that information by looking up the company with your state's corporation commission - there is no charge for the lookup in most states.

    If they fail to pay, then go to the clerk of the court where you live, pay the fee, and file the lawsuit. Be sure to ask for the amount owed plus reasonable expenses (phone calls, cost of registered letters, etc).

    When you go to court, have copies of the letter, and your phone records with the dates, times, and length of calls to the owner of the company. This will help you establish that you did in fact have conversations with the owner. The registered letter proves that the owner, and their registered agent were aware of the issue.

    If would also be helpful if you could get a written statement from some one who can verify that you were there and performed the work. Do you have any receipts for materials/supplies that were used?

    Give it all to the judge. If the owner pays after you have filed, but before you go to court, don't stop the suit. Make sure the money is good - deposit the funds (better yet, cash it). Go to court at the appointted time and explain that they paid, but getting a judgement will make sure the owner does not come back against you.

    Good luck.
    CTR is describing a "demand letter" the link is a google search. There are several sample I'm sure you can find a good fit or at least a good start. Do it as professionally as possible. I well written demand letter can often get the ball rolling if there is ANY blood to get.

    Good luck!
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  12. #27
    Member Array dralarms's Avatar
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    In your situation, IE he owes you over 600 bucks, I would offer to settle with him for say 400 bucks. This would maybe get you part of your money and close the books on this and let you move on.


    1. No contract (in Tn not a problem as long as you have a witness). I'm not sure what FL laws are.

    2. Can't do a mechanics lein since they are Govt property.

    3. can't repo your work for the same reason

    4. You now work for this department and not sure if you could jepordize your employement with this problem. (some places are real PITA about any kind of "problems".

    5. While this guy owes you over 6 bills, you may never see it, accept this and try and work out a settlement with him for less.

    I own my own company and got the shaft (from the partner of a friend) for the tune of over 2 grand. I'll never see it and I sure could use it.

    2 things left to say:

    1. I am not a lawyer and my advise is worth what you paid for it.

    2. I hope you find a way to get all your money but I don't see it happening.

  13. #28
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    Does the contractor have anything of value? If he has any equipment such as a company truck, or property, that would be titled or licensed you can file a mechanics' lien on it. Doing that will get his attention because he won't be able to renew licenses or sell used vehicles to get new ones......Just a thought.
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  14. #29
    Distinguished Member Array GunGeezer's Avatar
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    If you don't have a written contract you will probably get stiffed. Was the guy you did the work for an agent (legal definition) for the state of FL? If so, you could threaten to sue the state if he had an actual contract with them and they did not pay. You're probably going to have to weigh what you hope to recoup against the cost of a lawyer. As I have been told a few times in my life, a lawyer good enough to win the case won't take it because there isn't enough money involved. Where's Denny Crane when you need him?

  15. #30
    Senior Member Array highvoltage's Avatar
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    You should have something in writing, an email, letter, etc. Unless the transaction was completed over the phone or face-to-face.

    A contract by definition contains three parts: offer, acceptance, and consideration.

    Unless the offer and acceptance were done entirely verbally, then you do have a written transcript.

    Even if the offer and acceptance were done verbally, take photos of the work performed and present those as evidence.

    You obviously didn't agree to do the work out of the goodness of your heart, so you have a legitimate claim for repayment.

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