View Full Version : Jersey Law
05-20-2002, 12:29 PM
Question for you guys out Jersey way. I did a 15Thousand dollar plant and hardscape for a guy. Turns out he is a lawyer. He gave me a verbal ok to do the work (but never returned a signed proposal.) Got the work done paid by the terms of the proposal. Get back home deposit checks. He stopped payment on all of them. Now not only am I out my labor but also 7grand for materials. My lawyer says since I didnt get the proposal signed Its his word against mine and Im SOL. Please tell me I'm not. Thanks.
05-20-2002, 04:27 PM
Don't know many lawyers posting on this forum. In fact, I don't know any.
Pay for a consultation with another lawyer, and learn an incredibly expensive lesson.
1. Did you get an up front deposit? and if so... why didnt you wait til the check cleared to start work? If you waited til the initial down payment cleared... you wouldn't be in any trouble if you got say 30-50% down and it cleared... (I take 50% down usually, especailly if materials are about 50% of the job..)
2. if he was paying you as you went along via check... why didn't you make deposits as you went instead of waiting to deposit all at the end??? maybe i am not understanding you..
3. I dont see how his case will hold up in court, consiering he ROBBED you of ALL $15,000, I can see maybe a 1000.00 of so, but all of the work... he will be forced to pay I am sure... (I would have LOST it if a client of mine screwed me out of 15K !!!!) Thats a huge hit to take!!!!
Don't take any legal advice from anyone on this forum ... like suggested go see another lawyer ...
I would think that because you have the checks, it at least means something and may help your case.
What did the customer give you as a reason for stop payment?
05-20-2002, 08:36 PM
I agree. Definitely go and talk to another lawyer about this. Did you take any before and after pictures of the job site? If you did then you have some proof of the work you did. I was in a similiar situation years ago and thankfully the judge stated that a verbal commitment is legal and binding. Don't know if this is true but it was in my case. The lesson that I, and unfortunately you, learned is never do any work without some sort of written documentation.
I am really sorry to hear about this and I hope it works out for you.
05-20-2002, 10:08 PM
You probably learned a valuable lesson. I will not do any work unless I have a signed contract. I usually get a deposit that will cover the material and labor cost of my workers prior to starting work. But you still have a good case. You need to consult a lawyer. On the civil side you can sue for the cost of your losses, court and attorney fees and lost time from work. Do you think a civil jury or arbitrator would think you just intended to donate 7g worth of plants?. On the criminal side you can sign a criminal complaint in the jurisdiction of the work site for theft of services. Since the amount exceeds 5g this would actually be an indictable offense and not merely a disorderly persons offense. Hope this helps.
when all else fails there is always revenge.:blob2:
06-23-2002, 04:22 PM
A few balloons filled with Roundup or 2 4 D thrown out the truck window in the middle of the night.
I would talk to another lawyer and see if a letter or threat of law suit wouldn't get some action. I am betting that the A hole thought you were an easy target to screw out of a bunch of money. And lawyers wonder WHY they have such a piss poor reputation and nobody wants to work for them?
06-23-2002, 09:43 PM
Get a lawyer quickly and check out lien laws. They have a time limit, so you need to move quickly. If you can get a lien you can tie his property up and he'll have a hard time selling or re-financing.
Best of luck, some people are such scum.
06-24-2002, 07:15 AM
Don't know much about your situation but, do know a little about lawyers. They are clicky. Get one from out of your area if possible, otherwise they'll be laughing about the whole thing at lunch.
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