1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

my morning in court, with a deadbeat.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    signed a complaint of theft against a guy for $104. sent a bill for $160, this was including interest rates, and filing fees.when he got the letter from the court, he pooped his pants and sent a check for total of $160. i spent 2 hrs in court, it went as follows....judge calls us both up, he's shaking in his boots. judge says have you discussed this matter between yourselves? i say no, but, i'm willing to withdraw my complaint with the understanding that mr. x will pay court costs for today. judge says, done, i'm sure mr. x will be happy to pay your costs, you are free to leave, so, i left. mr. x's bill, of $104 ended up costing him $225. gentlemen please, for the sake of our very exsistance, DO NOT just turn the other cheek when they don't pay. either pull a paulie on them, or take them to court.
  2. charlies

    charlies LawnSite Senior Member
    from earth
    Posts: 587

    nice job, congrats on your success.

    i'm going to file against 2 on april 1st. although we have been in operation for more than a decade, we just implemented a formalized collection system over the winter. a 30-60-90 days system. the 90 day threatens court and we send it via certified mail. 3 the 5 clients that got the 90 day gave in and sent payment. it will be my 1st time. hope things go as well for me.
  3. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,267

    Way to go Bobby,glad to see you got your money.
  4. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    charlies, follow procedure, send the same letter, one copy certified, one standard mail. wait 10 days(i would give it 14) then proceed with complaint. munipal court i think will go much faster than small claims court. it's all in the wording of the complaint. if u say so n so owes me $200 and i want it, i believe that is small claims. if you say so n so stole my service, i believe, because of xx reason,i believe they planned from the start to steal my service, this becomes a criminal matter(in the words of my attorney, god bless him) . good luck
  5. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    For those of you who take deadbeats to court, has the court ever asked to prove that the person owes you the money? If so, how do you prove it?

  6. watatrp

    watatrp LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 496

    Hey you could do what I did. I spent the whole winter piling up snow in front of the driveway of a guy that didn't pay his last bill. I plowed the house across the street. I got $100 worth of satisfaction out of it.
  7. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,267

    I took a deadbeat to small claims court a few years back and I brought in the original estimate,Invoice and receipts for materials along with my cell phone bill showing how many times I called the guy he never showed up for court I won the case and was awarded the maximum interest allowed by law and court cost.
    I still have not collected from the guy they said they needed his bank records to attach his account so I can collect.
  8. mjensen

    mjensen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 49

    Congrats Bobby. I am just starting out and that is one thing that i have been trying to work out is how to handle deadbeats. Sounds like you have paved the road for a lot us. Thanks for the information.
  9. cwb20

    cwb20 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    Why not just make everyone pre-pay 5 week periods they pay the bill before the 5 weeks end or get no service i don't have time to mess with people that don't want to pay and this seems to work well, if they want lawn care they should have no problem paying, before or after the fact
  10. C & T

    C & T LawnSite Member
    Posts: 145

    I have this guy who owes well over a hundred dollars. My fault I didn't have him sign a contract but he works with my mother-in-law - so go figure. I've sent him invoice on top of invoice. What a scum bag!! If I see any one else cutting his lawn I'll be sure to inform the new landscapers of his "non payment technique".

Share This Page