Non-paying customers??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by triadncman, Apr 14, 2004.

  1. triadncman

    triadncman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    Has anyone ever had to take someone to small claims court. I had a guy stiff me for $1000 bucks last fall in Needles, Aeration, seeding and fertilizing ect.... He was a regular maintenance customer all summer, he paid me up until fall. Ive been on the phone with him and he tells me its gonna be in the mail and it never comes. I beleive he has no intentions of paying me. I still bill him for it every month. The other day a buddy of mine in the biz says to take him to small claims....he says he has had to do it a couple times for alot less money. Just wondering if anyone out there can share some light on the subject. I know the laws are gonna vary a little from state to state.
     
  2. shorty7616

    shorty7616 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 230

    Someone not long ago on here said they actually to a cust to court for "Stealing service" apparently it goes faster and has better results. Try a search. It was only like 2-3 weeks ago.
     
  3. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    that was me. it worked like a charm. see if your police dept will handle it as a theft. in small claims you may end up with less money
     
  4. triadncman

    triadncman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    I'll look into that, the funny thing is thats the way I always felt about it anyway, Like i was set up for it. He actually tried to get me to do some work just before thanksgiving 2003 when he promised it was in the mail. I just figured i would wait to see money before i did anymore work. Been meaning to talk to the guy who he supposedly "got rid of" when he hired me. He probably robbed him to. I did notice today that his yard has nice commercial walk behind lines on it, so obviously theres another sucker on the hook. If I find out who it is i will talk to him and warn him.
     
  5. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    and don't be afraid to exagerate at the police station. make sure you tell them he was supposed to pay on completion, then wouldn't answer the door or something. don't let it be a small claims issue. send a bill, with a letter, explaining the fees and that they are late and must be paid within 10 days. send it standard mail, and another certified mail. save a copy and the certified mail paper. wait 12 days, if no check, bring it all to the police station. good luck. have you tried knocking on the door day and night, calling or going to his job?
     
  6. shorty7616

    shorty7616 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 230

    You could probably bring up a larceny charge if you are good enough and maybe had a little legal help. Larceny is the intentional taking of something without the other person knowing it.

    But at your point I would just try to get the $1000 and court costs and trouble and mental anguish, and lost time. J/K!
     
  7. Mikes Lawn Landscape

    Mikes Lawn Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 458

    You might be able to file a lien
     
  8. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    I've sent certified letters to people and filed court papers on one person, that's the farthest I've had to go to get my money. I wouldn't be too quick to file a lien against his property since he may just sit on his property for 10-15 years with the extra $1000 lien just to p*ss you off. I've got a buddy that put a septic system in for a guy and filed a lien, now the guy took his house off the market and decided he was going to live there.
     

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