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Small Claims Court Help Please

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by grasshopperslawn, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. grasshopperslawn

    grasshopperslawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 293

    I have a client That I am taking to small claims court for non-payment of services we have no contract it was just verbal and I was cutting her grass every 2 weeks. All of a sudden she stopped paying me I have sent her several invoices and letters requesting payment. I even sent a letter threating court unless I receive payment. Well she got served with papers now I found out she is counter suing me for an inflatable pool she says one of my guys busted while weed-eating. This pool never existed while we were cutting her grass but now it all of a sudden appears . I new nothing about this pool until the counter suit was filed. And Also she says I never showed up for the time that I billed her which is untrue so she says she owes me nothing. She also said she told one of my guys not to come back after the pool was busted . But on the date it was suppossedly busted I was at there by myself. And also I service a commercial property across the street which I have record of the dates I serviced the property match with the dates of this liar that I serviced. What do you guys think. After me sending her invoices and letters for 4 months with no response why would she not contact me and say there was a problem. Instead she waits until she gets served with court papers to dream up this whole story. Please give me your opinions on this matter. OH WHERE I AM FROM WE DON'T DO CONTRACTS FOR RESIDENTIAL NO ONE WILL SIGN SO NOBODY DO IT PEOPLE ARE TO CHEAP AND REFUSE TO DO IT.SO IT JUST VERBAL NO COMMERCIAL WE HAVE WRITTEN CONTRACTS FOR
  2. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 25,390

    I would let it go unless you have a lot of time on your hands , sounds like your only talking a hundred bucks or so. Even if you win it realy dosnt mean jack. In the time it tales you to MAYBE get your $ you could have made 3 times as much elsewhere.
  3. grasshopperslawn

    grasshopperslawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 293

    I know I should have but its already in court. We go Monday january 14th I tried to have it dismissed but she want her counter suit heard
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Bull. Go for it. You have filed, you have all your documentation in order, and you have a legitimate case. Judges see right through this stuff all the time. Her poor timing in the counter suit tells something. Make sure yo have all your dates in order - not just work dates, but contact dates, as well. As far as the "contract" goes,...you have a verbal agreement. This works. I bet she doesn't have pictures of the cut up pool that she claims,...but don't be in a hurry to bring this up...hold out on that. Good luck with it.
  5. bigw

    bigw LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,540

    DITTO i dont care how much time it takes,these type of people need to be accounted for just like we would if we did something wrong,how fast do you think they would sue one of us if we did have a contract or verbal agreement and we collected their money and then never mowed them? Isnt it always the low down scaper's fault,well this time its not and i would stand up for yourself and our industry!!!!:usflag: Besides if you win she cant bad mouth you to anyone and if you win you will appear to be honest if and when others hear the results of the case and they will! Now bust her ass!!!
  6. 1cooltreeguy

    1cooltreeguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 630

    Proceed, hammer her - Judges aint stupid. I have never lost and several were verbal. They all lie to save their butts

    SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 763

    if she forces you to show b/c of her counter suit, then do what you have to and move on. If you can get out of her suit, then just drop yours. You will loose more money in down time than you will on a single customer.

    One thought for the future. I used to charge for the month in advance. When i would first show up to give them a quote, i would tell them that i needed the month inadvance. normally you are halfway through a month or something and all they are coming up with out of pocket is enough to get then through the rest of the month, then you bill them for the next month at the beginning of that month. that way, if they don't pay by the 15th then the worst you have lost out on is two or three weeks of pay vs. billing them after the month of work and you have 6-8 weeks of pay wrapped up if they don't pay.

    If you say that people will not pay it, i say bull. If you are a strong enough company and people want to do business with you, they will pay. Heck, you pay the phone company, cell phone bill, dish network, internet provider and a host of others a month in advance, whey would they expect anything diffent from you?
  8. bigw

    bigw LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,540

    I dont know about you but i pay my phone bill after the month,how can you pay a phone bill or cell phone bill ahead of time? I just paid my decs cell bill which was due on jan 7th...im confused on that comparison.
  9. paydex

    paydex LawnSite Member
    Posts: 64

    bring your documentation, maybe even a letter from the commercial place across the street (or the guy himself!) to testify that you were there on that day blah blah..

    you cannot dismiss since you arebeing countersued, but if the countersuit is decent you might want to get a lawyer, since for all practical purposes now YOU are being sued...

    SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 763

    if you check with your phone company, 9 times out of 10 you are paying last months long distance or any overages and the month coming up service.

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