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Florida Theft of Services Law

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnman_scott, Dec 11, 2004.

  1. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    To anyone curious, there is a theft of services law in FL, but does not apply to our type of work. I was told that it was more along the lines of if you go into a restraunt and dont pay for the meal (this seems like theft of food not a service, but thats the law). I was told that the only way to make it stick is if the person said to the police that he/she intended to porposly rip you off, and then the state attourney would hand it over to civil court anyway. A verbal contract is law here, but have to have some way to prove it.
  2. blankenshiplawncare

    blankenshiplawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 253

    Anyone know about Georgia. I have a apartment complex that owe's me $3100.00 for about 4 months and has no intention of paying with in my life time.
  3. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,267

    I just went through it here in Ohio and the court told me No theft of service law here either.
  4. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    bottom line is the restaurant industry lobbied the legislature and got the law written.

    WE are just a bunch of slack jaws who don't need to be paid, UNTIL we get some clout and bang on the legislature door.
  5. Anthony-MB

    Anthony-MB LawnSite Member
    from georgia
    Messages: 109

    I always figured that the 'theft of service' law was started by the cable companies. I think a good lawer could argue that it should apply to all services.

    blankenshiplawncare - you might be able to put a lien on the property
  6. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    If you do a search on the internet thats all you find, laws on stealing cable and long distance.
  7. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,381

    Florida's lien laws favor the contractor. If you perform work on a property (even if the work was sub-contracted to you) and you did not receive payment for service you can lien the property. Placing a lien on property doesn't force the property owner to pay you, but it prevents change of title to another party until the lien is satisfied. It might not be worth the trouble to lien a property, but if the money owed to you is substantial then you do have a way to apply pressure on the property owner to pay for services. Many times the owner will pay up just to get the lien removed.
  8. Geezer

    Geezer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    blankenshiplawncare, was the apartment complex part of a larger company? You may have some luck by going to the owner / management company. Most don't appreciate business units under their control not paying their bills. I am trying to collect over $7,900 as we speak. Good luck!
  9. bblawncareprofessionals

    bblawncareprofessionals LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Used to work for the cable company: Yeah, the previous reply that thought theft of services was only for cable is basically true. In the legal system, it refers only to FCC regulated 'services', including cable and phone. I presume there is a theft of 'consumables' (or some other similar word) that covers electricity and water/sewage. So, when you're trying to collect on something you've serviced, skip this area and focus on liens/small claims.
  10. work_it

    work_it LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 976

    Getting an lien on a property is hard to do in most states, but it's been done. Also, if a judge agrees to putting a lien on a property he will usually also allow interest to be applied until the lien is satisfied. Like I said, it's hard to do and most state laws vary.

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