A couple years ago I got summonsed to court where one of our clients had jumped ship and left several contractors without pay. We had received all but a month worth of pay, but there was an electrical contractor who had been working for about 3 months since his last payment was processed and even though he kept sending late notices and continued to bill, he kept on working and just adding to the total. The judge told him that he was eligible for payment up to the date of the original late invoice, but once he started sending out "past due" notices AND still continued to work, he was taking it upon himself to work "at risk". Granted this wasn't small claims court, this was over $180K worth of outstanding debt between several sub contractors for a large job. That's my point. If the OP continued to bill and was not receiving payment, the judge if they decided, could say something similar "you knew you hadn't been getting paid, but still continued to provide a service..." tough luck. But again, we don't know the whole situation.