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Taking a Customer to Court


LawnSite Fanatic
st pete, FL
How did it turn out for you. I went today for a pretrial conference (didnt even know there was such a thing for small claims), and got most of what I was trying for. I got the amount I was owed + court costs. I did have to lower the amout on the court costs to what it actually costed me, and didnt get anything for late fees. I was happy with it. I could have tried to get all I was looking for and took it to court, but im satisfied.

We had to go into a private room and talk to an arbitrator. I was getting mad, the client was telling outright lies about what i didnt do on his lawn, and how he and I agreed to reduce the price. That made me mad, he would never even call me back to talk about paying. He looked at me and i told him, "look at the arbitrator, im done talking to you because we both know YOU ARE LYING!!!!" I dont envy the arbitrator, he calmed me down though.

Then he claimed he paid 2 months that I said he didnt, but the bank couldnt get him copies of the checks, they were looking through the archievs. I dont know what he was thinking, because 5 minutes later he agrees to pay for the same two months of service. I guess he was just trying every lie he could.

The funny thing is I had no contract, i never do with residential. But I let this one fall behind because we did a businesss of theirs so I thought I was safe since they pay in advance (when they pay). But he sent me a signed letter telling me how he was going to pay this much, this date...... to get caught up, then doesnt do it. Without the letter I had no chance. Stupid. And on the subject of stupid, someone was getting sued and the person suing didnt show. The judge asked if she thought she owed the money. If she said no it was going to be thrown out. So she says........."I....I...I guess so..." moron, or brutally honest.

P & L Turf

LawnSite Senior Member
I'm kind of in the same boat. I've got, what I thought was, a friend that I was doing work for. When it came time for the bills he was all about me giving him the bill but, when it came to getting paid he is very hard to get a hold of. So finally one day he gives me a check for about half of what he owed me. I was fine with that because I was at least getting something from him. Well when I tried to cash it the bank lady says he's got zero dollars in his accouant. I just figured thats fine maybe he didn't get all of his money yet, so after trying a few more times with no luck I've decided to taake the hit on the friendship, and left him a note that if I don't have the money(cash) in one week, I'd see him in court. Now he's got two days to pay and I still haven't seen or heard from him.:realmad:


LawnSite Fanatic
I got family not paying LOL ain't that some sch....!!!

I'm not taking it to court.

omg it never fails with family and friends it's always like this...

Once again I feel forced to make the choice between business and friendship (in this case family).
I chose family.

I hate making this choice, why do people do this, why do they ask me to make this choice?
Do they think I am not capable of chosing business?
Have they no FEAR ?!! LOL !!!
Some kinda bs test, I guess some just have to know how important they are to me.
Man ...
Well I hope they feel better, sigh...

I sure hope no wife ever puts it to me like this.
She might be sore disappointed lol !


LawnSite Fanatic
Thank God I have never had to take a customer to court. I came close twice, but nothing that I REALLY would have taken to court. One was around $150 in payment, and the other $80.