Thread: Site Stolen

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    Site Stolen


    I just finished a long project for a client, and he refuses to pay me. When I call he hangs up, and he doesn't respond to my emails. I thought it was a small project, so I never bothered with a contract, but it ended up being much larger than I expected. I requested invoices multiple times, but he kept replying that the check was in the mail, and made excuses when I didn't recieved it.

    Is there any way to get the payment legally? I don't have a contract, but I have all the emails with all the payment details, invoices, agreements, etc. Will this hold up in court? Is small claims court the best option? Or do I not have a legal leg to stand on because I don't have a contract?

    Thanks for your help, and have a great day.
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  3. mod_dev_shed
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    Did you develop on his server? I always develop on my server, or even my laptop, and show the client that way first. That's also the reason I offer (almost give away) hosting; I have control over the site and I can suspend the account.
    # Jeremy

    Explain your problem instead of asking how to do what you decided was the solution.
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    No, it's on his server and he changed the password...
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    First, decide if the amount of money you're owed is worth 1) lawyer expenses, and/or 2) the time it would take to deal with this in small claims court. If neither, drop it, learn, move on. If you want to take your case to court, the burden of proof is on you. You must show that this person agreed to pay you X dollars for A, B, C work and that you completed A, B, C work as described and agreed upon. Depending on how detailed the emails are, they might work. It will then be up to the defendant to prove that this money has been paid (eg, in the form of canceled checks). If you do decide to go to court, you need to start keeping excellent records of contact attempts. Send a letter and invoice through the mail certified return receipt. If he refuses that mail (which a lot of people do for CRR mail b/c it's used for just such an occasion), send it FedEx and require his signature. Most people don't think twice about accepting FedEx envelopes. This way, he can't say he was never notified about his debt.
    # Jeremy

    Explain your problem instead of asking how to do what you decided was the solution.
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    Possibly. It all depends on what's said in the emails. If they are clear that an agreement was made, it will be difficult for the defendant to say he doesn't owe the money. Once it's shown the money is owed and that it hasn't been paid, I would think the courts would rule he has to pay. Contracts aren't always required; they just make it easier.
    # Jeremy

    Explain your problem instead of asking how to do what you decided was the solution.
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    Ouch - Well even if you won't be making any money by going to court (after deducting court fees etc.) - I would still do it to get your own back on that son of a ***** :@

    Hope you get your money somehow...
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  15. mod_dev_shed
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    I think the loser pays court costs !? Not sure though. It might depend on location too.
    # Jeremy

    Explain your problem instead of asking how to do what you decided was the solution.
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    Originally Posted by jharnois
    I think the loser pays court costs !? Not sure though. It might depend on location too.
    oh well cost of a lawyer then - I'm not really familiar with court cases - but someone should not just not pay like that
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  19. mod_dev_shed
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    but someone should not just not pay like that
    I agree. But you should also cover your own @$$.
    # Jeremy

    Explain your problem instead of asking how to do what you decided was the solution.
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    Thanks for all the help guys, I really appreciate it.
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  23. mod_dev_shed
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    I'm interested to know what you decide and how this ends. Keep us apprised if you don't mind.
    # Jeremy

    Explain your problem instead of asking how to do what you decided was the solution.
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    Is the location of this person near you? A face to face meeting is always more powerful if possible. There are other avenues like collections, but it is tough to get money that way too. I do feel for you, this happend to me when I was first starting out in a hosting business. No other words to describe it except "it sucked."
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    Yeh - I hope you get your money -
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    Wow - lesson learned the hard way - ouch. I sympathize for you man but how small is small for you? You didnt do contract because it was small (what is small)?

    For some ppl $1000 worth of work is small and for some it is mammoth. I guess you have already learned and others have already adviced you a lot. But incase for future you need help for doing contracts - use the attached file. This template you will also find on the net if you google, that is how I got it Anyway - modify it to your needs and remember - you are in business - you make your rules and policies and terms and conditions. Goodluck...
    Attached Files
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