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BartEsq
BartEsq, Researcher
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 1506
Experience:  Juris Doctor
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I work as an independant contractor here in New Hampshire.

Resolved Question:

I work as an independant contractor here in New Hampshire. I have done IT work for a client over the last 7 months. My original contract has a provision in it that reads, in part "9. DEFAULT. The occurrence of any of the following shall constitute a material default under this Contract:
a. The failure to make a required payment when due."
An invoice was presented to the client that stated "Due upon receipt". The client has refused payment for no specific reason, was invited to make any inquiriy or question any item listed and has yet to do so. Part of the balance includes software that the client is using, but has not paid for. Can I legally disable the software until payment is received?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  BartEsq replied 2 years ago.

BartEsq :

Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX Im researching your answer now.


 

BartEsq :

What does the software do? What does the customer use it for?


 

BartEsq :

How long has it been since you sent the invoice?


 

Customer:
BartEsq :

Did you try to reply? Nothing showed up on my screen. Please try to repost and I will get back to you asap. Reply when you can, I will get it.


 

Customer: Yes. Can you see this?
Customer: Point of sale software installed on 3 terminals. I am considering disabling the least important of the 3 which would, at most, be an inconvenience. The client received the invoice on June 18.
BartEsq :

Ok, I see it.


 

BartEsq :

What does the point of sale software do for the customer?


 

BartEsq :

How long has it been since you sent the invoice?


 

Customer:
Customer:

The invoice was emailed.


 

Customer:

The point of sale software acts like a cash register.


 

BartEsq :

Ok, how long ago was it emailed?


 

Customer:

The client has 2 terminals in the store with this software installed and one in his office.


The Invoice was emailed the same day it was received.

Customer:

June 18


 

BartEsq :

At this point, you can take them to court for what they owe. As far as the software is concerned, check any license agreement or contract with language to the contray, but you can disable the service if you want.

BartEsq :

You still there?


 

BartEsq :

Suspending service will not get you in trouble, it is legal.

BartEsq :

And most likely the best incentive you have for them to pay the debt other than going to court.


 

BartEsq :

Reply when you can. I will respond asap.


 

Customer:

In order for me to do that I will have to access the client's network. There has been no notice or request not to nor notice given to the contrary. LogMeIn, a remote access software that allows me to go into the network through the client's main computer, was disabled by the client without any notice, but other than that, nothing.

BartEsq :

Accessing networks without permission might cause you problems with the police.


 

BartEsq :

An injunction is the surest way to have them stop useing your software. With thier disabling of part of the software, Im pretty sure you wont have a problem recovering what is due if you go to court.


 

BartEsq :

Doing something and proving something in court are two different things. What ever you do with the software is up to you. No way for me to tell with certainty what will happen if you disable the software under the additional circumstances you provided. There may be applicable privacy laws that prevent your access, which I think was your main concern in the first place. Violating provacy laws can expose you to both criminal and civil liability.


 

Customer:
BartEsq, Researcher
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 1506
Experience: Juris Doctor
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