I am afraid that because of the amount of money owed, you would be filing a unlimited civil complaint (over $25,000) in the CA superior court. If you cannot find an attorney willing to file suit on a contingency basis for about 33%-40% of the amount they collect from him or get in judgment against him or are not willing to pay this to an attorney, then you can file the suit against him yourself and you can get the form to file an unlimited civil suit either from your superior court self help desk or at CA Court Forms
. You would have to file a complaint and you have to serve the party with a copy of that complaint and summons through a process server to begin your suit. The filing of the suit stops the statute of limitations, which is generally 4 years in CA for breach of contract and 3 years for property damage, but if you have written confirmation from him that he owes you then the statute of limitations is extended from that date (December 2012) when he promised to pay.
I am afraid that filing suit yourself pro se would be the only option if you cannot find an attorney you can afford or willing to work on contingency. If you do plan on going pro se, you must get yourself a copy of both the CA rules of civil procedure and the CA rules of evidence, as you will be held to follow them as would any licensed attorney.
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