LegalGems : Hi! LegalGems here. My goal: To Do My Best To Assist You. Please remember, I can only provide general information,as this is a public forum.
LegalGems : That is an interesting question - let me check into something briefly.
LegalGems : Unfortunately, the contract would still be binding against the spouse that signed the document. I'm looking into something; one moment please.
LegalGems : Are you aware that in your state there is a complaint process, and even a compensatory fund, for home improvement customers?
Customer: Yes but he may or may not have been licensed threfore we cant even get to that. I am trying to figure out how to file a police report where they would consider it criminal. The guy took 35K and did NO work.
Customer: Do you have any advice on how to get a cop to want to file something criminally?
LegalGems : $35K? According to the state, this would need to be a licensed contractor that provided this work. The licensing board may be interested in going after him for operating without a license - many agencies try to protect the integrity of their state's contractors.
LegalGems : Are you a senior?
LegalGems : Please see: Anyone who performs improvements on residential property (single- or multiple-family dwellings of six units or less, condos or co-ops), when the individual job exceeds $200 and when the cash price of all work performed in one year exceeds $1,000 is considered a home improvement contractor and must register in order to legally operate in the state. located at: http://www.ct.gov/dcp/cwp/view.asp?a=1625&Q=274440&dcpNav=|.
Customer: No, my husband is just dumb
LegalGems : No; the reason I was asking is because there is elder financial exploitation, and this is an extra layer of caution provided for seniors (and I understand the sentiment, having one myself!)
Customer: The lawyer said something which confuses me, there are two licenses listed on the cont. website. It seems like one was still in effect while the other lapsed. I guess that means he was covered?
LegalGems : You may be able to get him for criminal fraud but I'm really not familiar with criminal law.
Customer: I know about the elder policies
LegalGems : Yes, if one was still in effect, then the fund should be available to you. Did you file a complaint with the state?
Customer: Not yet because everyone keeps saying the police will treat it as a civil matter, almost everytime except in extrordinary circumstances. I want to know what those are.
Customer: before filing
LegalGems : Here's the website to check an online license (second link): https://www.elicense.ct.gov/
LegalGems : Criminal fraud generally requires proof of intent to never perform; whereas civil fraud can be more of a serious misrepresentation (intent to induce a party to enter a contract). Personally, I have seen police get involved only when it involves a senior.
Customer: I ran this by my lawyer a few times and he doesnt seem too interested in oersuing that avenue. I assume he's found a reason why it wont work. but I will check your website.
Customer: I see.
Customer: Maybe it would help that most people in my town are seniors and we want to protect them from him, yes?
Customer: Anyhow you have been helpful, thank you for your time.
LegalGems : You would likely need to find a senior victim. If he used mail/phone then that generally elevates the crime committed (but again, I'm not personally familiar with criminal law).
LegalGems : You are welcome. If you don't get anywhere with the state agency, you can always file - a headache; but for $35K definitely worth the hassle.
Customer: ok thanks
LegalGems : I did some quick research and criminal fraud appears to be more along the lines of insurance fraud, Embezzlement, forgery, unemployment/tax fraud, welfare fraud, credit card fraud, wire/mail fraud - so theoretically you may have a case in the last group if mail was used - but realistically the police would probably defer, since they are probably inundated with the aforementioned types of fraud.
LegalGems : And you are welcome - hope you resolve this quickly, with full restitution.