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if you have proof that you made payments and there is proof no service was performed on the pool from your neighbor who can attest to the condition of the pool when you opened it and that it should not have been in that condition then this would be grounds to go to small claims court, since you cannot legally place a lien against his business without a court judgment in your favor. He knows you legally cannot place a lien against his business without suing him.
You can sue in small claims without an attorney, I know you said you do not want to sue, but there are not really high legal costs of suing in small claims.
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