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INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 49045
Experience:  Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses
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How do I handle a case where a contractor who had promised

Customer Question

How do I handle a case where a contractor who had promised to lock up the home when he left
our home, left the door open and some items very close to my heart and worth up to $20,000 were taken. (I would be content with $10,000) and also we are suffering added expense because of some things he left unfinished.

I did make 2 police reports regarding the stolen items. Also, it's been about 8 months since these things happened.

Also, there was extreme suffering because he had promised to do the job in 2 months and it took 6 plus he suddenly just left. He did complete most of the work he was paid for.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for the question. I am sorry to read of this dilemma. Are you amenable to suing him?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes, I am amenable to suing him. I had planned to do it in small claims court so it does not become a big issue. I just want to be compensated for the theft - and the pain of his extreme irresponsibility in handling this. I had hoped to be able to do this in small claims.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Since I have paid $28, will you be discussing this with case with me so I know what to do. ,Yes, I am amenable to suing him.  I had planned to do it in small claims court so it does not become a big issue.  I just want to be compensated for the theft - and the pain of his extreme irresponsibility in handling this.  I had hoped to be able to do this in small claims.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How do I get your answer? , Since I have paid $28, will you be discussing this with case with me so I know what to do. ,Yes, I am amenable to suing him.  I had planned to do it in small claims court so it does not become a big issue.  I just want to be compensated for the theft - and the pain of his extreme irresponsibility in handling this.  I had hoped to be able to do this in small claims.
Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 1 year ago.
That is good news because often that is the only way. You have a case on theory of breach of contract and negligence both for your losses from leaving the door open and for contract damages to the extent shoddily or not performed as agreed. The damages here are not small and cannot be done in small claims court. It would be handled in county court where the debtor contractor is located. Given large amount, you may but not required to have a business litigator file the lawsuit and recovery either by settlement or judgment. findlaw.com and martindale.com are both good resources.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I thought I could sue for up to $10,000 in small claims.


 


I want to know how to do this.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I thought I could sue for up to $10,000 in small claims.


 


I want to know how to do this. That's why I am asking this. I do not have the emotional energy to get into a lawsuit.


 


I just want to know this answer: What do I need to do to win this case in small claims court?

Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 1 year ago.
You can proceed in small claims court but only up to $10,000. I thought you had higher amount of damages. But if you pursue only $10,000 you would file a complaint with the clerks office in your local county. The clerk will then schedule a court date and will give you a complaint form to fill out. http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-smallclaims.htm/1007.htm
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I thought your company helped people to do this on line.


 


I already knew this answer. What I did want to know is - What do I need to say or claim to win this case? Please continue helping because I don't have my answer yet. Thank you. I am very willing to rate this most positively if I get this question answered. I don't what to go through a big court case and not win - so $10,000 in Small Claims is sufficient. I just want to know how to win. Like I said, I did file police reports and I have all emails to this guy.

Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 1 year ago.
In the complaint and at the hearing you generally want to focus on what the contract required him to do and by when. Bring the contract. Then explain all the ways he failed to do it. Have photos if possible. Next, explain the incident of the door being left open and the stolen items. Inventory and police report would be helpful. Also, if you have letters and e-mails with the contractors asking for payment that would help show you made demand before suing.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

He never gave us an official contract - and he went above and beyond all the estimated charges.


 


He is a licensed contractor, however.


 


For small claims court, I want to know - How do you set up the complaint and speak about it so I can win. I think that court feels like a scary enigma when you aren't a part of the Legal Process. Indeed, I tried to get him to pay and even suggested that I would speak to the person who manages his insurance. (By the way, I have never had my things stolen before this.)


 


I wam planning on rating you as excellent, but I still don't know how to win in small claims court. Also, does your group help with filing and delivering the papers?

Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 1 year ago.
I think you are seeking to be very prepared which is a good way to approach it but you dont need to worry. You have your evidence. The complaint is not a detailed document. It lists the parties, and generally in a line or two notes breach of contract/negligence by contractor pertaining to work performed and leaving door open allowing for significant loss. That is all. You then bring the estimates, the costs charged, your inventory of items, police report. Most important thing to the judge on the court date is hearing from you what happened.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So, are you saying that the judge will listen to the fact that things were stolen - to this gross negligence - and make sure I am paid. Can he force a contractor to have his insurance pay this.


 


You are right, I am trying to be prepared, but I feel helpless when it comes to the legal system.

Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 1 year ago.
Yes the judge will listen to both sides and look at records reflecting the loss. The insurer will often be alerted by the contractor on being sued and either try to defend it or try to settle with you.
INFOLAWYER, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 49045
Experience: Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses
INFOLAWYER and 18 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
, ,

So, are you saying that the judge will listen to the fact that things were stolen - to this gross negligence - and make sure I am paid.  Can he force a contractor to have his insurance pay this.

 

You are right, I am trying to be prepared, but I feel helpless when it comes to the legal system.

Do I submit my letters and information in advance, so that the judge can see the sincere efforts. Truly, they were sincere.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
, , ,

So, are you saying that the judge will listen to the fact that things were stolen - to this gross negligence - and make sure I am paid.  Can he force a contractor to have his insurance pay this.

 

You are right, I am trying to be prepared, but I feel helpless when it comes to the legal system.

Do I submit my letters and information in advance, so that the judge can see the sincere efforts. Truly, they were sincere.Just by heaing me, you are being helpful. What if he does not bring his insurance person and still refuses to take responsibility.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
, ,

So, are you saying that the judge will listen to the fact that things were stolen - to this gross negligence - and make sure I am paid.  Can he force a contractor to have his insurance pay this.

 

You are right, I am trying to be prepared, but I feel helpless when it comes to the legal system.

Do I submit my letters and information in advance, so that the judge can see the sincere efforts. Truly, they were sincere.I am going to submit an Excellent Service Rating now, but it would so help if you can continue to answer my questions for just a bit longer.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
, , ,

So, are you saying that the judge will listen to the fact that things were stolen - to this gross negligence - and make sure I am paid.  Can he force a contractor to have his insurance pay this.

 

You are right, I am trying to be prepared, but I feel helpless when it comes to the legal system.

Do I submit my letters and information in advance, so that the judge can see the sincere efforts. Truly, they were sincere.I am going to submit an Excellent Service Rating now, but it would so help if you can continue to answer my questions for just a bit longer.
Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 1 year ago.
Precisely right!!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is Linda - continuing with my question. After talking with you, I remembered how much I had to cut back on my work - because I was always having to take the responsibility for the contractor not being there. Truly, I made $20,000 less last year because of this and that is apparent on my taxes. So, I am thinking about your orogonal advice. How do I get an attorney who works on commission for this sort of case?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I live in Alameda County - and, bu the way, my name is Linda.


 


The lesser amount I earned is very clear in my IRS Filing for taxes for last year.


 


I now think I can see that it is right to take this to court. I just want to do this correctly.


 


So, what do I do and how do I find an attorney who works on commission?


 


I think I needed to give myself permission to do this.


 


Th

Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 1 year ago.
Can get a lawyer on commission using Findlaw.com. Experience in business law and consumer protection.

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