how long can a general contractor hold retention money after he has collected it from the owner in the state of minnesota?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Minnesota
Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I am typing out my answer. Please remember that this is general information only, not legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed.This depends - can you please tell me:-what was the money for?-was there a written contract?-was the contracted job performed satisfactory?This not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. I look forward to helping you.
1. money was for the installation of flooring
Thank you, Steve.It is unusual that retention money is kept by the contractor. Normally, it is the other way around - the employer retains money for a while after the end of the contract job as a guarantee for any possible defects in the completed job, and then the retention money is given to the contractor after some time (a few weeks, months, year, etc).Here, you are stating that the contractor has the money? Why were you paying the contractor more money than necessary for the job?Perhaps this is simply a verbiage issue, but if you can clarify, that would be very helpful.This not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. I look forward to helping you.
The contractor had a contract with JC penny to do some general contracting. We did the flooring for him under his contract. He has received ALL the money from JC Penney but refuses to pay us stating he doesn't have to pay for 5 yrs
Ah, thank you.I now understand the situation - you are the subcontractor, and the contractor is retaining money to pay you.As explained above, one retains money for a while after the end of the contract job as a guarantee for any possible defects in the completed job, and then the retention money is given to the you after some time (a few weeks, months, year, etc).However, five years is a ridiculously long time. The problem is that if you signed the contract, then the presumption is that you agreed to this element of the contract. The only way you can then void this is by filing a petition in court and requesting that the court void it on basis of "unconscionability." This is a doctrine that essentially has the court say, "This contract is simply too restricting and shocks the conscience of our system of justice."A contract is unconscionable if it is "such as no man in his senses and not under delusion would make on the one hand, and as no honest and fair man would accept on the other. Kauffman Stewart v. Weinbrenner Shoe Co., 589 NW 2d 499 - Minn: Court of Appeals 1999 (internal citations omitted).Under MN Stat. Chapter 555, you have the right to file a Petition for Declaratory Judgment in District Court and request that the court rule this contract unconscionable and consequently, have him give you back the money. Unfortunately, the onus is on you (the hurt party) to file and take action...However, very often, the threat of a lawsuit does the job without the need to even file. While you have asked them to stop yourself, they may not have taken your seriously. An attorney's "demand letter" will go a long way to show that you are serious, and will threaten to file suit if they do not stop. Such a letter coming from an attorney's office carries much gravitas and is often effective. It is about $100 to $200 depending on the attorney. The demand letter is not mandatory before filing suit, but is a good step to take. If it fails, you always have Litigation.While the legal system tries to be inclusive of every possibility, sometimes people have limited avenues to seek relief. Please understand that this is not the expert’s fault. Surely, you prefer that I tell you the truth rather than what you wish to hear. Please keep this in mind when rating my answer. I understand that this may not be easy to hear, and I empathize.I hope this finds you well. Please click Reply to Expert to keep talking, or rate my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces because this is how I get credit for my time with you. Otherwise, reply to chat more until we are finished and you are ready to rate. I work very hard to formulate an informative answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. (You may always ask follow ups free after rating.)
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