Hi, Rachel, and Welcome back to JustAnswer,
Who suggested that to you ? It is a terrible idea. Why should the contractor still have a lien for work that was not approved by the city, for work that he has not yet completed, and for poor workmanship on the work he already did ?
The suggestion someone gave you would have you put up a bond (and pay for the bond yourself) so that if you do not pay the contractor, he will collect his amounts from the bond, thereby costing you even more money. The contractor should remove the lien from your property, period ! You do not owe him anything and you do not even know if the city will approve his work or even the work he is supposed to re-do because it was unacceptable to the city in the first place.
You told the contractor's lawyer that if the lien was not removed within five days, you would file a lawsuit against the contractor, so this is what you must do so that he takes you seriously and does not think that you were bluffing. The contractor's lawyer has not replied to you probably because he did not expect to receive a letter like the one I drafted for you and also because I am sure he did not think his client's work was bad. He certainly received a big surprise. There is not much that he can say. His client has failed to complete the work and the work that he did complete was so far below acceptable standards that the city revoked their approval. What could his lawyer possibly say in response to you letter since everything you said was true and everything his client was telling him was false.
In your lawsuit you will demand that he remove the lien from your property, at present, you owe him nothing because his work was not approved by the city, you will demand your attorney's fees, and all costs you incurred because of his refusal to remove the lien. You gave him the courtesy of letting him know that you would file a lawsuit against him for the removal of the lien, you gave him five days within which to remove it, he has done nothing, therefore, you must start a lawsuit against him. With all the evidence you have against his workmanship and the city on your side, there is no reason for you not to file the lawsuit. This is the best time for you to file suit against him when all the evidence is working for you. If you do not file, he will consider everything you say as a bluff and he will not remove the lien voluntarily.
Please be kind enough to rate my service to you as "Excellent Service",
Bonus and Positive Feedback are greatly appreciated,
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you,
you are right, and I totally agree with you. Actually, I was just reading the inspector comment, and it looks really bad for the contractor because he stated in the report that the "contractor has concealed work".
His lawyer received and signed for the letter on March 15th, it has already been more than 5 days, so what should be my next step ?
Hi, Rachel, I will be right with you
Hi, Rachel, I am back, I was just finishing up with another customer, Thank you for your patience,
I know that I am right and this is not arrogance speaking. When you described the workmanship the contractor displayed at your house and you described the inspector's report and the fact that the City Inspector revoked the City's Approval, it would have been financial suicide for you to settle with the contractor and pay him what he wanted. You now have the upper hand. Rachel, Please read the Answer I posted above, and specifically, paragraph three which starts with,
"You told the contractor's lawyer that if the lien was not removed within five days, you would file a lawsuit against the contractor, so this is what you must do.........."
Also please read the fourth paragraph above, in my Answer to you. I tell you what you need to do and what to include in your lawsuit against the contractor. I do not know if you read my Answer, but you forgot to rate my Answer also,
one more thing, I am not sure if this would make any difference.
I just had a feeling that I wasn't his first victime but I couldn't find anything about his company in the public record, but while I was reading his lien I noticed that he put the lien under another company name "solutions.com".
So I look up this company name and I was chocked by the number of liens he put on peoples/customers homes; I mean it is ridiculous.
How can the state allow someone like this contractor even apply for a contractor licence.
I really need to make the county/state and other customer aware of this man, can I file a complaint with the state attorney ?
Hi, Rachel, do not worry, I understood what you meant :)
You have a great idea there, and if the facts were the same as your case and the workmanship he used in the other homes were the same as that exhibited in your house, that would be fine. I am always in favor of civic-minded citizens who show concern for other people who might find themselves in a similar situation. But, I have to caution you, Rachel, since you do not know what type of work the contractor did in these other homes and you do not know if the contractor was paid at all, I do not want to see you get into trouble with the contractor. Therefore, I would suggest that you not do anything with respect to other properties for the moment. It is not unusual for a contractor to place a lien on property on which he is performing work (Except, that the workmanship is usually of a much higher grade than that of this contractor).
The fact that he filed the lien under another company name might be important. Find out if the contractor owns this company. If the contractor does not own the company, then you should find out why the contractor is filing a lien using another company's name. You must also name "Solutions.com" as a Defendant in your lawsuit so that the Judge has jurisdiction of "Solutions.com" and will be able to enter judgment against them and Order them to remove the lien. It would also be important for you to find out if the contractor has a valid Florida Contractor's License.
he dismissed on lien as "dismisses the bov-styled action with prejudice, nd directs the Clerk of the Court to cancel th lis pendens" what that means ?
see th link
Hi, again, there are three Answers which are open and they must be completed before I can go on to another question, Please understand my position, I do not want to get into trouble with the website by not following their rules,
btw, I have never received the RECORDED lien, the only one I have received was a non recorded copy of the lien. Isn't he supposed to serve me the RECORDED lien by certified mail ?
I was not aware of the 3 questions rules, but it's ok, I accept them, I will rate those answers accordingly.
here are the remaining questions:
1) I accepted the above answer but I was expecting more details n how to file a law suit, here is my question again:
" His lawyer received and signed for the letter on March 15th, it has already been more than 5 days, so what should be my next step ?"
2) he dismissed one of the lien as "dismisses the bov-styled action with prejudice, nd directs the Clerk of the Court to cancel th lis pendens" what that means ?
3) btw, I have never received the RECORDED lien, the only one I have received was a non recorded copy of the lien. Isn't he supposed to serve me the RECORDED lien by certified mail within 15 days?
Hi Rachel, Thank you for understanding,
1. You asked, "dismissed on lien as "dismisses the bov-styled action with prejudice, nd directs the Clerk of the Court to cancel th lis pendens" what that means ?"
This means that the action of the plaintiff was dismissed. "With Prejudice" means that the plaintiff cannot refile the same action again. "Lis Pendens" is something which is recorded in the public records to put others on notice that the real estate on which the Lis Pendens is filed is the subject of litigation, a lawsuit; and the Court Ordered the Lis Pendens to be cancelled also;
2. A contractor does not necessarily have to serve you with a copy of the recorded lien. By serving you with a copy and telling you that he recorded it, or will be recording it, the contractor puts the property owner on notice;
3. In order to tell you the specific steps of filing a lawsuit, please tell me in which County of Florida you live.
By the way, there is no three question rule. The rules of the website that we must follow tell us that a question which is new and not a follow up question for clarification must be separate from the previous question and we should tie up all "loose ends" before going on to a new question,
I am in Broward
I undesrtand you are tired of me, this will be my last question : does this apply to my case or not "
As a condition to the owner making, and to the contractor being entitled to receive, final payment, the contractor (only) is required to give to the owner an affidavit reciting that all subs, suppliers, and laborers are paid in full, or if not, then reciting all persons unpaid and the amount unpaid to each. This affidavit should be given at the time that billing is made for final payment, but must be given at least five days before suit is filed to enforce the contractor's lien.
Hi, Rachel, Please don't say that, I enjoy our "conversations" and our interactions, so please don't say that this is your last question, What makes you say that ? Have I ever said anything to offend you, I hope not, Please let me apologize if I have, Let me see what I can find for Broward County. If I can't find any "Self-Help forms for Broward, I will look at other Counties because they are not really that different and I can tell you what needs to be changed to make it acceptable in Broward County.
In Answer to your current question, the contractor must show the homeowner proof that he has paid all subcontractors and that they will not come out of the woodwork asking the homeowner to pay them after the home owner has paid the contractor in full.
I will be back shortly,
Hi, Rachel, I think I have looked in every County of Florida and there are no forms for this. The Florida Supreme Court has only recently started approving forms which parties may fill out and file with the Clerk of the Court and it is still working on forms used in Family Court. Once they finish with all the family court forms, then they will start with the forms used in other areas of the law. Rather than risk going through this alone, it might be a good idea to consult with a lawyer. If you go through the Florida Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service, you can gt a very low cost consultation with a lawyer. Sometimes lawyers will even give a one-half hour consultation for free:
Florida Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service -
Call the Bar Association ad tell them what your situation is, ask for the names of Attorneys who offer graduated fees depending on your income, and for the names of Attorneys who are on their Pro Bono Committee. These are Attorneys who volunteer their time to represent parties who normally would not be able to afford a private Attorney. Ask a lot of question, then select the one which whom you feel the most comfortable,
I apologize for not having forms that I could provide you with, but the Courts usually move very slowly in drafting forms and it is still a relatively new idea to have parties simply fill out a "Form of Complaint", file it with the Court Clerk and then represent themselves,
I really can't afford a lawsuit expenses, I am not sure if the lawyer will enforce the lien after his client failed the inspection.
someone recommended to record a Notice of Contest and a statutory request/demand for a Sworn Statement of Account . Do you think this might help ?
Yes, you can file a Notice of Contest and a Demand for a Sworn Statement of Account. In fact, I was going to suggest that during your last visit here, but I looked all over trying to find the Form for a Notice of Contest and I could not find one anywhere in the Florida Court System. The only Forms which the Florida Courts have developed so far are those used in Family Law matters.
Hopefully, if you go to the Court Clerk's Office in person, they might have them there for you to fill out and file with the Court Clerk. It will be interesting to see what the contractor's Sworn Statement of Account includes. Just make sure he does not ask you for any extra money to correct his mistakes,
Hi, Welcome to JustAnswer, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I would be glad to help
You asked what the email that you received means
1. It appears that they are accusing you of selling counterfeit products;
2. They are demanding that you immediately cease and desist all your sales of counterfeit products;
3. They are telling you that on or about April 5, 2013, they will be filing a Complaint against you.
It appears that they represent someone who is claiming that you are selling counterfeit products of their client who is the owner of the original product. By saying that they will be filing a "federal lawsuit" against you, I cannot tell if they are using that term to mean that they are filing in California Superior Court and basing the lawsuit upon the Federal Statutes on Copyrights and Trademarks, or if they are filing in Federal Court based upon Federal Statutes on copyrights and trademarks. However, if you look at the Complaint they attached to their email you will be able to determine in which Court it is being filed.
If it states o the first page "California Superior Court, __________ County, then it is being filed in State Court. If it states, "In the U.S. District Court for the ____________ District of California, then it is being filed in Federal Court.
Please be kind enough to rate my service to you as "Excellent Service", If you are given a survey, please be kind enough to leave some Positive Feedback, I would appreciate it greatly,
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you,
I can't believe that part of the Answer I prepared for another customer appears here. We sometimes experience some technical problems and this is one of them. Nobody is accusing me of anything, Someone is accusing a customer of something and part of my Answer to that customer somehow found its way into your box. I apologize for this problem and will bring it to the attention of the techs.
Only the first three and one-half lines at the very top is my Answer to your question, Please disregard the rest, and again I apologize,
I just received a letter from his lawyer. he basically claiming that I required the city to reinspect in attempt to justify my refusal to pay the outstanding balance due to the contractor, and that his client is nonetheless now in a position where he has to comply with the city's inspection report and provide the opportunity to have the opening corrected, however, he is not responsible for completing or paying for the work, but I am required to hire a licensed general contractor and engineer to design and construct the opening to code so that he can complete the work. and once I notify them that I have the opening upgraded to meet code, he will come back and reinstall the door.
then he went into adding that accruing each day are additional costs including interest and attorney's fees costs. It is not uncommon in matters such as this to have the attorney's fees and costs exceed by multiples the principal amount of lien
what do you think ?
Rachel, please accept my apologies, I had to attend to an emergency and was away from my computer, otherwise I would have Answered you sooner, I hope you understand.
Do you know what I think, Rachel ? I think that the contractor and his lawyer are nuts. The lawyer is again trying to intimidate and scare you. If I, as a homeowner, want certain work done and I engage a contractor to do the work, I expect the contractor to know what the City's requirements are and to perform the work according to the City's Code. It is not the business of a homeowner to know what the City Code is because the homeowner is not in that line of work. If a contractor needed an engineer to design the work, it was the contractor's responsibility to know about this. If the contractor is not licensed, that is not the homeowner's responsibility, it is the responsibility of the contractor to be licensed. And, how dare the lawyer tell you that (1) you called the City Inspector as an excuse not to pay, and (2) that the contractor is now in a position where he has to comply with the City Inspector's objections.
Those are the most ridiculous comments I have ever hear from a lawyer. First, you, as the homeowner, have every right to expect that the contractor's work will meet the City Code, and Second, the contractor is saying, "Gee, now I have to perform the work up to acceptable standards and if you had not called the City Inspector, I could have gotten away with making you pay for inferior quality" work. Well, I just will not pay the cost of correcting my inferior workmanship".
Do you see how ridiculous these arguments are that his lawyer is trying to make ?
It appears that the contractor and his lawyer are going to continue to try to frighten you into paying and I do not think you have any legal obligation to pay the cost of correcting the contractor's clearly inferior workmanship. If you cannot afford a lawyer, click on the links I have provided below for the several Florida Pro Bono Projects where private Attorneys volunteer their time to represent individuals who would otherwise not be able to afford private legal representation:
Florida Pro Bono Projects:
sorry to hear about your emergency, I hope everything is fine.
Obviousely the lawyer is bluffing and trying to scare me, right?
He gave me 30 days to hire another contractor to do the structural planning and fix the opening before his client return to hang the door, otherwise he would enforce the lien. Should I reply to him or just ignore him? if I ignore him, can he enforce the lien given the current circumstances/situation ? should I still fill a notice of contest ?
I don't qualify for a pro bono lawyer, and in the other hand I can't afford the lawyer's retainer.
Hi, Rachel, Thank you for your understanding and concern,
The lawyer is trying to scare you. If he tried to foreclose on the contractor's lien, that would be a good thing for you because you have the perfect defense and you could file a counterclaim for damages. But, I do not think the lawyer would be that stupid to foreclose, knowing all the evidence of poor workmanship you and the City Inspector have against the contractor. If the lawyer is foolish enough to foreclose on the lien, it would not be because you replied to him or failed to reply, it would simply be that he is too foolish to comprehend exactly what is going on. When you stop to think about what the lawyer said - that you should bear the cost of the contractor's repairing his own unacceptable workmanship. Who ever heard of something like that ? I know I have not.
I think you should look into retaining a lawyer; you could call the Florida Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service and ask for the names of Attorneys who charge on a graduated scale, depending on what the client can afford. Consultations are very low cost and some are even free; you should take advantage of that and ask the Attorneys you speak to if they would take the case on a reduced fee, or a contingency fee so that they try to get Attorneys fees from the contractor. You have nothing to lose by getting a consultation with two or three Attorneys, At least, you will have the names of a few Attorneys in the event the lawyer is foolish enough to advise the contractor to foreclose on the lien. Do not forget, you can serve the City Inspector with a Subpoena and have him come and testify and describe the workmanship e saw when he inspected the contractor's work and that it was so far below acceptable standards that the City had to revoke its acceptance of his work,
I was also told to release the lien by transfering it to a Cash/Surety Bond ? what do you think ?
The contract states "in the event of litigation involving this agreement, the prevailing party shall be entitled to reasonable attorney's fees and costs"
Does that mean when they enforce the lien or before ?
1. It is not a good idea and I do not think it would be in your best interests to put up a bond. You should not put up a bond. By doing so, you would be incurring the expense of putting up a bond and it will serve as a "Fund" from which the contractor will receive payment, even if he does not complete the work satisfactorily.
2. The provision for Attorneys' Fees means that if there is a lawsuit filed whether by the contractor to foreclose on the lien, or by you because of poor workmanship and the contractor's failure to complete the work in a "good and workmanlike manner", the party who wins the lawsuit will be entitled to have their Attorney's fees paid by the losing party. Therefore, if you file a lawsuit against the contractor and win, the contractor will have to pay your Attorney's fees,
Please be kind enough to rate my service to you as "Excellent Service", otherwise I will not receive credit for my time and effort in assisting you by providing Answers to your questions,
If you are given a survey, please be kind enough to leave some Positive Feedback, I would appreciate it greatly,
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).