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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lawyer & Real Estate Broker, 30+ years, foreclosure, land contracts, inheritance, probate.
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I hired a designer to order custom furniture for me. I paid

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I hired a designer to order custom furniture for me. I paid her for it in full, she paid the manufacturer and the furniture was built and has been ready to ship since January 15, 2013. Out of spite to me, the designer has notified the manufacturer not to ship the furniture to me until they receive instructions, in writing from the designer, that they can ship it. Although its my order, and I paid for the furniture, it is under the designers name, and manufacturer cant ship it to me.

Hello. I'm sorry to hear about your problem with this character. If the contract specifies that SHE is responsible for delivering the furniture, and the time for delivery has passed, then you can sue her for a full refund of the amount you paid. If she sent it to the manufacturer, then she has bought the furniture and legally it now belongs to her, but she owes you whatever you paid her. You of course understand that this is just a tactic to scare her. My guess is that it will wake her up quickly and she'll now want to get you the furniture asap or sooner. It is up to you whether you still wish to accept it. It is also up to you as to how many of your friends you are going to tell about how she does business.

I hope this information is helpful and that you will enter a positive rating. I thank you for submitting your question to Pearl-Just Answer. We appreciate your business. If you need clarification or additional information, please send me a Reply and I will be happy to explain further. Please consult a local attorney to verify the accuracy of this information according to your state's laws.

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I paid her for the furniture, she deposited my check into her business account and sent in payment to the manufacturer under her business name. The furniture is ready to ship and although she said shipping was included in my price, the shipping company requires COD and it will need to be paid.


I am currently fighting her in court now. My question is really for the manufacturer. They can not ship it because she has instructed them not to until she authorizes it in writing. Since the order was placed under her business name, I can not get the furniture from the manufacturer. She is just being spiteful, and has already pocketed her profit from the sale, she couldn't care a less if I ever get the furniture or the manufacturer gets use of their warehouse space again.


My question is.... what legal recourse does the manufacturer have to either force her to release the furniture for shipment to me, or for them to regain ownership back of the furniture.

You are in the legal area of sales under the Uniform Commercial Code. The law is based upon written contracts. Does the contract give the designer the right to withhold deliver until she's paid in full? What amount of money did you contract to pay. I don't know what is going on in your court action, but the court has to decide what rights you have based on the agreement, so review your agreement with the designer. As far as I can see you had no contract directly with the manufacturer, so the court will have to order her to either deliver the product or refund your money. That's the way I see it.

I hope this information is helpful and that you will enter a positive rating. I thank you for submitting your question to Pearl-Just Answer. We appreciate your business. If you need clarification or additional information, please send me a Reply and I will be happy to explain further. Please consult a local attorney to verify the accuracy of this information according to your state's laws.

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The designer and I have no specific contract. All I received from the designer was an email stating the exact pieces that I wanted made, the total amount of the cost to make them, and that delivery would be on Dec 20, 2012 or sooner.


 


I have already paid the designer in full. The designer and the manufacturer have a purchase order, and no other contract. The furniture has been available to ship since January 15, 2013, but the designer notified the manufacturer not to ship the furniture to me without prior written authorization to do so.


 


After I paid the designer for the furniture, I hired her to install closets for my mother. She quoted me a price and the work was completed. When it came time to pay her, she added to the price by over $300 and she said she forgot to add in her fees. When I disputed the amount with her, she had the manufacturer hold on to my "already paid in full" furniture, claiming that I owed her business money.


 


The manufacturer told her it was not their fight, that the furniture was paid in full and ready to ship.


 


I am fighting the designer in court, and currently waiting on a court date.


 


My question is for the manufacturer. They are on my side but afraid to be sued by her. The designers business name is XXXXX XXXXX purchase order with the ship to address being my home address. The manufacturer can not send me the furniture, because since the designer paid for it with her business check, and it is in her name, legally she is the owner.


 


The furniture has been ready for almost 6 months now. Each month the manufacturer writes and asks if they can ship my furniture, and she tells them not at this time.


 


The designer has already pocketed her profit of over $3,000 from the difference in the cost of the furniture she paid to the manufacturer and funds I gave her, therefore she could care if I ever get this furniture and the manufacturer keeps it forever?


 


My question is........ Can the manufacturer force the designer to allow shipment of the furniture, or can they legally repossess it and retain ownership of the furniture because she refused to allow shipment?

Do you mean that this dispute is over $300? Why not tell the manufacturer that you'll agree to "store" the furniture for them for $1.00 per year. After all, they're risking that it could be damaged while they hold possession, in which case you won't accept it and will want a refund. What can the designer sue them for anyway? She's been paid in full on the furniture contract and the remaining dispute is over pocket change. Or the manufacturer could tell designer that they're going to ship it either to her or to you on June 10 and to let them know where she wants it to go. If she takes it or continues to block the shipment, then she owes you a full refund for non-delivery.
Irwin Law and 3 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you so much.


 


Yes indeed it did start over $300 and then escalated to over $3,000. Sadly, it seems that greed gets the best of some people.


 


I appreciate your assistance with my question.

It occurs to me that you might have a case against the manufacturer based on a "third party beneficiary" theory. That is, a TPB to the contract between the designer and the manufacturer, which is tied to your contract with the designer. You would need an attorney to file (or threaten) suit where the manufacturer is. My guess is that a threatening letter from an attorney would get your furniture delivered. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-party_beneficiary
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for that additional information. I will check into that.

I'm pretty sure you'll need a lawyer to send a demand letter. If I were representing the manufacturer I would tell them to ship it and let the chips fall where they may. There is no incentive for the designer to sue them, but there is for you. Good luck and be sure to let me know how it turns out.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you again, I appreciate it very much.

You're welcome. BTW, if the manufacturer doesn't tell her they've shipped it, and you never invite her over for dinner, how is she going to know you got it?

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