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Ask Barrister Your Own Question

Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 23853
Experience:  14 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 24+ yrs
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breach of contract, stopped check payment, theft of graphic

Customer Question

breach of contract, stopped check payment, theft of graphic art services-NY NY
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for using JA! My goal is to provide you with excellent service and help with your legal problem.
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Is the employer claiming that they stopped the check because you refused to work overtime?
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What is your legal question that I can help with this afternoon?
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

yes he insisted that I keep drawing for hours more than 8 hours into the night and work overtime to finish the shoot. in a previous email talking about this job- i laid out how long each drawing had taken me in my studio and alerted him that 8 hours would not be enough time to complete. he said we could consdier a second day for the shoot to be completed. he refused to do this at the shoot- and wanted me to work until it was done no matter how long. He had handed me a check for the 8 hours, then left me with his assistant- i became ill from the lights, and my arm hurt and i could not continue to draw. His assistant knew this and related it to him. He didn;t care- he said finish the job or I will stop the check,

Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the additional information. If you completed the agreed on contract for the 8 hours, then the employer would have been obligated to pay you for that time. It would have been up to you and the employer to negotiate as to whether you would continue to work past the agreed 8 hours.
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When they stopped payment on the check, they breached the contract and you now have grounds to file suit against them in small claims court for your damages. NY has a limit of $5,000, you don't need an attorney, and the clerk will have the summons and complaint forms you need to complete and file to sue them. You can also recover any court costs as well as the money that the defendant owes you.
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Thanks.

Barrister

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If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

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I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have been contracted through my company which is a corporation- can I stll go to small claims court?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

can I file criminal charges for stopping the check after receiving service?

Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
If the contract was between your company and the employer's company, then you could still proceed in small claims court, but would need to have an attorney represent you. Since the defendant stopped the check in a willful and malicious manner, the judge may award punitive damages and attorney's fees to deter future similar behavior.
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As for criminal charges, you could try, but the prosecutor would likely consider this a civil contractual dispute and refuse to file formal criminal charges.

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Thanks.

Barrister

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If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

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I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


isn't stopping payment for services rendered considered theft of services? Isn't stopping a check a crime?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

what type of lawyer do i bring with me?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

which court do I need the papers to sue from? Farmingdale NY where his company is located? or can i go to my court in Suffern NY?

Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
isn't stopping payment for services rendered considered theft of services? Isn't stopping a check a crime?
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If there is a legitimate dispute, then no, it is not a crime. If it was done simply to try to keep from paying them, then it gets closer to a crime. But the employer would say that there was a dispute about payment under the contract and the prosecutor would likely decide not to file charges. Prosecutors look for any way to get out of filing charges for something like this because it is not very glamorous or high profile.
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You can try to file a criminal complaint, but don't be surprised if nothing comes of it.
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what type of lawyer do i bring with me?

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Any general litigation or civil attorney can represent you in small claims court.
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which court do I need the papers to sue from? Farmingdale NY where his company is located? or can i go to my court in Suffern NY?

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You have to sue him where you can get jurisdiction over him. Since you are both located in NY, you could sue in either location. If you sued in your hometown, you would have to arrange to have the summons served on him where he lives. Your local sheriff or contstable can assist with that since they normally have reciprocal agreements to serve out of county summons with other sheriff's depts.
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Thanks.

Barrister

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.

If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

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I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.

You gave me the wrong info- My local court said I had to go to his location to file a suit.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Inaccurate answer.
told me I could sue from my location- local court said no- I have to go to his location.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
If you entered into the contract in your location, then your local court would have what is called "subject matter jurisdiction" meaning that since the subject of the dispute occurred where you are, your court could exert jurisdiction over the case. But you would have to get personal jurisdiction over the defendant by having him served personally with the summons and complaint for the lawsuit. The courts have personal jurisdiction to hear a case if the person is located within the state where the person files the suit.
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I am not sure which court you are trying to sue in but if you are talking strictly about proceeding in small claims court, then typically local rules state that you have to sue the defendant where they are located. If you are suing in a higher court then you can sue him anywhere in the state where the court would have subject matter jurisdiction and then get personal jurisdiction by having him served.
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Thanks
Barrister

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