So back to my original question, is a purchase order an equivalent to a contract? If so is it an exact equal?
It is the equivalent to a contract in that it is your offer, his acceptance and request and authorizes you to perform work, which is consideration.
He has never been to Colorado and I will be in California, so it is easier for me to sue him there. He is in Sacramento; do I have to go to Sacramento or can I sue him in small claims court in LA? Also, what is the limit for small claims court and can I split it into two cases if the amount exceeds the limit. Is this small claims court material or do I need a lawyer. if small claims court is acceptable, can you give me a laundry list of what I need to bring?
You can sue him in California and it needs to be in the jurisdiction in which a substantial portion of the activities regarding the deal took place. The claim limiting amount in California small claims court is $10,000. You cannot file two separate actions to get around that amount. He would simply file a motion to consolidate based on same transaction or occurrence and it would negate both actions potentially. Moreover, the court would not allow this to take place.
This is small claims court material and can be settled by a small claims court. That being the case, it is always best to have an attorney you trust representing you in the matter. However, you must also weigh the costs of an attorney relative to what you stand to gain (or lose). At that point, it is a simple cost/benefit analysis...really a business decision. In short, hiring a lawyer is always more likely to end with a favorable result, but this is something that can be handled by you in small claims court.
You need to bring with you any and all evidence you have of the deal, including but not limited to, purchase requests, receipts, emails, your certified letter, affidavits of you and your employees of the work performed, etc. You need to concentrate on those elements listed above and what evidence you have to prove those elements.
Can you also give a sample of a letter to send him for small claims?
RE: Invoice For Work Performed
I hope this letter finds you well. I write to you to place you on official legal notice that you are in material breach of our verbal contract and to demand payment within the next 10 business days from the post mark of this certified letter.
As you know, for a valid verbal contract to be entered into by two parties, there must be an offer, and acceptance and consideration. (you may want to attach a copy of the purchase order and state "Please See The Attached Purchase Order"). This purchase order and the worked performed by my business as consideration are evidence of our agreement.
You are clearly in breach of this agreement and currently owe my company $XXXX (Please see the attached invoice). Your attempts to make partial payment and return inventory are not acceptable under the terms of our agreement.
If you do not make payment for the full amount of the invoice within the next 10 business days, I will have no choice but to bring a law suit against you for what is owed. As you know, we have more than ample evidence to prove our claim against you. In addition to making a claim for the amount owed, if forced to file suit we will also seek court costs, attorney fees and even punitive damages.
At (name your business) we pride ourselves in delivering a quality, satisfactory product to our clients. We pride ourselves on honesty, integrity and dignity. We do not associate with companies or individuals that do not aspire to these attributes as well. Moreover, we will defend our rights zealously when infringed upon. As such, we respectfully XXXXX XXXXX request that you make prompt payment so as to avoid litigation on this matter.
Feel free to contact me at any time. However, from this point forward, please only make contact in writing via letter or email.
Let me know if you have any additional questions.