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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 99428
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I am a massage therapist who was doing a service trade with

Customer Question

I am a massage therapist who was doing a service trade with tattoo artist. The tattoo artist chose to end our trade agreement but is refusing to pay the balance of the services he has received - a total of $700. We did not have a written agreement but I do have a communication where he acknowledges our trade. What do I do to get paid?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 4 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about the situation. Someone in your situation can file in small claims court for breach of contract. "It has long been the law in Colorado that a party attempting to recover on a claim for breach of contract must prove the following elements: (1) the existence of a contract . . . (2) [substantial] performance by the plaintiff or some justification for nonperformance . . . (3) failure to perform the contract by the defendant, and (4) resulting damages to the plaintiff." Western Distributing Co. v. Diodosio, 841 P.2d 1053, 1058 (Colo. 1992).

Even if the contract was not in writing, verbal contracts are STILL enforceable, but are just harder to prove. Thankfully, those communications help to establish that there was a contract. The only times that a verbal contract cannot be enforced are listed under Col. Rev. Stat. § 38-10-112:

Void agreements. (1) Except for contracts for the sale of goods which are governed by section 4-2-201, C.R.S., and lease contracts which are governed by section 4-2.5-201, C.R.S., in the following cases every agreement shall be void, unless such agreement or some note or memorandum thereof is in writing and subscribed by the party charged therewith: (a) Every agreement that by the terms is not to be performed within one year after the making thereof; (b) Every special promise to answer for the debt, default, or miscarriage of another person; (c) Every agreement, promise, or undertaking made upon consideration of marriage, except mutual promises to marry.

For more on how to file in small claims, see HERE (guide) and HERE (forms & instructions).

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