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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I am a general contractor and I have a sub contractor whom

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I am a general contractor and I have a sub contractor whom I own money on an invoice.
The invoice in about 36 days old. I am waiting for a draw from the customer. In the mean time he got anxious and mailed a certified letter to my client demanding payment. I never received a certified letter just several invoices. So as you can imagine this has cause problems. However I am paying him.

Question is can he do this, doesn't he need to sent a certified letter to me first and then them with some time inbetween for response. Basically he just invoiced my customer.

Thanks for your question.

The subcontractor may place a mechanic's lien on the property when he is not paid. While it is not entirely out of the norm for a subcontractor to demand payment on the general contractor's behalf, if there is no lien situation then this is obviously premature on the part of the subcontractor. Generally, the sub should avoid such demands because it can lead to a "tortious interference with a contract" (the situation where the sub does something to encourage the customer to break his contract with the general).

I would send a stern letter to the subcontractor and warn him that any further attempts to force payment from the customer will be considered tortious interference and you may exercise your right to seek damages against him that result from his actions.

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Best Regards,

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