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Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 55595
Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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I live in the state of Georgia. I have a contractor that bid

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I live in the state of Georgia. I have a contractor that bid on some work at my home and was awarded the job. The work consisted of a back deck, and 2 bathroom remodels. A deposit of half of the total amount has been given to the contractor. All materials were bought by me. The contractor only provided the labor. The deck has been partially completed, and the contractor is now refusing to come back out and complete the job. He also has stated that he is not providing the deposit back minus the deck fee. The amount of money owed back to me, less the deck is $1800.00. Can I file a charge of theft by deception against this contractor with the local police department?
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good afternoon. You can contact the district attorney's office and pursue criminal prosecution of your contract...for theft by deception and fraud. But, many times, prosecutors will simply not get involved in these situations and claim you need to deal with this in the civil courts. Either way, you can also pursue this from the civil side to collect damages, both actual and punitive, which is more likely to result in recovery of your money plus punitive damages and to have serious repercussions against your contractor. From the civil side you want to raise the stakes on them so that he knows that not complying with your demands is going to cost him far more in the end than simply paying you now. Send the contractor a certified, return receipt requested letter detailing the history and demanding that he pay you the $1800 in total within a short specified period of time. Inform him that if your demand is not timely complied with, you will have no choice but to file a suit against him for your damages. Be sure to specifically mention that you will be filing this claim not only as a breach of contract case, but also as deceptive trade practice and fraud actions, which will entitle you not only to your damages, but also an additional amount equal to multiple times your actual damages as punitive damages. That should provide plenty of incentive to comply with your demands; but, if it does not, file your suit. Upon winning your judgment, you can then attach any assets and/or garnish wages to collect that judgment.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I do have a follow up question. Do I start this process by calling the police and filing theft charges? The reason that I ask is, that this individual is staying in some housing that he will be leaving at the end of the month. After that time I will not have any information on him besides a name. I am trying to get something started quickly before, I don't have many options left.

Thanks so much for following up. I would do both simultaneously...file the charges and file your suit. You want the suit filed as well so that while he's still where you know is location, you can have him served with a summons that he is being sued. That will allow you to get a default judgment should he not appear.
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