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I have an Estimate from a Contractor. No contract, just an…

Customer Question
I have an Estimate...

I have an Estimate from a Contractor. No contract, just an estimate for materials and services for a room remodel. “This is only an estimate”. 50% upon acceptance, 50% upon completion. He cashed my $4750 check within 2 hours. He didn’t return the next day. The following day (Friday) he returned for 2.5 hours. No Show on Monday. That night I texted I wanted an itemized invoice for what he had done and the balance returned. He did neither. I am in the Town of Stevensville, it’s police will do nothing calling it civil. There is NO OTHER documentation. So if I go civil I cannot recoup any costs. Isn’t it theft? He has my money, I have nothing. No materials were delivered. BTW he goes by Energy Star Builders, a federally registered trademark. They thanked me for reporting if, but he still uses is.Thank you. Phoebe

Lawyer's Assistant: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And when did this happen?

Montana, Dec 2015. I filed my report to the police in 2016. I’m also considering Dereliction of Dutieies as I never received. any formal. reply. On. the status of my complaint. My apologies. The editing. Of this has. Gone whacko.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

SY. boy. I cannot. Control the entering of periods. Don’t know if it’s a software. Difference, this is an iPod. I filed a formal police report in August or Sept (broke my arm in)2June 2016 They contacted him, he said “she fired me” YES!!!!! So give me my money back. This is a typing nightmare I so apologize.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

This is a typing nightmare. Nutshell, estimate, down payment, check cashed immediately, no show, I asked for my money back minus what I might owe him for 2.5 hours. ( the cursor is now below the box, it’s when it IN the box it’s tough). Police did nothing, I called the County Atty explaining and asking how do I file dereliction of duties (the officer, the Town, Mayor or all). Within 24 hours I recd a call from the Sherrifs office saying they took the file (last week). I am getting the hint again it’s civil. The Contractors reputation is horrible, law enforcement is notorious for claiming “civil” and walking.

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 1 minute by:
11/14/2017
Lawyer: legalgems, Lawyer replied 7 months ago
legalgems
legalgems, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13,388
Experience: Just Answer consultant at Self employed
Verified

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

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Lawyer: legalgems, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

I am very sorry to hear this;

if a deposit is paid and the contract provides that 50% is due upon acceptance and the money was provided accordingly, that would be partial performance of the contract (by the customer).

This would mean there is a binding contract.

For breach of a contract, there is a material breach (goes to the very heart of the matter) and an immaterial breach (money damages will help compensate the plaintiff).

In cases of material breach, the party not in breach may revoke their acceptance, so goods/payment are returned.

For immaterial breach, the plaintiff is compensated by the defendant paying for the damages (ie cost of repair).

It is correct that if there is a civil remedy the police usually won't get involved and will refer the parties to a civil venue.

The maximum dollar amount for small claims is $7,000; please see:

https://courts.mt.gov/portals/113/library/forms/civil/city_jp/civil-small.pdf

Normally the customer will send a demand letter before filing suit:

[Your address]
[Your city, state, zip code]

[Today’s date]

[Name of contact person (if available)]
[Title (if available)]
[Company name]
[Consumer Complaint Division (if there is no contact person)]
[Street address]
[City, state, zip code]

Re: [Account number or other reference to your complaint]

Dear [Contact Person]:

This letter is to [notify you {or} follow up on our conversation of {date}] about a problem I am having with the [name of product or service performed] that I [bought, leased, rented or had repaired] at your [name of location] location on [date].

I am dissatisfied with your [service or product] because [describe problem]. I have already attempted to resolve this problem by [describe attempts and actions taken]. I have enclosed copies of my records. [Include copies of receipts, canceled checks, contracts, and other relevant documents]

Unfortunately, the problem remains unresolved. I am hereby requesting that you: [List specific actions you want (such as: refund, exchange or repair the item)]

1)

2)

3)

Please contact me within [number of days] days to confirm that you will honor my request.
Thank you for your anticipated assistance in resolving my problem. Please contact me at [telephone number and/or e-mail address] if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

[Your signature]

[Your name]

Enclosure(s): [List attached document copies]

cc: [Name(s) of anyone to whom you are sending a copy of this letter]

A complaint can also be filed here:

http://bsd.dli.mt.gov/filing-complaint

and the department has jurisdiction to suspend/revoke one's license.

Further questions? Please post here to continue the chat.

Satisfied? Kindly rate positively so I receive credit for assisting you. I hope that you feel I have earned

5 stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟*****

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(no additional charges are incurred).

Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. The terms addressing this can be viewed here:

http://ww2.justanswer.com/terms-service-0#information

Thank you and take care.

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Lawyer: legalgems, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Hello again; just checking in to see how things worked out;

If you have no further questions a positive rating is most appreciated (at no additional cost to you) and allows the site to credit my account for the time spent assisting you!

if you have further questions please don't hesitate to reach out to me here on Just Answerand I will do my best to get you the requested information.
Thanks!

The above information is for educational purposes only. A consultation with a private attorney is recommended so they can apply the law to your specific facts, and suggest the best course of action. An attorney can be located here:
http://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/public-information/how-do-i-find-a-lawyer-.html
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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