Suing for Non-Payment of Services in Small Claims Court
There are times when you, as a service provider, will deal with difficult clients. When that happens, you risk not getting paid after completing your part of the bargain. Despite constant reminders, your bill(s) will remain unpaid.
Fortunately, there is a legal process to help those who haven't been paid to claim what is rightfully theirs. This forum is called small claims court. If you have been a victim of clients withholding payments, let DoNotPay help you initiate a case in small claims court. Suing for non-payment of services is easier than you may think.
Reasons to File a Lawsuit for Non-Payment of Services
You can sue any person or company for not paying your invoices. You can do this on your own, though hiring an experienced lawyer is certainly advised.
There is no reason to delay in taking legal action if someone has failed to pay up their debts after services rendered. As a victim of non-payment of services, you may have suffered the following:
- Wasted time and effort in service provision.
- Wasted resources in attempting to collect payment.
- Lost business opportunities dealing with the client and leaving other openings.
- Risk of closing down the business if the debts are spread across different clients.
Common Grounds for Suing for Non-Payment
If any of these conditions are present, you should sue for non-payment at the small claims court:
|Sue for non-payment of services concerning wasted time and effort.||As a service provider, you expend your energy to help the client. Whether you are a plumber or barber or anything in between, your effort must be rewarded. If the client refuses to pay the accrued debt, you can institute a suit at the small claims court to recover the outstanding sums.|
|Sue for non-payment of services concerning closing down the business.||As a small business owner, debts can force you to wind down your business, especially if you relied on loans to get started. There’s a chance that some creditors may file lawsuits against your company's assets after issuing summonses for failing to settle debts. To avoid the creditors coming after your property, suing for non-payment can help offset these outstanding amounts.|
Filing a Lawsuit for Non-Payment of Services by Yourself
There are two ways of suing for non-payment of service at the small claims court. The first is to file a lawsuit on your own, while the second method is with the help of a lawyer.
While suing without a lawyer seems like a viable idea, it's always advisable to seek legal representation if you have the means. A lawyer can help with the following:
- Ascertain if you have a valid case. The lawyer will evaluate the facts and evidence available and advise if it's proper to file the suit.
- Establishing the case. The lawyer will help you establish the relationship with the defendant, link the services rendered with its payment, and prepare supporting documents that can be used in court.
- Negotiating for a settlement. If there is no reasonable prospect of winning the suit or if there are chances of losing, a lawyer will recommend settling outside court. This would save you time, money, and resources on no-win cases.
Potential Problems When Filing a Lawsuit by Yourself
Most people might assume that litigation is easy. However, this isn't true. There are many issues that may make it impossible to sue for non-payment of services in a small claims court. These include:
- Statute of Limitation. To file a suit, you should act within the time given by the statute of limitations. If you fail to do this, your case may be dismissed altogether.
- Lack of supporting documents and evidence. For most small businesses, filing a case in court is not an option because they lack proper documentation showing their transactions with clients. Unless legal counsel is engaged, it would be tough to sue for non-payment of services.
- Jurisdiction. It would help if you sued at a court that has jurisdiction over your case. For instance, if you are suing for non-payment of services rendered to a business in California, then the small claims court in California would have jurisdiction over the suit.
- Complex filing process. Without legal counsel, it is difficult to institute a suit against unpaid service bills. One may not know how to approach it.
How to Sue for Non-Payment of Services With DoNotPay
As seen, suing in a small claims court may not be an easy task. However, at DoNotPay, we have simplified the process. So, we will handle the matter once you do the following:
- Log in to DoNotPay and select the Sue Now product
- Enter the dollar amount you are owed
- Select whether you want a demand letter or court filing forms
- Describe the reason for the lawsuit and submit any applicable details, including photo proof
That's it! DoNotPay will then generate a demand letter or court filing forms for you. We'll even mail a copy of your demand letter to the individual or business you are suing.
DoNotPay Is Your Key to Easy Lawsuits
Now that you have DoNotPay in your back pocket, it’s time to make your case against these big companies: