How best to handle a breach of contract by a wedding photographer?

My husband and I live in ie state but were married almost 2 years ago in aother (we traveled to have our wedding there). We contracted with a wedding photographer near the venue to take pictures of our wedding and produce a number of image-based items to us. We paid them in full and our checks were cashed 2 weeks before the wedding. To date, we have only received our thank you cards. Attempts to get our photographer to produce the items remaining in our contract have been fruitless. We have filed many complaints but realize that the only way we might be able to get our photographs is if we pursue legal action. Should we pursue legal action through civil court, criminal court, or both?

Asked on June 8, 2012 under General Practice, Kentucky


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the photographer for breach of contract.  This is a civil case; not a criminal case.  Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be recovery of the payments to the photographer for which services were not rendered.

An alternative remedy would be to seek specific performance of the contract.  Specific performance means that a court judgment would order the photographer to comply with the terms of the contract by providing you with your wedding photos and other items the photographer did not provide under the terms of the contract.

A lawsuit can be filed in the state where the plaintiff resides (you are the plaintiff, the photographer is the defendant), or in the state where the defendant resides or where your wedding occurred.  For court appearances  and filing documents with the court, it would probably be more convenient for you to file the lawsuit for breach of contract in the state where you live.  You can have a process server located in or near the city where the photographer resides, serve the photographer with your summons and complaint (the complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons).  You can find process servers in the Yellow Pages or online listed under attorney services.

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