CanI sue someone for not paying me for my babysitting services even if there was no signed contract?

I babysat for someone for over two weeks and she kept telling me she would pay me later. After 2 weeks she decided to say that she isn’t going to pay me because i was inexperienced and let her children watch scary movies and because I had my friend at her house. she owes me well over a $100 and says that she won’t pay me at all now because I did things she didn’t like even though she knew about those things and continued to have me babysit.

Asked on July 21, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) Legally, yes, you can sue this person even without a written contract. Oral, or spoken, contracts and agreements are enforceable as well.

2) As a practical matter, it is highly unlikely that it is worth suing, even for $100 or bit more. Even were you to sue in small claims court, where you do not need an attorney, you'll still have some filing fee (usually around $25, though check for your court); you'll have to take time out to do it, there will be transportation to get there, and it's not guaranteed you'll win, since it'll simply be your testimony against hers. You are probably best off writing off the time and money and learning from it--always make sure you get paid on an ongoing basis.


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