Do verbal agreements hold any weight in a small claims suit?

I took a handful of jobs through my brother’s company – landscaping jobs. I have text messages as well as emails but amongst all of the text/emails there is no mention of us entering into a contract. That was all done verbally. I have a lot of information very clearly implying that is what took place but nothing solid saying that we entered an agreement on a certain date or what the terms were. I also have plenty of “Before and After” pictures of each job I completed. I’ve sent invoices in attempt to collect the money, but have received nothing. I’m not sure if I should spend the time or money on filing a small claims case.

Asked on July 15, 2014 under Business Law, Michigan


Shawn Jackson / The Jackson Law Firm, P.C.

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

For most situations, verbal agreements are as enforceable as written agreements...albeit the "burden of proof" issues are different. As with any contract, verbal or otherwise, you will need to show a "meeting of the minds" that reflect an exchange of products/service in exchange for money...and with verbal agreements, any documentary evidence that support the "meeting of the minds" will be helpful. So, discuss this matter with an attorney of your choice to have them help you prepare your case.

Shawn Jackson - California Business Development Attorney

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