What are a consumer’s rightsregrading a fraudulent contractor?

How do I go about filing suit in small claims court? Can I obtain necessary forms on line? I have been working with the Metro fraud department to pursue a roofing contractor that took $3,000 to start replacing my roof, but never did any work. I contacted the Department of Commerce and insurance and they have written several letters to the roofer and he has not responded. I also spoke an ADA, who said that we could prosecute this person criminally and have him arrested. At this point, I am ready to move forward with this, but the fraud department has indicated that it does not normally pursue a case if this is the only complaint.

Asked on January 5, 2011 under General Practice, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First, bear in mind that a criminal prosecution against someone generally does NOT get you your money back. The purpose of a criminal prosecution is deterrence and justics--not compensation. If you want your money back and you'll need to sue the individual and/or his business. You can bring a lawsuit yourself in small claims court. Contact the court--either go to its website and/or go to the court in person and speak to a clerk or administrator in or over small claims--and you should be able to get forms and instructions which you can follow. Note that if the business was an LLC or corporation, you may be limited to suing the roofing business, not the roofer personally; if it was a sole proprietorship or d/b/a (i.e. not an LLC or corp.) you can sue him personally, too.


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