What to do ifI paid for an item but never received it?

I paid in cash for a bicycle in a store. It’s been 9 months and the owner refuses to refund me or give me my bike. I have the receipt and have contacted the states attorney and attorney general – neither helped. I paid $290 for the bike? Will it cost me this much to sue? Will he have to pay me the bike $ plus court filing fees?

Asked on March 22, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) If you sue and win, the other party will most likely not have to pay your court fees--generally, in American law, the losing party does not pay for the winner. There are exceptions, but as typical matter, except in employment law cases, you can't count on recovering them.

2) If you're going to sue--which is really the only way to try to get your money back--assuming that you could take a day out of your time, sue in small claims court. You won't need an attorney, and the filing fee is usually low. This will let you--assuming that you win--net out ahead, since the small filing fee will be more than offset by getting your $290 back. Good luck.

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