What can I do to get back the equipment I leased out legally?

My company is an LLC that has a contract with an individual who leased Janitorial Equipment from me. Almost all terms of the contract were breached by the other party. He has now stopped answering my calls and emails. He was subcontracted through a major company who was working at a city facility. I

went to his home address where a family member said he doesn’t live there anymore and the staduim where he was subcontracted said he was fired. He also has a very common name and so it’s

difficult to find him.

Asked on March 8, 2017 under Business Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If the individual (and not the major company) was the one who leased the equipment (e.g. it's his name on the lease), while you legally have the right to get the equipment back and/or get monetary compensation for his breach of contract, practically, unless you can physically find him, you can't take legal action against him. You need to be able to physically locate a person and "serve" him with legal papers to due. None of the companies you mention would be liable unless he was an actual employee of theirs (not a contractor working with them), who signed the contract in his capacity as employee and within the scope of his authority as employee. (If that was the case, however, then you could sue the company employing him.) That is because while employees can often bind companies, especially if what they do appears to be legitimately within the scope of their employment and if they sign the contact as an employee, not an individual, an independent or subcontractor cannot; they are not a legal representative of the business and cannot obligate it.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If the individual (and not the major company) was the one who leased the equipment (e.g. it's his name on the lease), while you legally have the right to get the equipment back and/or get monetary compensation for his breach of contract, practically, unless you can physically find him, you can't take legal action against him. You need to be able to physically locate a person and "serve" him with legal papers to due. None of the companies you mention would be liable unless he was an actual employee of theirs (not a contractor working with them), who signed the contract in his capacity as employee and within the scope of his authority as employee. (If that was the case, however, then you could sue the company employing him.) That is because while employees can often bind companies, especially if what they do appears to be legitimately within the scope of their employment and if they sign the contact as an employee, not an individual, an independent or subcontractor cannot; they are not a legal representative of the business and cannot obligate it.


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