Can I charge someone with theft of services?

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Can I charge someone with theft of services?

I own a small maid company we had
cleaned this lady’s home. Carpets,
baseboards, kitchen etc. Nonetheless,
the job was completed, the client told
us everything was great and thanked us.
10 Hours later the next day we start
receiving statements that they were
going to cancel the check they paid us
with because they were not content
after they told us everything was
great. We tried to align with them and
resolve the issue they refused, kept
coming up with excuses, and etc. They
sent us pictures where the dates didn’t
match. Nonetheless services were
rendered and they ended up cancelling
the check throwing my account into
negative balance. Can I file a report
for theft of services without them
trying to state they were just simply
not happy with the services? After the
clearly stated they were content? I
have screen shots of our conversation,
pictures with wrong dates, and a
picture of the final check that states
final payment on it.

Asked on April 1, 2016 under Business Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

This is most likely a civil case--basically breach of contract (not paying what they agreed to pay)--and not a criminal case (theft, whether of services or otherwise). Theft of services is things like tapping into a cable line or someone'e internet illegally and taking, without knowledge or consent, someone else's services; however, disputing whether work was done to a satisfactory level and should be paid for is a contractual dispute. Your recourse is to sue them, such as in small claims court, for the money they owe you, based on breach of contract  and also "unjust enrichment" (they should not be allowed to benefit by having had you clean their home without paying for it).


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