CanI sue someone for not paying me for my babysitting services even if there was no signed contract?

UPDATED: Jul 21, 2010

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CanI sue someone for not paying me for my babysitting services even if there was no signed contract?

I babysat for someone for over two weeks and she kept telling me she would pay me later. After 2 weeks she decided to say that she isn’t going to pay me because i was inexperienced and let her children watch scary movies and because I had my friend at her house. she owes me well over a $100 and says that she won’t pay me at all now because I did things she didn’t like even though she knew about those things and continued to have me babysit.

Asked on July 21, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

1) Legally, yes, you can sue this person even without a written contract. Oral, or spoken, contracts and agreements are enforceable as well.

2) As a practical matter, it is highly unlikely that it is worth suing, even for $100 or bit more. Even were you to sue in small claims court, where you do not need an attorney, you'll still have some filing fee (usually around $25, though check for your court); you'll have to take time out to do it, there will be transportation to get there, and it's not guaranteed you'll win, since it'll simply be your testimony against hers. You are probably best off writing off the time and money and learning from it--always make sure you get paid on an ongoing basis.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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