Can you be sued by someone that claims that you over charged them for a catering party you did for them, but you don’t have a contract, or have ever signed and agreement. They write you a personal check that night.

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can you be sued by someone that claims that you over charged them for a catering party you did for them, but you don’t have a contract, or have ever signed and agreement. They write you a personal check that night.

28 days later they have a lawyer call you up and
demand half of the money back or there going to go
after all of the money that they paid?

Asked on August 3, 2016 under Business Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You *can* be sued in the sense that, unfortunately, it is very easy for someone to file a lawsuit, even a bad or baseless one, since the courts do not "prescreen" suits before they are filed. However, based on what you write, they do not appear to have a good lawsuit: without a written contract, there was an oral contract or agreement as to what you'd do and what they'd pay. To recover money, they (as the party suing) would have to prove in court (e.g. by credible testimony) by a "preponderance of the evidence" (that it is more likely than not) that the agreement was that you would bill them less than they paid. That may be difficult for them to do, since they *did* pay the amount you asked for--they gave you a check. If they truly thought the amount was wrong, they should have negotiated on the spot, only written a check for what they believed was the correct amount, refused to pay, etc.; by paying, they showed agreement with the amount, and it appears that this is a case of them after the fact wishing they paid less. However, the law does not care about after the fact "buyer's remorse"--if they agreed to pay what they did pay, which on the facts they appear to have, they can't later rethink that amount. Futhermore, if you did cater for them, there is no legal basis for getting all the money back: clearly, you are entitled, both contractually (per the oral agreement) and by the theory of avoiding "unjust enrichment" to be paid for the work you did; the most they can reasonably try to do (though as stated, the facts you describe appear to be against them) is to recover the difference between what they allegedly "should" have paid and what they did.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption