What makes for a small claims case?

UPDATED: Feb 29, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Feb 29, 2012Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What makes for a small claims case?

I am an electrical contractor. I did a job for a customer at his rent house upgrading the electrical service. The bill came to $1300, plus tax. and the bill at the supply house came to $900 which the customer also agreed to pay. When it was all said and done the customer wrote a check for $700 and said that is all he is going to pay because somebody else said they would have done the job for that amount.

Asked on February 29, 2012 under Business Law, Texas


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the customer for breach of contract/account stated.  Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit) would be the amount you are owed plus court costs.  Court costs would include the court filing fee and process server fee.  You can file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court because of the amount in question.  The maximum amount for which you can sue in Small Claims Court varies from state to state.  You can obtain the forms from Small Claims Court you will need to file your lawsuit.  There may be a Small Claims Court adviser who can help you complete the forms and explain court procedures.  File your lawsuit and serve the customer with it by using a process server.  You can find process servers listed under attorney services in the Yellow Pages or online.  It would be advisable to use a private process server instead of the marshal because the marshal will make a limited number of attempts to serve the summons and complaint (complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons) and if unsuccessful nothing will have been accomplished.  Don't try to serve by certified mail return receipt because the customer won't pick up the mail and nothing will have been accomplished.  The customer's argument that someone else could have done the job for less is irrelevant because you were hired to do the job and the customer is in breach of contract for failure to pay the total amount due.

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 lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption