What do you need to suefor asmall claims case for breach of a non-payment agreement?

UPDATED: Aug 25, 2011

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What do you need to suefor asmall claims case for breach of a non-payment agreement?

I put the down payment on my ex-boyfriend’s car several months back with the guarantee he would pay me back. He paid me some back but still owes me around $1200. I had not seen a dime since we broke up, so I e-mailed him to let him know I was considering taking this to court. He e-mailed me back with a payment plan that specified how much he still owes me, when each month he’ll pay me, and how much I can expect each payment to be. Time has come for my first payment from him and he hasn’t paid me. Do I have a case?

Asked on August 25, 2011 Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If somone had an agreement to pay money (e.g. repay a loan) and has violated that agreement by not making payment in full on time, you may sue him. Based on what you write, you would seem to have a case: the elements of a case are 1) proof of the agrement; 2) the terms of the agreement; 3) evidence that the agreement was vioalted. Evidence can be provided by a contract, promissory note, other documentation (such as emails, letters, text messages, etc.), bank statements, testimony, etc. It seems from what you write that all the elements should be there; the fact that you have an email from his acknowledging what he still owes you should be very helpful to you. Good luck.

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