How can I sue for theft by deception?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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How can I sue for theft by deception?

This may sound silly but it’s bothering me. I paid for a feature on a popular instagram page. They said that they would post my submission in 2 to 3 days. It has been 2 months and I have consistently messaged them about the status of my submission and they say they would post it but never did. It has now been 2 months and I’ve been in communication with the owner of the company but he keeps giving vague and incomplete answers and promises regarding me submission. I asked for my money back about 2 weeks ago because I figured they were never going to post it at this point. The owners responses have now become non-existent

when I ask for my money back when I know for a fact he has more than enough to pay me back and that

he is simply refusing to acknowledge my requests. I know I am not the only person this has happened to

either. I know that considering the legal fees it would be more money than it’s worth to take to court but maybe someone would do it pro bono, consider it good practice.

Asked on August 11, 2019 under Business Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You are very unlikely to find an attorney to do this pro bono: we get enough practice with paying clients, and don't have the time to spend on nonpaying ones (or inclination to spend our time, which is our capital, on a case the client does not consider worth paying for).
You can, however, act as your own attorney or "pro se" if you choose: people may represent themselves in court. To sue, you will need the physical address of the business: you must be able to "serve" the papers on them physically. In the lawsuit, you can include the cost to file the suit.
You are correct that they cannot keep your money without providing what they are supposed to: depending on the exact facts, this was fraud (lying about what they could or would do), breach (or violation) of contract (the agreement to provide the service), and/or theft by deception. Since you may allege more than one ground or basis for a lawsuit, you should file based on all three.

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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