If I’m a freelance sub-contractor for company that has not paid me, can I legally suspend/take down their website until they pay?

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If I’m a freelance sub-contractor for company that has not paid me, can I legally suspend/take down their website until they pay?

I setup the website hosting and it’s in my name. They have applied to have it legally removed from my name although they owe me $6,000 in unpaid development work. The site doesn’t get many visits so it’s not massively impacting business but I suppose they could argue that. I have to file an affidavit stating I’m the legal owner to the site in order to keep it taken down and I’m not sure I’m legally allowed to claim this.

Asked on February 13, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

Bradley Miller / Miller Law LLC

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

This question is impossible to answer without sitting down with you and goin over the entire situation with you. Much will depend on your contract. Does it state when rights to the site transfer?

If you don't have that in your standard contract, you should definitely get language in there so it is clear when ownership to the site officially transfers. That way you can avoid situations like you are in now.

Unfortunately, you are going to have to meet with an attorney to figure this one out. I would be happy to refer you to one here in Ohio (Cincy/Dayton/Columbus area) if you need someone.


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