What to do if I’m a freenlancer with a client ignoring my requests for payment?

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What to do if I’m a freenlancer with a client ignoring my requests for payment?

We have a signed contract stating my hourly wages and that I am to be compensated for anything I purchase for my client. He owes me $1500 of purchases that I used my own money for and also my payment for hours worked about $1800-$1900 total. I have reciepts of what I had to purchase and of course our text conversations of him asking me to do so. He has been reading and ignoring my messages for about 2 weeks now. The purchases were made nearly a month ago and now I’m having bank issues because of this. Will I have to go to court? Our contract is with the state laws of CA but I am in AZ. How does that play a part?

Asked on October 19, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

1) The only way to get the money is to sue: you sue for breach of contract, or violating the agreement as to what you should be paid. Only a court can enforce the contract and order payment. 
2) If the contract specifies CA law, that is law that will applied and used to decide the case, regardless of the state or court where the case is brought. "Choice of law" provisions in contracts are legal and enforceable.
3) If there is a "venue selection" clause in the contract stating in which court a case must be brought, you have to follow that provision and sue where the contract says. (Chosing "venue" or location is different from specifying the applicable law; you can have CA law used in an AZ court, for example.) If there is no term or provision in the contract stating where you must sue, you should be able to sue in a local (AZ) court.


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