Is it legal for a business, under threat of civil action, to demand full payment for an order that was never picked up?

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Is it legal for a business, under threat of civil action, to demand full payment for an order that was never picked up?

I have recently been threatened with civil action by a business that filled an order for me. However, the order was never picked-up by me due to their inability to meet my deadline. After 2 months, I was contacted by the manager who demanded that I pay in full. She became increasingly hostile towards me when I stated that I no longer had a need for the product. I never contacted them to cancel the order; however, they were aware of my deadline upon placement. I was forced to obtain my goods elsewhere. Does this demand qualify as a form of extortion?

Asked on December 22, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Vermont

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not extortion.  Extortion would be their threatening you without any right to do so.  Here it appears that they may have mearly stated what they believe that their rights are under the law to sue you for what appears to be a breach of contract claim.  Was anything here done in writing?  Can you prove your deadline theory without a formal contract?  I think that you need to sit down with an attorney and discuss this matter in detail and bring with you what ever documentation that you have on the matter.  You may both be right and yo may both be wrong.  But it needs to be sorted out as soon as possible. Good luck.


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