What to do if my contractor defaulted on work at my house because he was arrested?

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What to do if my contractor defaulted on work at my house because he was arrested?

We were having a person put new siding, doors, and windows in/on. The person that was doing so is now in jail for drug charges and will be spending a few years in jail. He did not even near finish and only barely started the job (got the old siding off and put insulation board up). Would this fall into a breach of contract by not being able to fulfill his contract? Would I be able to sue for the money was paid this person (being nice there) for the work he was supposed to do and is unable to finish?

Asked on July 14, 2011 under General Practice, Indiana

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, I would say that you have a very good case for breach of contract or future breach of contract.  Even if he really did not intend to breach the contract his personal situation (being a guest of the State as we say) makes it impossible for him to be able fulfill his obligations under the contract.  So I would start a lawsuit (serving him is easy: you know where he is) and ask the court to declare the contract null and void (this covers you in the event he tries to claim that you breached the contract) and for a judgement for your money back. The judgement can be filed against his assets that he may own such as a house or you can try and levy on bank accounts ( a drug conviction may not leave many assets if the state has already taken them but you never know). Good luck to you.


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