What are my rights as a person who hired a company to do landscaping and paid 5000 down payment and they haven’t shown up to do the work in 30 days.

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What are my rights as a person who hired a company to do landscaping and paid 5000 down payment and they haven’t shown up to do the work in 30 days.

Owner came out to see project. We agreed on details as per fence pavers and
plants and succulents. Pain half up front 4992.50 were to start work in four
days. They never showed up. Answered a few emails, no phone calls, then I
couldn’t reach them at all. I don’t have an address for them. Called to check on
making a fraud charge and was told it was a civil matter, not for law
enforcement.

Asked on February 10, 2017 under Business Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

IF you can locate an address for them, you can sue for the money and possibly for additional compensation as well; you must locate an address, however, because for court to have jurisdication, or power, over a defendant, they must be phsyically served with the summons and complaint. If you can locate them, you can sue for the return of your money based on breach of contract (violating the agreemen to provide services in exchange for payment), fraud (lying about what they could or would do) and theft (stealing your money)--theft is both a criminal offense and a civil tort, or act you may sue over. The "intentional torts," or deliberate wrongful acts, of fraud and theft may allow you to recover enhanced compensation and/or legal fees (if you were to hire an attorney.)


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