What can I do about a service that was paid in full but not received?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What can I do about a service that was paid in full but not received?

I hired a chef to come to my house and cook. He was paid in full and backed out at the last minute but was seen later that night and the next day cooking for other people. How can I get my money back?

Asked on January 8, 2018 under Business Law, Louisiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You sue him: that's how you get money from someone whom you paid but did not deliver the paid-for services. You would sue him for "breach of contract": for violating the agreement to cook for money, after you paid him. You honored your obligations (paid him); he was therefore contractually obligated to honor his obligations and cook. (Even if there was no written contract, you had an agreement with him about this; that agreement was an oral contract.) He cannot keep your money without performing. Assuming the amount of money is less than or equal to the small claims court limit, suing in small claims court, as your own attorney or "pro se," is a fast and cost effective way to proceed.

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