What steps do I need to take to sue my contractor?

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What steps do I need to take to sue my contractor?

We hired a contractor in august of 2016. Signed a contract for the work to be done.
We are down to the finishes and some siding still hasn’t been completed. He hasn’t
been here in a month now, and we are using our money to do the finishes. All of
which was included in the price of the contract. He gave us a 45 day turn around on
this job. Come September it will be a year since he started. We don’t have a lot of
money and just want him to finish the job we hired him to do, and now, refund us
money we added to complete some of the remaining work.

Asked on July 10, 2017 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

All you need do is draft a summons and complaint (the documents which start a lawsuit), file them in court, then have them served (properly delivered, in accordance with court rules) on the contractor. Depending on how much you are suing for and where the contractor is located (your county or not), you may be filing in small claims court (preferred; much faster, simpler, and cheaper) or "regular" county court (if the amount is over the small claims limit and/or he is in a different county). You can get instructions and sample/template forms from your court, either from the relevant clerk's office and/or online.
If the contractor is an LLC or corporation, you sue the business; if not, you sue him personally.
You would sue for breach of contract: for not doing what he agreed to do, and for what you paid him.


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