Q: How do you know if small claims court is the appropriate forum for handling a dispute with a roofing contractor?
We hired a contractor to replace the roof of our barn at our residence. We paid him $2,500.00 as a deposit. The work and the skill level of the men on the job was horrible. Some of the workers had never done a roof before and told us that. They did not do the work or to the standard as outlined in the contract. We have copies of the contract, pictures, and emails back and forth trying to address the situation. The work was so bad and so out of standard, we had to hire someone else to come in an fix/finish the job. We were willing to pay the 1st contractor for materials and wanted our labor money back. In an email he requested that his crew come fix the problem and at that point we didn't want them any where near our roof. We want to take him to small claims court to get our money back. Is this feasible? if so how? would there be any potential liabilities on our part by going to small claims court? do we need a lawyer? Please advise. Thanks
A: $2500 is the jurisdictional limit of the Small Claims Court - So, as long as your damages are not in excess of that amount,Small claims may be a good place for you. However, if the remedial work exceeded that amount, you may wish to enter the District - or even Superior Court. The contractor's Board also has a dispute resolution system that may well be worth investigating. see: http://www.crb.ri.gov/search.php
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