Nashville, TN asked in Contracts, Business Law, Civil Litigation and Civil Rights for Tennessee

Q: I had a verbal contract to design a simple website for friend, didn't pay the other half for the service .

I had a verbal contract to design a simple website for someone i know. I asked the standard half up front and half when done. I started getting red flags almost halfway through the process, he didn't want a contact page for consumers etc. After that, i started recording all conversations and saving all the texts, as well as keeping a good chain of custody through screenshots on my end. He had the rest of the information to finish the website, credit card processing, prices a few missing pictures etc. He knew of these and internationally kept them so i couldn't "finish" the website in his mind; however, my job was just to design. He changed this website theme 3 times, essentially giving him 3 different styles of websites that he is using and some of this art is my property, since he never payed the rest of the contract. I have him on recording and text saying it looked good and would get back to me if any small changes were to occur, he stated later he would not pay due to not finis

2 Lawyer Answers
Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills
Answered
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Brentwood, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: Depending on the amount he owes you, consider filing a lawsuit to get a judgment.

Michal Durakiewicz
Michal Durakiewicz
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Franklin, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: Based on what you have described, you may have a valid and enforceable contract. Whether or not it is a good idea for you to file a lawsuit to recover the unpaid amount depends on a number of factors. First, how much does he owe you? If you file a lawsuit in general sessions court you will be taxed with the filing fees and service of process fees. You will also have to take a day off work to appear for your trial. In addition, there may be issues relating to proving your breach of contract claim. My recommendation to you for the future is to have all your clients sign a written contract before you begin work (at least if the amount is $500.00 or greater).

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