Q: 33 months passed, and we just fired our contractor, after he did not complete a 6 month remodel. 17K was overpaid to
him, which we asked for him to return in our termination notice. Now, Do I need to give him any time to pay back that money, say 5 days before I file a complaint with the CLB? Or do I go ahead and file, show proof of the overpayment, I just don't want him to say he didn't get a chance to pay us before we sue. i.e. Mr. Futterman, we want our 17K back It does not belong to you. You have 5 days to respond (pay?) I doubt he will pay. I'm also seeking punitive damages on the $123,399 we paid for our incomplete project, but we do want our 17K back.
A: It always looks better to the judicial officer if the plaintiff tried to resolve the dispute, in a reasonable way, before filing a lawsuit. This dispute sounds significant enough that it would be worthwhile to get legal advice, especially if the work was substandard.
Please check if your contractor has a license, and whether that license was applicable to the work being done. In California providing contracting services without a license is a misdemeanor. See Bus. & Prof. Code § 7028(a). Plaintiff is entitled to a full refund of “all compensation” paid. See id. at § 7031(b).
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