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.
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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