Legal Question in Consumer Law in California

Contractor Keeping Cabinets Ransom!!

My parents signed a contract to have the bathroom redone. The contractor has

yet to do the job due to disagreements with price. He still has the initial

payment of $5,700; he's holding because of the cost of cabinets (the original

contract said $3,500) The contractor has yet to give us the cabinets or the

money back. He has verbally told me he will not honor the contract any more

but in written correspondence says he will completely honor the contract. How

do I get the cabinets and/or the money back?

Asked on 1/06/06, 12:50 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Donald Holben Donald R. Holben & Associates, APC
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Re: Contractor Keeping Cabinets Ransom!!

Start by filing complaint with State Contractor's license board.

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1/06/06, 12:58 pm
Carl Starrett Law Offices of Carl H. Starrett II
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Re: Contractor Keeping Cabinets Ransom!!

It always helps to start with a complaint to the Better Business Bureau even if they don't have any enforcement authority. You can complain to the Contraactors State License, but it will be months before you see any action taken if they act at all.

Finally, you should consider small claims court. Individuals can now file claims for up to $7500 beging in 01/01/06. If you file a small claims lawsuit, the CSLB would probably close its file. However, failing to pay a civil judgment arise from a construction contract is grounds for suspending the contractor's license of the judgment is unpaid for more that 90 days.

If you file small claims, you would have your hearing in about 4-6 weeks. This is much sooner than the CSLB would act.

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1/06/06, 2:09 pm
H.M. Torrey The Law Offices of H.M. Torrey
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Re: Contractor Keeping Cabinets Ransom!!

In a nutshell, the contractor at issue should be sent a very powerful legal demand letter regarding the money owed, and if he fails to comply thereafter, he should be immediately sued in small claims court. If you would like prompt, affordable legal assistance in drafting/sending such a demand letter and/or small claims court assistance, contact us this week for a free phone consultation.

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1/06/06, 2:52 pm

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