Legal Question in Technology Law in Florida

Illegal us of custom software

6 months ago, a former client of mine requested that I create a custom content management system for one of his clients. The program was completed in the same month, less any added revisions that he requested after the project was completed. The project was put on hold for revisions and some additional ecommerce setup that needed to be added in due to my client's client disappearing for a while. 6 months after the fact my former client now refuses to pay for the services rendered and I was informed he will be using the custom programming I had done for him anyway even after I requested that he either pay for the programming that was done or remove the code from his server. He has decided to do neither. I do have a full copy of the code that was programmed on cd as well as samples of previous work that can prove that the code was from the same programmer I use. I also have a statement that proves that i personally paid my programmer $300 for this code that my client refuses to pay me for. I am told that my former client's client has recently returned and they will be using our code on the client's new server. Is there something that can legally be done about this?

Asked on 9/08/04, 9:53 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Dr. Michael A. S. Guth Tennessee Attorney at Law Assists Pro Se (without a lawyer) Parties

Re: Illegal us of custom software

You don't mention anything about having a written contract for this work. Unfortunately, if you try to sue without a written contract, the case will likely to deteriorate into a "sworn under oath" match between the two parties. If you want to scare your former client, then you can file suit against him in small claims (General Sessions) court for the county where he is located. However, the court filing fee is about $120, so you might be adding to your losses -- including time spent on the case and waiting to appear in court.

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Answered on 9/10/04, 4:31 pm

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