Legal Question in Business Law in Illinois

my wife and i got married in october of 2009. the photographer we hired cost us $3000 dollars. the package we bought had $1049 worth of credits toward pictures. In the past we have tried to contact them and never got a response. Now I have finally gotten ahold of them and they are telling me they no longer have a business and i cannot get my picture credit. I have no pictures and I am out the money. Do i have and rights and where do I go from here?

Asked on 3/16/13, 12:01 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

You don't say if there was a written contract, or any paperwork that might stand in for one. So we have no idea who the "photographer" is. Is it a person, or a business like a corporation or limited liability company or something. If it's a real human being person, you can sue that person and good luck collecting. If it's one of those businesses and they are out of money, you'd have to not only sue that business, get a judgment, and chase the money --- about the only way to get "behind" the business entity is to claim its finances were handled so badly that you'd have the right to "pierce the corporate veil" to go after the human beings who owned it. That is very difficult to prove and could cost you as much time and money as the case is worth and, without a written contract awarding you attorney fees if you win, you'd lose on that score too. About the only thing you MIGHT be able to do is to get them to fork over the negatives or master disks they have so you can have them printed elsewhere, and if they refuse to do so I'd say that would be the lawsuit you should think about filing against them: photographers own the "images" they took but if you contracted for the right to have them printed then you should be able to access them to be able to do so even if it costs you another bundle -- at least you'll have the pictures, and maybe even be able to get them to fork over a complete set of digital masters. It "sounds" like a lawsuit for "replevin". But again, you'd still need to know who you're suing!

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Answered on 3/17/13, 12:05 pm

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