Legal Question in Construction Law in Indiana

I am a contractor specializing in building construction. An out-of-state resident contracted me to repair a barn door on her Indiana property. We provided an estimate which she approved. We submitted an invoice for the same amount which she is refusing to pay. She wanted great detail - which we provided in the form of hours and store receipts. After non-payment (and repeated emails - she refused phone calls), I filed a small claims case. A day after filing, she mailed a check for 16% less than full payment (before she was served) because this is what she deems fair. I cannot stop the small claims process at this point. Can I cash the check without it being considered payment in full? Can I notate the check as "accepted as partial payment" or something similar?

Asked on 1/27/15, 6:07 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Kenneth Wilk Rubino Ruman Crosmer & Polen

You can stop the small claims proceeding--just tell the judge that you want to. You cannot accept the check or cash it without risk of it being deemed full satisfaction. If you're getting almost 85% of your bill, you have to ask yourself whether it's really worthwhile pursing this any further.

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Answered on 1/28/15, 6:04 pm

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