Contractor Barred from Retrieving His Tools


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Guest: My son took a private contract in New York from a person and built a couple of displays for her.

Justin: Okay.

Guest: And he was reimbursed for some of his time. She kept changing the contract because she has a whole gamut of lawyers. His tools got locked in her office. He’s trying to get his tools back.

Justin: Right.

Guest: He leaves the country frequently and so he has been unable to get the tools. Can he go to small claims court for them?

Justin: Yeah. It’s going to be difficult because this, this, are they in New York or are they here

Guest: in New York City

Justin: Yeah. He’s going to have to sue in New York. Has he tried writing a letter to whoever is this person’s representative or whoever takes care of their business?

Guest: multiple times

Justin: try in writing. He sent him?

Guest: A, he emailed her.

Justin: What about, is there anybody that works for them that maybe you can contact? I mean, it sounds like it’s a bigger company, so if he is gonna sue out,

Guest: It’s actually not a bigger company, she, um,

Justin: she’s has a bunch of lawyers and another very small company?. Huh.

Guest: Her father is very wealthy.

Justin: Yeah. That always helps. So yeah, I mean if you want, if you want to see what it’s going to have to be in New York, but he can take her to small claims court. He deserves the money that he’s owed and he just, he has to get his stuff back so that, that may be the option if he’s exhausted all of the remedies that that may be where he has to go

Guest: My question is, If he goes to small claims, can she take it to a higher court?

Justin: Um, if she files it is she is, who is the contract with? Is it with the individual or is it with her company?

Guest: It’s with her company.

Justin: Yeah. So what they’ll do is they’ll bring their lawyer in and they’ll likely remove it. They can remove it to the district court, I believe. I don’t know. I don’t practice in New York, but that, that is something that could happen sometimes just filing that will be enough to get people’s attention though. So maybe you write her a letter and tell her, hey, this is what’s going to happen. I have to do this. I need my tools back. If I don’t get them, I’m going to take this next step and maybe that lights a fire under somebody.

Guest: So he has to file in New York.

Justin: Absolutely, Yep. That’s where the, uh, that’s where the defendant resides. That’s where the contract was. That’s where the cause of action is. So that is where you have to go.

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