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Can small claims court settle my lien for the value of work complete?

CaliforniaPayment Disputes

I hired a contractor and terminated him after about a week. The value of the work was $22,100, I paid $8600 deposit, the work is about 60% complete. I tried to pay what I owe, I offered $4,600, contractor wanted payment in full or he'd file a lien. A lien was filed for $11,500 (not payment in full), before the lien expiration date contractor filed for recovery in small claims court in the amount of $10,000. Can the judge consider my evidence regarding the amount of work that was completed or will the contractor receive full payment? I understand I live in a "Full Payment State"

1 reply

Feb 14, 2018
Small claims court can be quite unpredictable. However, a defendant in a small claims action will have an opportunity to argue their side of the case. Typically, a defendant will also be able to present evidence that supports their position as well. Such evidence might include a copy of the contract, any communications between a defendant and the plaintiff, and/or pictures of work performed. Keep in mind, though, that by its very nature, small claims court will be a very abbreviated judicial process. Any statements or evidence should take into account the fact that there may not be an awful lot of time to present arguments.
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