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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>hello, we have a situation where we may have to file a mechanic lien against a company, we have rendered work for. We want to know can we file theft of services against the administrator who actullay sign and approved the work. Our goal would be to legally put pressure on the company, as well as the person directly responsible for signing and approving our contract.

hello, we have a situation where we may have to file a mechanic lien against a company, we have rendered work for. We want to know can we file theft of services against the administrator who actullay sign and approved the work. Our goal would be to legally put pressure on the company, as well as the person directly responsible for signing and approving our contract.

TexasLawsuitRight to Lien

We performed work for a Nursing Home. The Administrator signed our contract and approved our terms. We were paid the initial deposit as required, with balance being due immediately upon work being completed and power restored. We have not been paid the remaining balance (and the administrator continues to state we must contact upper management; however, this was not the case when she hired us).

1 reply

Dec 31, 2018
I'm sorry to hear that you've been gpooing unpaid - everyone deserves to be paid what they've earned. When talking Texas lien law, it's important to note that there are strict notice and deadline requirements that may apply. zlien discusses those requirements in depth here: Texas Lien & Notice FAQs. Of course, for parties hired directly by the property owner, the notice requirements tend to be minimal (which is discussed at the above FAQs). Anyway, as long as the notice and deadline requirements have been adhered to, parties who perform construction work and go unpaid in Texas will generally be able to file a mechanics lien for the the amount due. But before filing a mechanics lien, many claimants find that the threat of lien can be just as effective to compel payment. Sending a document like a Notice of Intent to Lien can go a long way toward recovering payment because the effects of a lien filing can cause property owners serious headaches, and potentially, it could cost them the title to their property. You can learn more about how to use a Notice of Intent to Lien as a tool for recovery here: What is a Notice of Intent to Lien? Much like threatening a lien can help compel payment, threatening other legal actions - such as a lawsuit over breach of contract, unjust enrichment, or under the Texas prompt payment laws - can be effective, and threatening other claims (such as theft of services, among others) can work too. When threatening a lawsuit, doing so via the use of an attorney will typically help to show the nonpaying party that you're serious about payment. Depending on the circumstances of your situation, a cause of action for theft of service may be available. Under § 31.04(a)(4) and (b)(2) of the Texas Penal Code, when a party contracts for services and fails to make payments within 10 days of receiving notice demanding payment, the nonpaying party may be charged with theft of service. Depending on the value of services provided, theft of service can result in a misdemeanor, felony, and/or serious fines. But again - filing a lawsuit will typically be far less efficient of a recovery tool than a mechanics lien, and the threat of lien and/or other actions (such as a lawsuit) will often be enough to get payment talks moving in the right direction.
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