May I take a client of mine to small claims court if there is no written contract?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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May I take a client of mine to small claims court if there is no written contract?

I forgot to take after pictures of the work I have done but I do have before pictures, will this effect me in small claims court? The client I am dealing with keeps ignoring my calls and texts, could this be used in court? I do have all texts/emails though from the client and he claims the work was not complete, which I agreed on for only 2 things that weren’t completed because he didn’t pay us for the work we have done. How much and how long will this take to get this taken care of in court?

Asked on November 30, 2015 under Business Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

1) You can sue on an oral (often--but incorrectly--called a verbal) agreement to do work in exchange for being paid some amount.  A written agreement is very helpful, since it makes the terms clear, but is not stictly necessary
2) Lacking "after" pictures doesn't legally affect your case, but could make it more difficult to prove the work was done, if the client disagrees.
3) If you did not complete the work, that will affect how much you can recover--you can't recover money for incomplete work.
4) He's not under a legal obligation to take or return your calls, texts, etc.,  so that doesn't affect your rights or what you can get.
5) Typically, small claims takes around 2 - 3 months, start to finish.

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