Can I file a case in small claims court to collect on an unpaid invoice?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I file a case in small claims court to collect on an unpaid invoice?

I contracted to provide professional services on an hourly
basis with a local businessman. I worked for the individual
over a period of nearly three years on an as needed basis. He
paid my invoices through that period up to the last invoice,
which he has not paid nor has he wanted to meet to discuss any
issues he may have with the invoice. The invoice amount is
2,523.40. Can I file a claim in small claims court to try to
collect the amount of the invoice?

Asked on August 1, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can sue for this in small claims court. The basis of your suit would be--
1) Breach of contract, or violation of the agreement (even if only an oral, or unwritten one--though written agreements are better, since they are easier to prove) under which you provided services for pay.
2) Unjust enrichment: he is "unjustly" or unfairly enriched by getting the benefit of your work/services without paying for them.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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