Can I file for breach of contract if an official paper was not signed?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I file for breach of contract if an official paper was not signed?

Two months ago I made a deal with a music producer. I paid him upfront,
1,000, in return for his services. He has since done nothing of what he
agreed to. Ever since I asked for my money back he has not responded to

Asked on June 15, 2017 under Business Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If filing the paper was part of what he was supposed to do and was "material" (or important) in the context of the services he was providing, and he is clearly late or overdue in doing this--then yes, you could sue him for breach of contract. A failure to do something required by the contract within the alloted time frame is a breach so long as it was a material failure (the law tends to overlook trivial or unimportant lapses for this purpose). You could, as stated, sue him for breach of contract; you could also potentially sue based on fraud, too, if you think (and think you could demonstrate) that he never intended to follow through, but instead lied about what he could or would do. (When there is more than one ground or basis to sue, you should sue for all the available reasons; that will increase the odds that the court will find in your favor, by giving the court more reasons to do so.)

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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