Can I sue for not being paid to babysit?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I sue for not being paid to babysit?

I provide babysitting services in my home because I am a stay-at-home-mom. I have contracts with everyone I babysit for. I have a parent who stopped services but owes $400. I have reached out to her and she has promised to pay, however it’s been 2 months and she hasn’t paid. She eventually stopped responding to my text until I informed her I would take it to court. Not being paid really put me and my family in a financial bind and $400 is a lot of money. I offered to do a payment plan with her and she rejected. What would be my chances on winning if I take her to court?

Asked on July 26, 2017 under Business Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can sue: when you perform work for someone and they had agreed to pay you for the work but refuse, you can sue them for "breach of contract": for violating the agreement between you. (When there is an agreement and you did your part--i.e. you babysat--then they are contractually obligated to do their part--i.e. pay you.) For $400, you should sue in small claims court, as your own attorney ("pro se") to save on legal fees. You can get instructions on how to do this from the small claims court. Good luck.

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