Can I take a friend to court for not completing a business service ?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I take a friend to court for not completing a business service ?

So I used to have a friend that did car audio systems
out of his house in his free time. I wanted to get a
audio system put in my car, So I dropped off my car
with loads of audio equipment and 4K to start the
project. At the time he said it would only take a few
months to accomplish. I ended up having to keep
adding money to the project. It has been close to 3
years now and still haven’t got my car back and I’ve
put a total of around 13k into it and haven’t seen in
progress on it. My friend also doesn’t answer when I
call or text him. So I don’t know if he’s trying to see if
I forget or what, but I’m getting annoyed about it. So I
was wondering if I was able to get a lawyer involved
and take him to court for not accomplishing his part
of the agreement ? Any advice would help thanks.

Asked on September 19, 2016 under Business Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can sue him for several reasons, to recover not just the money you have paid him, but also to get your car back and even to get compensation for having been denied the use of your car for such a long time:
1) Breach of contract--violating the agreement (even if an oral, or unwritten, one) as to what he would do.
2) Fraud--lying to you about what he could or would do, to get you to give him money.
3) Conversion (a type of theft)--taking money entrusted to him for a specific purpose (e.g. to pay for the installation) and "converting" it to his own use.
For the amount at stake (evidently at least $13k, plus for not being able to use your car; and to get the car itself back) you are strongly advised to retain an attorney to help you.

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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