Do I have a right to money I paid to a friend for something I didn’t receive?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Do I have a right to money I paid to a friend for something I didn’t receive?

Several months ago a former friend and I decided to attend a concert together. She purchased the tickets and a hotel room and I paid her which I have documented for them. In between deciding to go and the actual concert, we had a falling out. I asked her to sell my ticket or pay me back as the tickets were in her possession, but instead she took someone else to the

concert with my ticket, and stayed in the hotel room that I paid for. The total amount comes to about $300. Is this something I could get back in a small claims court?

Asked on June 25, 2016 under Business Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you could sue her in small claims, with a (based on what you write) good chance of winning for--
1) Breach of contract: violating the (presumably) oral (or unwritten) agreement between the two of you, whereby you would pay her for a ticket and hotel room.
2) Unjust enrichment: the law considers it wrong for someone to take money not intended as a gift (or loan or other debt/obligation repayment) without providing something for it; the person taking the money without providing anything in return is "unjustly enriched."

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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