Massey Law Firm PLLC

When can I sue for breach of contract?

As a business owner, you work tirelessly to keep your business going. Part of the management of the business includes maintaining contracts with staff, vendors and other third parties with whom you conduct day-to-day operations. The contracts ensure that the financial arrangement and other expectations are clear to both parties.

What happens when one of the parties fails to meet their obligations under the contract?

The first question to ask yourself is if the breach occurred with a written contract which meets the criteria your state has for enforceable contracts. You also want to find out if you are within the statute of limitations for that particular type of contract.

Where should you file your claim?

The next question relates to how much the contract is worth. If the contract meets the jurisdiction amount of small claims court, you can submit your case there. The small claims process is usually quick and any decisions that come from the judge are binding.

For contracts exceeding the jurisdiction of small claims, you can file a suit in civil trial court. In these instances, it is recommended you seek the guidance of an attorney with specific focus on business law and contracts. These trials are much more complex than a case in small claims court, and they require careful adherence to formal procedures.

What happens if you win?

You will be entitled to some form of remedy for the stated breach of contract. These remedies could include:

  • Damages: This is payment to you by the person who breached the contract. The payment is to satisfy the costs associated with the contract and possibly other fees.
  • Specific performance: The breaching party is required to perform the work stipulated in the original contract.
  • Cancellation and restitution: If you were the one who performed work under the contract and was not paid, you can have the contract cancelled and sue for restitution - so you basically get paid for the work you did complete.

Whether you choose to file a formal claim or not is up to you. You may wish to consider whether there is any way to work out your issue with the breaching party without going to court. Before taking any action, though, it's a good idea to discuss the problem with an experienced business litigation attorney.

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Massey Law Firm PLLC
601 Sawyer St.
Suite 225
Houston, TX 77007

Phone: 346-800-6101
Fax: 713-588-8437
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