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Should I file a police report?

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  • Should I file a police report?

    So I will make this as short as I can.

    This guy came to my house and talked to my husband about trimming the tree in our backyard. This guy had done it before but not while we lived there. Anyways he verbally quoted my husband at a 100 bucks to trim and haul away the branches. My husband was at work and I was sleeping at the time when he was cutting the tree. Well he cut down the very top branches, left them laying on the ground and took off. My husband, being very trusting of people, payed him up front. Sure enough he cashed the check right away.

    He did this on Thursday and we are now going on Wednesday. He keeps saying he will be right over to finish the job but then never shows. We have his name, number, and home address. I am going to call him today and tell him to have it done by Thursday or I want my money back.

    With the way his behavior has been so far I highly doubt the he will come back or give me my money back.

    Now my question if he does not come back or give me my money back is this incident police report worthy? I know the police will not be able to do much but if I decide to take him to court (I doubt this will happen but you never know) would it be my best bet to have a police report? Will the police department even let me file a report?

    Oh I live in San Bernardino County, CA and the area I live in is patrolled by San Bernardino County Sheriffs.
    This is my Glock, there are many like it, but this one is mine

    "Anything is possible to he who dares" A.G. Spalding

  • #2
    Civil issue. You need to get things in writing. You are establishing a contract and it needs to be clarified and agreed upon by both parties. Without everything in writing you will be hard pressed to get a judgement. That is why written estimates are always good to get.
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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    • #3
      As others have posted, this is a civil, not criminal issue......
      The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

      "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

      "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

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      • #4
        As posted above Civil...It sucks I know. Unfortunately angry people often call the police in a rage, and when the police tell them that there is nothing that they can do, the rage gets directed towards the police themselves.
        Police deal in criminal law, and have no authority to enforce, or mediate civil issues.

        You may want to call you local Sheriff's station, and ask to speak with a desk officer (rather than having a patrol unit dispatched to your house). Maybe just ask him/her if they are aware of any ongoing investigations into similar scam artists in your area. In all probability, they will tell you no, and you matter is a civil issue...but you never know.

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        • #5
          Follow up question: What would cause it to shift to become a criminal matter? Say if the money this person wanted was over a certain amount? Or if this person was pulling this scam on a number of people?

          I mean when I see or read about this type of situation the first thing into my mind come is extortion/fraud. Which I thought were criminal charges.

          These gray area cases like this (civil vs. criminal) trip me up as well.

          Thanks for any further clarification.
          Last edited by Jaguar57; 10-28-2008, 02:01 PM.

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          • #6
            There's no gray area there at all... textbook civil matter. It wouldn't matter if the tree trimmer charged 10,000 to trim the tree. If the homeowner thought that price was acceptable and agreed to the service, the dispute over how/when the trimming was performed and what's acceptable is what makes the matter civil.

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            • #7
              So if I stopped over and said I would trim your trees and you pay me in advance $1000 and never show up to do the work, would that be a criminal charge?
              Last edited by Jaguar57; 10-28-2008, 02:10 PM.

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              • #8
                Nevermind.. I found some good links from a google search explaining the differences between the two (criminal vs civil).

                Thanks.

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                • #9
                  You might try filing a complaint with the Contractors State Licensing Board.

                  If he is a licensed landscaping contracor, they can handle it as failure to fulfill the terms of an agreement. Failures include poor workmanship; abandonment of a project; failure to pay subcontractors, material suppliers or employees; or building code violations. Other failures are lack of reasonable diligence in executing a construction project; use of false misleading or deceptive advertising; Home Improvement Contract violations; etc.

                  However if he is unlicensed, I believe the contract price has to be over $500 before they go after him.

                  http://www.cslb.ca.gov/
                  Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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                  • #10
                    Like others said...it's a civil issue.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hey thanks everyone for the replies. I figured it was just a civil issue but wanted to check with your guys first. I looked into small claims court and it is 200 bucks to file a claim. I think we are just going to cut our losses and move on. I hate to do that because its the principle of the matter and god knows how many others have been ripped off but spending all that money to just get 100 bucks back isn't worth it.
                      This is my Glock, there are many like it, but this one is mine

                      "Anything is possible to he who dares" A.G. Spalding

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Got time on your hands and a few extra bucks ?

                        Your on a public street and follow him where ever he goes to scare up work. Drop a dime on his @55 with every contact he makes about your bad experience. Don't hide, let him see you do it.

                        Place an add in the same rag you found him in and tell of your bad experience or file a compalaint with the classified staff.

                        Picket his house within the boundaries of the law. What's he gonna do ?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jaguar57 View Post
                          So if I stopped over and said I would trim your trees and you pay me in advance $1000 and never show up to do the work, would that be a criminal charge?
                          In NC that specifically would be criminal. Not the original issue the poster asked about.
                          sigpic

                          I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by FireCop86 View Post
                            Hey thanks everyone for the replies. I figured it was just a civil issue but wanted to check with your guys first. I looked into small claims court and it is 200 bucks to file a claim. I think we are just going to cut our losses and move on. I hate to do that because its the principle of the matter and god knows how many others have been ripped off but spending all that money to just get 100 bucks back isn't worth it.

                            Honey, I'd have a sign in my front yard saying "so and so is a criminal" or something like that. Short story: we have a woman here locally that found out her doctor husband was having an affair. Well. They were having a war of the roses type of divorce. She had large magnets made up that said, "I CHEAT ON MY WIFE" and put one on the back of his SUV. His windows were tinted and he never noticed it back there because he had a habit of backing into parking spaces. She picketed across from the church he started attending with his girlfriend...carrying signs and singing about him cheating on her. Oh, lord. Hell hath no fury like THAT woman scorned. Them two entertained us for awhile.
                            sigpic

                            I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Smurfette_76 View Post
                              Honey, I'd have a sign in my front yard saying "so and so is a criminal" or something like that. Short story: we have a woman here locally that found out her doctor husband was having an affair. Well. They were having a war of the roses type of divorce. She had large magnets made up that said, "I CHEAT ON MY WIFE" and put one on the back of his SUV. His windows were tinted and he never noticed it back there because he had a habit of backing into parking spaces. She picketed across from the church he started attending with his girlfriend...carrying signs and singing about him cheating on her. Oh, lord. Hell hath no fury like THAT woman scorned. Them two entertained us for awhile.
                              My husband was looking on the internet and came across a website on how to get revenge. One of them said to put a dating ad in this guys name and say that he is gay and is looking for one night stands and "anything" goes. Pretty clever when you think about it but I don't want to jeopardize my future career in LE. It did give me the idea though to put up an ad around the neighborhood and tell them what this guy did to us.
                              This is my Glock, there are many like it, but this one is mine

                              "Anything is possible to he who dares" A.G. Spalding

                              Comment

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