Texas: Theft of Service

If you’ve been in business as long as I have, you’ll run across situations where the client can’t, or won’t pay. This story is out of Texas. I asked my business attorney this very question, years ago. He told me it would be a very difficult task to get a “Theft of Service”.
I saw this story and thought it was interesting.
Just FYI, if you don’t have an attorney that looks over your contracts or mails the nasty letters for you, find one. 30yrs ago, I had a legal contract that I had developed myself. I filed a lien on a property only to have the real estate company’s attorney destroy me over the distance from the signature to the State required notification on my contract.

Nederland man indicted after allegedly not paying contractor


Nederland man indicted after allegedly not paying contractor for his work

Megan Zapalac, Staff writer

July 14, 2023


A Nederland man is accused of stealing nearly $60,000 in work done by a local contractor.

The now-29-year-old man was indicted in mid-May by a Jefferson County Grand Jury for theft of service over $30,000 but less than $150,000.


On Jan. 11, the owner of Minaldi Construction LLC., reported doing nearly $60,000 worth of work across 10 days for the then-28-year-old at a home in the 110 block of Dorothy Drive in Nederland, according to a probable cause affidavit from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

The company made multiple unsuccessful attempts to collect the money, including through certified mail that showed the letter was delivered, before notifying police, according to the affidavit.

The Sheriff’s Office did not return a request for comment regarding whether the man had been arrested.

In Indiana we can enforce on a mechanics lien and force foreclosure. If you can prove no intent to pay/fraud you are awarded 3X damages. I had to do that once, used their “expert witness” against them and their counter claim was satisfied for $1. Which means their suit was settled and couldn’t be refiled!

Make sure you are keeping track of your last day work was done on site and the lien laws. It isn’t a perfect solution but it does give you an eventual remedy.