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How do I file for breach of contract?

As a business owner in California, you likely use contracts often to secure business deals. Under the law, contracts offer many protections, which is why they are used in business so much. However, despite the legal protections, there may still come a time when someone tries to break a contract with you. This is called a breach of contract. 

When a breach of contract occurs, the California Judicial Branch explains you have the right to file a lawsuit against the person breaking the contract. Where you file is based on the monetary damages or how much you lost because of the action. If it is under $5,000, it is filed with the small claims court. Otherwise, it is filed in county court. 

Proper paperwork must be filed for your case to be entered into the court dockets so it can go before a judge. There are specific steps you have to follow to ensure everything is properly filed. If you miss a step or do not submit all the paperwork required, your case may be denied. 

You also must pay fees to file. If you have an attorney, you must also pay his or her fees. You may be able to ask for these fees to be added to your claim so if you win the case, the other person will have to reimburse you for your costs. 

Once your case is filed, you have to serve the other person with the proper paperwork informing him or her of the legal action. These papers must be served in person. You cannot do it yourself or have anyone involved with the case do it. Once papers are served, your next step is heading to court. This information is for education and is not legal advice. 

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