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Sueing vendors! Help!

Hi everyone! So long story short, I hired one vendor for my lighting, photobooth, and videography. He was very difficult to get ahold of after we paid our first payment. It's now been 5 months since the wedding and I don't have me wedding video and he's unresponsive. I've called, texted, and emails the owner and some of his employees multiple times over the las 5 months trying to get my wedding video and no one gets back to me. To top it all off, this vendor has blocked me on all social media. And... The vendor I hired subcontracted my wedding videography out to another vendor without my knowledge. The people who he subcontracted the video to contxted
me in November wondering if I had heard from
him because they never got paid to shot
my wedding. I'm obviously devesated at the thought of never seeing my wedding video. This whole thing has been so emotionally draining. My question is, is anyone familiar with small claims court and how it works? Does anyone have experience with unresponsive vendors and sueing? I have all the paperwork and copines of the checks I wrote for payments. Please I need some advise!! 

Re: Sueing vendors! Help!

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    Small claims court is typically designed to be fairly straight forward and not require a lawyer.  I would start at your local courts website. They typically provide forms and instructions for filing a lawsuit. 
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    Yeah, if he's broken contract, small claims is a good way to go. Do some googling for your city/state. I had an issue with my photographer, and though I pursued the city consumer complaints board and state attorney general (which worked at no cost to me), I know that one of the other couples screwed over by the photographer took her to small claims and won. It cost them about $60, but that price of course varies by state. The claim amount that's considered "small" also may vary by state. 
    Good luck! I understand how emotional it can be to not get what you're owed, especially when the product is the documentation of such a significant event. Did you at least get your photos? Is the video the only thing missing?

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    Just another echo in the chamber, small claims court. The filing fee is minimal and you don't need an attorney. Just make sure you don't exceed the small claims limit, some states (if you're in the US) have somewhat low limits (~$3k) while others have high limits ($10k+).
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    Thanks for all the input! This has been such a hassle! My photographer was a different vendor so I did receive my photos thank God! 
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    Yes, thank goodness he still has all the footage. I'm trying to work something out with him to edit and everything for me. 
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    I've been in small claims once, though I was the one being sued.  It's really straightforward and only took a few hours of my day.  Nothing to be intimidated with.  You have to file, probably at City Hall.  Pay the fee.  Unfortunately, where I live, it is $250.  But I think it's typically a lot cheaper in other states.  You also have to pay to have the defendant served so, hopefully, you have a good address.  However, you can recoup those court costs in your case.

    I've heard the greater challenge can, sometimes be, getting payment after a judgment.

    I actually need to take someone to small claims court, but I can't find them to serve them, grrrrr.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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