Breach of Contract Claims
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DOES SOMEONE OWE YOU MONEY? DID YOU PROVIDE A BENEFIT TO SOMEONE BUT THEY REFUSED TO PAY YOU?
I have over 20 years of experience litigating cases to recover monies for people under a breach of contract theory, unjust enrichment theory and other theories. Most Non attorneys will be surprised to know that you do not need a written agreement to collect monies owed to you. Of course, a written agreement always helps but it is not necessary. If you provided a benefit to another person, then you have the right to be compensated. There are numerous theories of recovery that can be pursued.
This involves a situation where there is some writing to evidence the agreement. The writing does not have to be a formal “contract.” As long as there are some type of documents(emails, texts, etc.) establishing what was agreed to by each party, you can recover under a written breach of contract theory. This type of theory is advantageous because it is easier to prove what was agreed to because the Court will look at the writings and may consider additional evidence that is not in writing. This type of theory is also advantageous because the time limit to bring a claim is 10 years. Even though you can pursue a claim under this theory for up to 10 years, it is best not to wait too long because certain defenses can be raised if you wait too long.
This involves a situation where there is no writing to evidence the agreement. The enforcement of an oral contract is not very difficult. To establish an oral contract, you need to establish that you had a conversation with the other person and you agreed to provide some benefit to the other person and they agreed to pay you. You need to establish that you relied upon the oral communications and performed the work. Most litigation involving contracts addresses the enforcement of oral contracts. If you are going to purse a claim, under a breach of an oral contract theory you must act as soon as possible because you only have 5 years to bring such a claim.
Even if you do not have a written agreement or an oral agreement, you can still recover monies from another person under certain circumstances. Illinois law permits a person to recover monies from another when it would be unfair or inequitable. To state a claim for unjust enrichment, you must establish that the other person unjustly retained a benefit you provided and that the retention of the benefit by the other person violates the fundamental principles of justice, equity and good conscience. HPI Health Care Services, Inc. v. Mt. Vernon Hospital, Inc., 131 Ill.2d 145, 160(1989). This theory of recovery allows you to recover when there is no written or oral agreement because it would be unfair. If you are going to purse a claim of unjust enrichment, you must act as soon as possible because you only have 5 years to bring such a claim and the court will be less likely to enforce your claim the longer you wait.
It is important to contact an attorney to discuss whether you have a viable claim as soon as possible because certain defenses can be raised by the passage of time.