Question posted in the General Law category relating to Gauteng
Question value: R 150.00
I contracted a carpenter to redo our kitchen units, we paid him 90% of the amount (R27000) and he did half the job and disappeared, what legal recourse can we take.
Answer to the Question
Hi there and thank you for your question,
I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.
You need to sue him for cancellation of the contract and return of the portion of the contract price for the work that he has not yet done! i.e. if he has done 25% of the contract, he can keep 25% of the total contract price.
You can sue him in the small claims court - in fact, I would suggest that you issue a summons out of the small claims court because it is a LOT cheaper to run a trial there, and you can do it in the evening, instead of in the day. Also, you don't need a lawyer to represent you, and the procedure is a lot simpler!
The clerk at the small claims court can assist you with preparing the summons, and explaining how the sheriff needs to serve the summons on the carpenter.
The only thing is - you need to know where he lives!
You can also issue a summons out of the magistrates court, but it will be more costly and you'll most certainly need a lawyer to assist you.
If there is a part of the answer which you need more advice on, or clarity please continue in this same thread instead of opening a new question.
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Answer to the Question
The sheriff of the court MUST deliver the summons if you want to comply with the rules of court. That is really what he does, so the sheriff knows exactly what needs to happen. You just need to give the sheriff the carpenter's address.
You can't deliver the summons. It won't be accepted by the court.
The identity of the sheriff depends on the area. e.g. sheriff for JHB North; sheriff for JHB South; sheriff for JHB central; sheriff for Randburg; etc.
The clerk at the court (magistrates court, or small claims court) will be able to assist you in finding the right sheriff.