Just about to finish building a new home. My builder has been HORRIBLE. The funny thing was he was a family friend. We went with him because we thought he wouldn't screw us, well, we were wrong! $150K more than he said it would cost, 8 months longer, I had to do everything, he was the most unprofessional a$$hole I had ever encountered, tried to harass me to pay his general liability & workers comp (not in contract). I could go on and on.
Anyways, several months ago he sprung me on $1500 for trash he removed from the construction site. I did not authorize the work. I did not receive a bill/invoice etc. I paid him reluctantly. So last month my builder says he wants $150 for reimbursement of what he paid one of his subcontractors to clean up around the house. I had told him not to do anything at the house without my permission ahead of time. My husband and I told him we were not going to pay for work we didn't authorize.
Well, my construction draw checks were sent to my builder. The check has both of our names on it. He told me that he will not give me my check until he gets paid $150. He placed me under duress by having a subcontractor call me at 5:55 in the morning screaming and yelling demanding to get paid. I told that sub I can't pay him until my builder gives me my check etc. I talked with my builder again and he wouldn't give me my money until I paid him $150. I have the conversations recorded. Arkansas is a one-party state. It clearly shows that he is essentially holding my construction money ransom for his $150. That he had placed me under duress and forced me to pay him money that I didn't authorize the work for.
So can I take him to small claims court for the $150 I had to pay him while under duress? What about the $1500 I originally paid him for trash pickup that I didn't authorize but still paid him anyways?