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  1. #1
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    Jun 2017
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    Default Is it Theft of Service to Not Pay a Bill After Services are Provided

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Texas

    Recently I provided a transport service from one location to another and was suppose to be paid 3800 dollars. I completed the transport and sent an invoice and it has been a couple of weeks now and no payment has been made and now they are not responding to me. Is this considered theft of services? what options do I have if any to proceed

  2. #2
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: If a Person Failed to Pay for a Service That Was Provide is It Consider Theft

    You can report it to the police as a possible theft of services. Most likely you will be told it is a civil matter and suggested you deal with it through the civil courts.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2017
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    Default Re: If a Person Failed to Pay for a Service That Was Provide is It Consider Theft

    ok one last question so this business has a history of this and the owner is actually on probation for theft. Should I contact a lawyer first or proceed with the police...thank you for taking your time to reply

  4. #4
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    Default Re: If a Person Failed to Pay for a Service That Was Provide is It Consider Theft

    Quote Quoting tx830
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    ok one last question so this business has a history of this and the owner is actually on probation for theft. Should I contact a lawyer first or proceed with the police...thank you for taking your time to reply
    I would try the police first, and mention that the owner of the business is already on probation for theft. You might even want to report this to his probation officer.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2013
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    6,706

    Default Re: If a Person Failed to Pay for a Service That Was Provide is It Consider Theft

    I would not go to the police until I made sure that I complied with the notice requirements of the statute.

    I assume that this would be the section of the statute that applies to this situation.

    (4) the actor intentionally or knowingly secures the performance of the service by agreeing to provide compensation and, after the service is rendered, fails to make full payment after receiving notice demanding payment.
    You can read the Statute here.

    Going to the police may get your client arrested but don't count on getting paid anytime soon. The same applies to telling a probation officer.

    Sending an invoice is not making a demand for payment and it has only been a couple of weeks (that usually means 2). I would wait at least 30 day before sending a demand letter. Do you have any written agreement or contract?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: If a Person Failed to Pay for a Service That Was Provide is It Consider Theft

    It is not enough for a prosecution for 'theft of services' to demonstrate that a demand for payment was made and payment was not received. The statute requires, "(a) A person commits theft of service if, with intent to avoid payment for service that the actor knows is provided only for compensation... (4) the actor intentionally or knowingly secures the performance of the service by agreeing to provide compensation and, after the service is rendered, fails to make full payment after receiving notice demanding payment." That is, it is necessary for the prosecution to prove that the defendant had fraudulent intent when entering into the original contract.

    If you had a written contract with the customer that requires payment upon completion of services or immediately upon receipt of your invoice, then there may be a presumption of intent to avoid payment under subsection (b)(2) "the actor failed to make payment under a service agreement within 10 days after receiving notice demanding payment."

    Without a written agreement, the notice would be made under subsection (c), "notice shall be notice in writing, sent by registered or certified mail with return receipt requested or by telegram with report of delivery requested, and addressed to the actor at his address shown on the rental agreement or service agreement". As budwad indicates, it makes sense to allow a reasonable time to pay your outstanding invoice before following up with the statutory notice.

  7. #7
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    Jun 2017
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    Default Re: Is it Theft of Service to Not Pay a Bill After Services are Provided

    I do not have a written agreement but I do have text messages stating that transport service was going to be 3800 and that they would paypal the money that day (which was 2 weeks). I have sent a cert invoice and nothing.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Is it Theft of Service to Not Pay a Bill After Services are Provided

    So you can file a report with the police. Whether it will be considered for prosecution is something only the prosecutor can say. Most situations like this are relegated to the civil courts for remedy.

  9. #9
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    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: Is it Theft of Service to Not Pay a Bill After Services are Provided

    Quote Quoting tx830
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    I do not have a written agreement but I do have text messages stating that transport service was going to be 3800 and that they would paypal the money that day (which was 2 weeks). I have sent a cert invoice and nothing.
    If you want payment you will not go to the police just yet. Once you go and file a police report, you can forget about getting paid for a very long time. Wait at least 30 days then send the statutory demand letter.

    You need to decide whether you want payment or you want this client arrested.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
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    Default Re: Is it Theft of Service to Not Pay a Bill After Services are Provided

    Honestly I just want what is right and for this person not to screw someone else over

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