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We were ripped off by our landscaper who quoted one price and charged another, he did work he was not asked to do and he did not advise us of his increasing costs despite requests to do so.  It was pretty much moving earth so we had no reason to suspect it was going to cost more than he said and he gave no indiaction, despite knowing that our budget was dwindling, that we had any concern. He was my realtors friend and I know she disclosed our budget to him to get her the sale and him the job. We had no funds left to pay him the amount over and above his original quote so he took us to court. Our case was a fast track civil case taken through supreme court.  When the Plaintiff filed the case it was for a claim of over the $25K to make it eligble for the fast track action however by the time he and his lawyer squirmed around and realised what of the list of false accusations, charges etc that they may be able to get away in with in court,  the value of the claim dropped to below 25K.  As we headed for trial I realised this was actually a Provincial court matter now and as self litigated, I got the advice from a pro bono legal fair, that what I had discovered was correct.  It was Friday and we were in court on Monday, I was advised to instruct the judge of this information immediately which I did, however as we were in court the case was heard anyway.  At the end of the trial the Judge awared the Plaintiff, not because he believed him to be honest ( clearly the judge did not find this to be the case and at one point repremanded him for concealing cash payments from the Canada Revenue Agency) but on the grounds of Quantum Meruit, a rather grey area! He also awarded some costs.  His lawyer asked for more costs as it was a fast track case and I reminded the Judge that this is actually a provincial court matter so really there should be no costs.  The judge revoked his decision on costs and awarded none. We have however been charged disbursments of over $2K by his lawyer, is this fair given that it should not even have been in supreme court. We want to do whatever we can to reduce the amount we pay him as we don't have it and can't get hold of it. On two occasions now we have tried to set up a payment arrangement with him to clear the lien off of our proberty (we need to refinance as we have a mortgage and a construction loan which is crippling us, we can't sell our home as it is still unfinished) Both times he has backed out last minute claiming he wants all the award now, i think he believes that if he backs us into a corner we will pay up but we truly don't have it. Is there anything we can do, surly this is not justice, a crook destroying an innocent family.

Authors: ratealawyer.com

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