Getting sued by contractor

I hired a guy to install some windows for my school. He puts in the windows no problem and I pay him in cash. Three months later he shows up saying I never paid him. I know I paid him so I tell him to go kick rocks.

He sues me for $30,000. We have two sessions of mediation. I’m not about paying this guy because he is trying to rip me off.

I’m off to court next week. All the lawyers I have talked to say I should settle because I can’t prove I paid him. I do have a bank statement that says I withdrew enough money on the day the work was set to be finished to pay him. If he hadn’t waited 3 months to raise the issue I might have had camera footage of the payment.

I know I don’t have proof that I paid him but it does seem like I have the preponderance of evidence just by showing my bank balance. Any advice is appreciated.

A heads up to everyone else: Get a Receipt!


Is there an explanation as to why it took him so long to show up asking for money? Wouldn’t a contractor normally expect to be paid pretty soon after completing the job?

Also, don’t you have any documentation at all, or even screenshots? How could either of you prove that the agreed-upon amount was NT$30k?

Sounds messy…

That’s why people often use bank transfers.

Would you like my lawyer?

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I’m afraid how much it would cost to hire a lawyer. It’s a pain in the butt to even find a lawyer. I think that’s part of the grift: it costs more to fight than to pay.

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Always leave a paper trail!

When he came the first time to ask for payment for the second time, you could have bluffed that you have video evidence of him taking the money. Might have deterred that scam.

Does he have evidence that he did the work? :grin:


Might as well ask and see if you can get him to reimburse the lawyer’s fees as well.

When I give cash, I pull out my phone and record it.

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I think he waited 3 months so that any video would be deleted. Every time I ask why it took so long to ask for payment(through a translator), no answer is given. I think the three month wait gives my case more credibility.

Is there any proof that the windows were installed by him and not by someone else? Who is this random person “you’ve never met” asking you for money?


I’ve considered everything:
Fleeing Country
Removing Windows
Fake Receipt


Those all sound like good options to me.



For a good dinner or night at KTV or talking to the local neighborhood or temple boss for few thousand or even nothing if you know the right people, he will walk away.

Even a strong vocal male or female Taiwan personality would get him to back down maybe with tail between legs.

Apparently thinks he has something on you. Or thinks he has more power than anyone else in the area.


what is the video recorded too? what’s the turn around for it being recorded over? if its digital media and only been re recorded over once or twice you maybe able to get it salvaged.

I’ve got a google home set up in my school. The recording is long gone I’m sure. It’s been almost a year now.

I’m no doubt showing my technological ignorance, as always, but is there a chance that the video footage was automatically saved and can still be accessed?

That would be a long shot.

It’s normal in many cases you pay in 90 days.

Yeah the windows were installed as the OP wrote. No one is claiming the work was not performed.

OP wrote
“I hired a guy to install some windows for my school. He puts in the windows no problem and I pay him in cash.”

I think he meant “Does he have evidence that HE did the work?”

If there was no paper evidence of the cash payment, then maybe there was also no paper evidence that OP hired him to do the work?

OP could just tell the court he’s never seen this crazy guy in his life, and that those windows were already there to begin with.


My advice is to go to court. People like him can’t afford lawyers, and his con is probably wholly dependent on you settling with him in mediation.

Make it clear that there will be no further mediation or settlement, and bluff that you found a very good lawyer. He’ll most likely realize you aren’t worth his effort and he’ll back down.

By the way, I bet this isn’t his first con. If you actually DO go to court, someone might be able to find record of his previous settlements/mediations with his other victims. That’s proof that he has a pattern of “not getting paid” which is not very likely to be true, which might convince the court that he’s a con artist.