Last spring my neighbor had a bed and bath added onto his house. Took the contractor 7 months! While digging a trench for the plumbing they dumped all the dirt onto my landscaped yard. They then ruined my cobblestone boarder, stomped 2 bushes to death and destroyed all the lighting. The contractor promised to fix it. When the project was done I thought my yard would be fixed. 1 week, no word from the contractor.
Called and was told they'd be there the following week. No show. Called, and was told next week. No show. Again the next week and no show. Called and told him he had 30 days or I'd get someone else to do it and send him the bill. Asked me why I was being such a dick since no one could see that part of my yard. (I CAN!) Call me a dick?! I told him to stay off my property, that I'd get it done and send the bill. He said he wouldn't pay it. Told him I'd take him to small claims court. He said go for it.
Drafted a letter to him, included photo's and quotes from 3 landscaping contractors demanding payment within 30 days. Sent it registered mail. Sent a copy to the State licensing board. Quotes 1 and 3 were $2100 and $5050 respectively. Both quotes were written on the spot. The 2nd quote was for $2550. Contractor asked me to get prices on the lights and broke the quote down by project so I could see what each part would cost. I went with the 2nd quote. Got it via email. State talked to the neighbors contractor and he offered me $250.
Went to the County arbitrator who sent a letter to the contractor who ignored it. Arbitrator told me to get the work done before suing. Got it done. Went to the County web site, downloaded a bunch or forms, filled them out and drove 50 minutes to the small claims court and filed my lawsuit. $60.
TODAY - I went to another City 40 minutes away to the sheriff's in Downtown Modesto. $40 to get a sheriff to serve the contractor. But wait, there's more! Cash or check only. The County sheriff doesn't take debit or credit cards. Civil servant says there's a bank a few block over there - pointing behind her. I ask for the corner street names and she says she doesn't know. I'm guessing she takes a lot of crap and has decided to be a civil servent-less. Says, down 11th street.
So here I am in a downtown that's nothing but clothes for sale, lawyers and restaurants. My car is a quarter mile away because all the streets are marked police only. I start walking down 11th st, 3 blocks... Getting madder each step. Screw it, walked back to the car and went home. Visiting my neighbor today, a 93 year old WWII vet, I told him about it. He immediately Asks my why I didn't ask google. He's obsessed with google.