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NSW Person Who Hired Me Not Responding - Take to Small Claims Tribunal?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Bruno, 6 December 2015.

  1. Bruno

    Bruno Member

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    I am a DJ who was recently hired to play at an event that I am yet to be paid for, and the person who hired me is not responding to any communication that I send them. I am considering that I may have to go to small claims tribunal in order to resolve this. My question is, whether the evidence I have (which are emails) constitutes a contract?

    Me:
    Hey,

    So at the moment we're generally paid around ## an hour, so we'd charge ### for the 4 hours. We can organise all the gear needed including 2 speakers which I'm sure would be adequate for ###. So $### all up, hope that's ok. Sounds/looks great by the way!

    Cheers, B

    Hirer:
    Let's book it in B.

    Send me an invoice and will deposit 50% first? And the remainder on the actual night? :)

    Yay!!

    Hirer:
    Could you invoice to: "someone else's name" x

    Me:
    Thanks "hirer" !

    If you could deposit half asap that would be awesome. The invoice is attached and here are the account details...

    Bruno
    BSB - ### ###
    ACC - #### ####

    Many Thanks
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Depends, your case is not straight forward as you invoiced a third party. You did not invoice the person who arranged the booking. What evidence is there that the person to whom you sent the invoice agreed to pay? What relationship is there between hirer and invoiced person? How old is 'hirer'?

    Were you paid the deposit? How did they get your contact details (are they family/friends)?

    You have a good chance of recovering money if going to court. Not sure about your chances if going to NCAT, you'd have to call them.

    NCAT is not a court and limited in scope. If you go to a magistrates court you get access to the full range of common law and civil remedies.

    Contract law is complex when dealing with agency :( You also may have scope for remedy under other civil law but needs someone with more knowledge than I have to comment.
     
  3. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    I'm fairly confident that you and B have a contract.
    The absence of writing is irrelevant.

    Either B was booking you on his own account,
    or he was acting as somebody's agent* (the event promoter, maybe).
    If the former, then go after B personally.
    If the latter, then go after both of them jointly and severally.

    For the Tax Invoice to have been made out to a third party
    suggests to me that B is the hirer's agent.
    It's the principal's job to indemnify their agent.
    In other words - the promoter (if that's not B)
    is bound to the deal made between you and B.

    Send a Letter of Demand to B as a first move.
    Any suburban solicitor can help you with it.



    ---------------------------------
    * By this I mean agent in the legal sense - which is
    not limited to the meaning given to the word in The Industry.
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tim,

    FYI B is the DJ (Supplier) :)

    The hirer can claim he has no intent to create legal relations with B and is only acting as an agent. The 3rd party can claim the hirer acted without authority.

    We don't know if the deposit was paid, and if so, who paid it. This may influence the result. And we don't know the relationship between the hirer and the undisclosed 3rd party.

    But I'd have thought an action under equity is possible against the hirer at the very least which, to my very limited understanding, has to be done through the magistrates court, not a tribunal. Happy to be corrected.

    Agree a solicitor is likely to be needed to handle this.
     
  5. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    That's what you get for reading on a small screen....

    First question is - is there a contract?
    Knowing only what we have here, missing facts missing, and unstated ifs buts and maybe not allowed for,
    I am inclined to think that there is a contract (for law students - the email shows ad idem)

    Second question is - who then are the parties?
    Knowing only what we have here, missing facts missing, and unstated ifs buts and maybe not allowed for,
    I am inclined to think that the contract is between B (the DJ) and "hirer".
    Unless, that is, "hirer" is in fact acting as agent for "someone else's name",
    and has not disclosed this to B (the DJ).

    As to denial of agency by either "hirer" or "someone else", I am further inclined to the view that B (the DJ) is entitled to rely on the presumption that "hirer" is either booking B on his (hirer's) own account, or
    that "hirer" has authority to do so on behalf of "someone else".

    So B's choices remain the same. Go after "hirer", or after "hirer" and "someone else" jointly and severally.
    It's a matter for a principal (such as "someone else") to indemnify their agent.

    I see where you are coming from with the equity thing - but this seems more like a simple breach of contract.
    A case of "gettin' had, gettin' took", you might say.
     

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