b1/soon to be GCH big legal problem with a customer to the point of being harassed

vjanicek

Registered Users (C)
#1
Hello,

I am a over 21, i-130 approved person (who's priority date is about to be current) that enters the US in a regular basis. Since I currently have a B1/B2 visa, that has allowed me to enter the US in a business visa, have customers (I'm a software developer) and get paid via paypal while being outside the US.

Lately, I've been having a customer that has been terrible. We agreed on me developing a solution for him and never signed a contract, just shook hands and accepted the deal through emails (I have worked like this with most of my customers). This customer was supposed to provide a programmer for a specific part of the project and all he did was, hire incompetent people that made me do the work that they were supposed to do.

The problems started because of two things, one: the other programmer's job is in an area where I am not proficient therefore, my work wasn't as good as it would be and two: I made the mistake of working on it (to please the customer) instead of demanding a good programmer and not being clear on what were the reasons that kept me from finishing.

I told him in at least a 100 emails that I wasn't that kind of programmer and that my results couldn't be good because of the learning curve and all that, he just demanded everything to be finished and I kept working because he warned me of getting sued.

Because of all this, the project has taken me much much more than expected and to this date, it's not finished yet (we are about 50%). I can't have another job or work for someone else because of this and the stress is killing. He is always saying that he will persue legal actions if I don't finish the project. I don't even have money to go back to the US to hire an attorney because of this terrible experience. I even had a nervous attack and spent two days in the hospital!

We had an agreement at first for the whole project and I told him that once the other programmer wasn't provided, the deal was off. After a lot of fights, I told him that I would need a weekly payment if he wanted me to work (I had no money, what he had paid me was not enough for me to survive) and after arguing for days, he accepted. I literally wrote him an email saying: "Even if I am the worst programmer, if you want me to work for you, I will need to get paid every week to cover my personal expenses" and he responded that email saying "OK, let's do that"... I have copies of all that.

After one week, I billed him and he refused to pay me because everything wasn't finished and the fights begun again. Last time I got paid was January and that payment was a third of what I billed him, since then I haven't gotten paid (over two months now). I stopped working and he started warning me all the time that I need to finish everything to get paid (I have that email stating that I would get paid weekly) and I don't know what to do now.

He is blaming me of all the terrible decisions he did as a project manager and he is taking advantage of my situation. I even brought two friends to work for him (that were pretty good on the other area) and they literally ran away from him because he is always demanding in a way that can't be handled by normal people.

I tried to get off the project by making any kind of excuse or just by not answering any emails but just he kept calling and writting me. He even found my mother's address (she lives in the US) and calls her and visits her when I don't answer his emails to the point of harassment asking her for me or where I am by hundreds of times and this is way beyond anything acceptable. Even if I am the worst person in the world, I don't think harassing my mother is even cosidered legal.

He knows that I have a pending immigration status and he takes advantage of this by demanding and demanding. I am desperate to cut this. I even offered help whoever comes to replace me (i have proof that I have helped a lot of people he has hired) and that is not enough.

now, I have this questions:

- can he sue me while I am out of the country? how could I defend myself? who can I contact?
- would getting sued affect my immigration status? my priority date is about to be current and I have been waiting 5 long years for this it would be awful to be affected now! :(
- what if I just ignore him and tell my mother to call the police if he calls her or visits her?

Thanks a lot for your help
vj
 

BigJoe5

Registered Users (C)
#2
Any civil suit of this sort would have no impact on immigration.

Besides, you said that there is no contract. On what basis could he sue?
 

vjanicek

Registered Users (C)
#3
Any civil suit of this sort would have no impact on immigration.
Thanks a lot for your reply. This makes me feel much much better

Besides, you said that there is no contract. On what basis could he sue?
What about emails as a binding contract? He could argue that "I didn't finish on time" or "that he paid some money in advance" or that "I didn't answer him again". What is ridiculous and ironic is that if he indeed sues me, he would have to pay in legal fees much more than what he would have to pay me to finish his project :mad:

Also, any suggestions about what my mom could do if he contacts her again?
 

BigJoe5

Registered Users (C)
#4
Thanks a lot for your reply. This makes me feel much much better



What about emails as a binding contract? He could argue that "I didn't finish on time" or "that he paid some money in advance" or that "I didn't answer him again". What is ridiculous and ironic is that if he indeed sues me, he would have to pay in legal fees much more than what he would have to pay me to finish his project :mad:

Also, any suggestions about what my mom could do if he contacts her again?
Mom should call the cops.

e-mails will be laughed out of court if it ever got that far
 

vjanicek

Registered Users (C)
#6
hey there again, I got this email from my client who will "sue me" if I don't deliver finished product tomorrow tomorrow:

"""When those papers get filed, you have 30 days to respond to them. Your business address is your Mother's Address. Your mother would get served (hand delivery). She doesn't have to open it, she just has to receive it (the person who hand delivers it is the witness). If you don't fight it within 30 days upon receiving the papers, you automatically lose the case. When that happens you have the amount of time to pay the suite (everything you've been paid thus far and our loses). If you don't pay you get at risk of bankruptcy. """

Should I just ignore it? tell them to "go ahead" and not care? or is this a point where I should hire an attorney? what do you recommend?
 

TheRealCanadian

Volunteer Moderator
#7
Do you live with your mother?

If she gets served, it's likely to be in small claims court. You should definitely respond, go see the judge and get the whole mess tossed out.
 

vjanicek

Registered Users (C)
#9
Out of curiosity, is the software developed outside of the US?
Yes, developed outside the US and I have always been paid as an individual, not a company

The thing is that I don't live with my mother, I'm outside the US. I did meet him in the US and I travel the US in a regular basis. I'm a offshore developer and that is not my business address because i don't live there. I don't even have money to go to the US to go to court

I didn't sign a contract either...
 

TheRealCanadian

Volunteer Moderator
#10
Tell him that your business address is NOT your mother's address, since it isn't. He cannot make you a US party because he feels like it. If he contacts your mother again, have her call the cops and seek out a restraining order against him.

He's a bully, and you need to stop dealing with him.
 

vjanicek

Registered Users (C)
#11
Thanks for your help., you have no idea how I appreciate this.

That is exactly the problem, he is a bully and since he thinks that he can scare me. For some reason he thinks that he can affect my immigration status

What should anybody do at my mother's house if those papers are actually sent? should they be rejected or should she call the cops?
 
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