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For all your lawyers or armchair lawyers on this site -

 

There was a wedding back in mid June, where a wedding photographer was paid for their services, contract signed, etc. There was a delivery date in the contract of up to 2 months for color corrected/edited photos from the wedding. As it stands now, the photographer has only sent 2 sample photos (within the last week), and will not release the unedited photos. This is 6 months past the event, 4 months past deadline outlined in the contract. The photographer is threatening legal action (harassment/threats of violence, which are 100% false - all contact with this person has been captured) against the person in contact with them if they continue to contact them about receiving the photos, and now refuses to answer calls or emails. It seems they want to just disappear with what they were paid and not have to worry about any sort of consequence. My guess is this person is some kind of addict, but I won't get into that. 

 

What is the recourse here? Currently "dear so and so" letter has been sent to this person by an attorney (which has been ignored), a lawsuit is being filed in small claims court against this photographer, asking for everything that was outlined in the signed contract (which is pretty much null and void at this point, being 4 months past the final delivery date) as well as/or all unedited raw photos from the day of the wedding that this photographer posseses. If the photos never materialize and/or payment is not returned, would they be on the hook for criminal fraud/grand theft charges? $500 and above is a federal charge in the state that this person operates, and where the wedding took place, the photographer was paid significantly more than this. All communication was done via email/internet, which I think also qualifies this as federal since it is over state lines, if I have read things correctly... but I'm not a lawyer so who knows.

 

Any advice would be helpful. I can outline more of the situation or go more in depth into aspects if needed. I won't be saying names or locations though since this may turn into a thing. 

 

 

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I should add that the end goal here is to get the photos, however possible. Sending this photographer to jail and/or hitting them with a lawsuit isn't really the goal but we are looking at anything that can be used as ammunition against this person in order to get them to send the photos. Really we are looking to scare them into handing everything they owe over, editing and color correction on the photos doesn't matter since we can just do that ourselves, probably better than this photographer. The photographer is refusing to release the raw photos, citing the contract, which is why I bring it up. The thing should already be void since we are 4 months past the delivery date, right? Legally anyway. 

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3 hours ago, Uncle Punk said:

This is a mess that is easily avoided.

 

Don't get married!

Weren't my wedding

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You Have a case. You need to check out consumer sales practice laws.  Any good lawyer should know this

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6 hours ago, Pauly said:

Why not just send over some gumbas to rough 'em up?

I'd rather send koopa troopas

  • Like 1

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Geez what a mess.  Assuming all the nasty reviews and such on social media have been left?  Is this an established photographer?  Last thing, unless you are 100% certain on the facts, I think many attorneys advise against posting these publicly.  Often, countersuits are filed by businesses for defamation and God knows what else 

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Hard to get into a detailed answer on my phone, but the endgame is that you can’t force specific performance of the contract. 

Your most realistic recourse is a refund, plus damages for the fact that you don’t have wedding photos. The right jury might value that quite highly, but i have zero experience in that kind of trial work. 

It sounds as though you have a solid case and will get an order for some amount. Collecting said amount can be it’s own ordeal. 

Does the contract have an arbitration clause? Where was the contract executed?  I could point you toward someone in your area. 

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11 hours ago, redkow97 said:

Hard to get into a detailed answer on my phone, but the endgame is that you can’t force specific performance of the contract. 

Your most realistic recourse is a refund, plus damages for the fact that you don’t have wedding photos. The right jury might value that quite highly, but i have zero experience in that kind of trial work. 

It sounds as though you have a solid case and will get an order for some amount. Collecting said amount can be it’s own ordeal. 

Does the contract have an arbitration clause? Where was the contract executed?  I could point you toward someone in your area. 

Thanks for the info!

I'm not sure on the arbitration clause. The photos were taken in GA, and my guess is that the contract was signed in MS, although possibly GA. 

Again, this wasn't my wedding, I'm just trying to help the parties directly involved figure out how to go about pursuing something. I found out Saturday my cousin's company's COO is licensed to practice in GA as well as OH so I think there may be an avenue there if need be. 

16 hours ago, jbot said:

Geez what a mess.  Assuming all the nasty reviews and such on social media have been left?  Is this an established photographer?  Last thing, unless you are 100% certain on the facts, I think many attorneys advise against posting these publicly.  Often, countersuits are filed by businesses for defamation and God knows what else 

That's why I'm keeping personal information out of this and keeping things vague. Can't defame a nameless person/business. There are no nasty reviews, this photographer had a successful business for a number of years, but dropped off the map for about 2 years prior to this job, as far as I understand it. 

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