Would you file a lawsuit against someone in your family?

@sbeauty (5870)
United States
October 19, 2006 8:49pm CST
My husband and I are going thru a bad experience. We trusted our son-in-law of 3 years to be general contractor building a house for us. We were living in a different state for most of the time. When we arrived in this state, we started discovering that our son-in-law had stolen thousands of dollars worth of materials from us. If we were wealthy we would forget about it. Unfortunately, we are not. The house is unfinished, the job is not completed, the money is gone, and our son-in-law won't even speak to us any more. I would value your opinions.
9 people like this
20 responses
• United States
30 Nov 06
It is hard being a parent. Have you spoken with your daughter about it? As far as suing family members, we are actually in a similar situation and will possibly have to sue my brother-in-law over slander. He's accusing my husband publicly of some pretty horrid stuff. Not like little potatoes things, but things that never happened and would have serious ramifications. Then again the jerk already attempted to steal our house (literally, tried to forge a title).
@sbeauty (5870)
• United States
30 Nov 06
My daughter won't speak to us nor will she let us see the grandchildren. Since you're having the same kind of problem, you can understand what it's like. We're talking big time stuff, too. We wouldn't go after little things. But this guy has compounded stealing with lie after lie. The bank set up meetings around his schedule, and he never showed. What is with these people?
4 people like this
• United States
11 Jan 07
I think somewhere along the way the love disappeared and greed set in. The desire to improve one's lot is not to be condemned but taking it instead of earning it (especially at the expense of those who care about you) is not strongly enough condemned any more.
@gabi1203 (578)
• Canada
30 Nov 06
I don't advocate suing family but in your case i would file a lawsuit. I find it outrageous what he did to you, on top of it he is wrecking your relationship with your daughter (How does she feel) I'm really sorry you are going through this!!
@rusty2rusty (6760)
• Defiance, Ohio
30 Nov 06
First I would file a complaint with the police or sheriff department in the county the stuff came up missing from. I would than contact a lawyer. Than sue the pants of him. If the son in law was placed in charge of the money and materials. He will have to explain where it all went. Or be forced to pay you back. Possible even go to jail.
3 people like this
• United States
30 Nov 06
This is terrible! He is your current son in law? What does your daughter have to say about it? It is a tough situation, but you need to take action to have your house finished. He obviously doesn't value his relationship with you, so I would take whatever action is necessary to get the job done. If he was not a relative you would not hesitate, right?
3 people like this
@reinydawn (11649)
• United States
3 Dec 06
Dang, that really sucks... I would definitely consult a lawyer. If your relationship with your daughter is already strained, it's not going to do any good to try to keep talking to them. If you son-in-law does this as his major line of work, he should have some sort of business/liability insurance that will cover this for him. If he was working for another company at the time, talk to them and they should be able to do something??? Did you have a contract with your SIL? If so, you're going to be in better shape than if you don't. I know people don't usualy make written contracts with family, but sometimes it's a good idea for everyone involved. Good Luck!
2 people like this
@caribe (2465)
• United States
2 Dec 06
I am so sorry that this has happened to you. I believe that if it was me I would take him to court, especially if you think you can recover your money. If he has no money to repay it even if you win the lawsuit, then it might be futile to sue and might not be worth the risk of losing your daughter from your life. You are in a situation that I would really hate to be in and ultimately, only you and your husband can make that decision. You have to do what is right for you.
2 people like this
@blueman (16513)
• India
30 Nov 06
i don't think it is a good idea to file a lawsuit against a family member. generally you should try it avoid it but there can be exceptions i guess.
2 people like this
@usmcsgtwife (4997)
• United States
30 Nov 06
I think it depends on the situation, I would try talking to them first and if that does not work then i would consult a lawyer... what does your daughter say about this
2 people like this
• United States
7 Nov 06
Since he is already not speaking to you, I guess you don't have to worry about the family relationship being damaged. Rescue your daughter from the situation, then sue the jerk.
2 people like this
@missybal (4492)
• United States
7 Nov 06
I wouldn't let it go. That is terrible and I would say he should be taken to court so he will learn this is not right. I wouldn't forget about it even if I was a wealthy person.
2 people like this
@Thoroughrob (11750)
• United States
3 Dec 06
I would sue him. Your house is not finished, your daughter already won't speak to you. He will not talk to you. I see that as your last resort. He should be made to give you back your money. I would also go to court and get Grandparent rights. They have no right to keep your grandchildren away from you.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Dec 06
Rob, the only problem I see with suing for grandparent rights has to do with a recent Supreme Court case. Basically it said that a child's parents decided whom the child sees and it's up to the parents whether the grandparents will see the child. Basically that means that visits stop when the parents say they stop. The exception, of course, is when grandparents are suing for custody. I don't think that's the issue here though. Good luck! I'd hate to be in that situation!
@suscan (1955)
• United States
11 Jan 07
That is so terrible, to ruin a family relationship because of stealing from you. I think you would have no choice, he must to be a terible person to do that. Hopefully your daughter will try to understand your side. After all you don't have a completed house and you don't have the money to fix it,annd iot is her husband at fault no you. Good lUck,
@djbtol (5497)
• United States
7 Jan 07
My first response is that I would do everything I could to avoid a lawsuit against a family memmber. I know relationships can really get messed up and that grudges last a long time. I also know that it would mean taking it on the chin, without retalliating. However,when I read your question, I thought there might be another side to consider. If the son-in-law has broken the law, then the more loving thing to do may be to involve the attorneys. If you can let this thing go, that would be an option. But if you are going to harbor bitterness in your hearts, then it is best to seek a legal solution. Then, you submit to what that authority determines and let it go. Hope that helps, and that your path will be made clear.
@kokopelli (4842)
• United States
7 Dec 06
you need to get some answers, whether it'd be in or out of court. it's not right for your son-in-law, and your daughter, to avoid you. the least they could do is to talk to you, explain, apologize, offer some ways on how the house can get finished and how to indemnify for the damages in terms they could afford. if you can't get them to talk to you, let a lawyer do it for you. there would be preliminary talks anyway, if they will still ignore the amicable invitation thru your legal counsel, then you could elevate the case to proper courts.
• United States
7 Dec 06
How horrible of him to do that. So dishonest. I would take him to court.
1 person likes this
@Cortney (3982)
• United States
6 Dec 06
I would definatly send a certified letter (since he is not talking to you, that way you know he got it) telling him that he has XX amount of days to replace what he stole or you are taking legal action. If he does not comply, I would have no problem filing a lawsuit against him. Stealling is stealling and it is even worst when you would steal from you own family.
1 person likes this
@rodnic12 (129)
• United States
31 Jan 07
You better get on that as soon as possible. You have a time limit where you can claim for unfinished work. Dont let someone take your money because obvisouly he was using you guy's for the moneey. All you have to do is take pictures of what he didn't complete and write down everytime you tried to contact him to finish the job. THen if you do speak to him try to record the conversation of him saying that he was suppose to complete it but never did, and you have a perfect case. I'm going to school to becomme a lawyer. Good Luck. If you need anything else let me know.
@Asylum (48079)
• Manchester, England
28 Jan 07
When I read the title of this discussion the answer was so obvious that I already knew exactly what my response would be, but after reading the discussion my opinion has changed drastically. I have always felt that my family is far too important to even consider such action, and no amount of money could possibly be as valuable as my relationship with them. However, I am in the fortunate position of having a family that would never put me in such a position in the first place. It is hard to credit that anyone could do that to their wife's parents. I would certainly consider legal action and make sure that your son in law is aware that if he does not make any attempt to compensate for his actions then you will proceed with this. Does he not realise what great harm he has done to his own wife by creating this situation?
@blueskies (1186)
• United States
23 Jan 07
Wow, I'm so sorry this happened to you. What a terrible breach of trust. I really think that he has left you no other option but to sue him to try to recoup your losses. Anyone else would probably try to bring criminal charges against him (which I feel he deserves), but it sounds like you just want to complete your house. How is your daughter through all of this?
@Devinarun (387)
• United States
7 Dec 06
Well if fthings get too serious and cannot be taken in anymore...thats the only alternative..