Letters to the Editor

Small claims court must work for wronged

In response to the Sept. 5 editorial on small-claims court judgments, I find it ludicrous that individuals who take advantage of customers and consumers of goods and services can literally get away with stealing.

This past spring, I had contracted to have a reconstruction project on the interior of my condominium. The contractor had done numerous jobs in my complex, all supported with building permits. His prices were reasonable and his work seemed satisfactory. I was led to believe that he was licensed and insured. Later, it was learned that he had pulled the permits on another contractors license and that the contractor was totally unaware.

I paid $2,500 up front on a $5,000 job to be completed within a month. The contractor, even though he signed a contract, did nothing and skipped with the $2,500. Efforts to contact him were made and more promises by him were made for restitution.

In the past six months, I have managed to collect $150. In South Carolina, this is considered a civil matter, not criminal. My only other resource is small claims court. After reading your editorial, I realize that, too, would be an effort in futility. Until something is done on a state level to change this travesty, people will continue to be scammed by unscrupulous individuals. I whole-heartedly agree with your editorial that changes have to be made to protect the public.

Carol Izzo

Hilton Head Island