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How do you prove a breach of contract?

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Quick Answer

Prove a contract was breached by presenting evidence that a contract existed and was broken, that the defendant is the responsible party, and that a monetary loss is involved, advises Nolo. A breach of contract results when one party doesn't pay a bill or fulfill the terms of a contract.

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A breach of contract suit, typically settled in small claims court, begins by proving the existence of a contract with the defendant, explains Nolo. The defendant must be satisfactorily identified as the person responsible for any unpaid debt. Plaintiffs must prove they upheld the terms and conditions agreed to in the contract. Evidence that a legitimate bill has not been paid must be presented.

Both the refusal to pay a bill and the failure to satisfy one or more terms of a contract are grounds for breach of contract, says Nolo. In situations where two parties agree to provide specific services or products in return for payment, either party who is shown to fail or refuse to do so commits a breach. Written contracts should be presented to the judge, while oral contracts are supported through witnesses and circumstantial evidence. In cases where fraud is involved, no breach occurs and a contract is canceled. Instances of fraud include concealing the truth, intentionally or accidentally making inaccurate statements, and a false promise or other deceptive act.

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