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Roofer lied on contract !

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I signed a contract with a roofer back in April. We hadn't at the time set a date for the job to start. I gave him $500.00 down to start. I told him I would take two weeks off of work so that he could do the job and he said he would have it done during that time. (I work nights and can't sleep if he's hammering away). Anyway, I gave him over a months notice on the job start date he said he would have it done in 5 days once he started. A week before the job was to start he collected $1250.00 more from me for a total of 1/3 down of the $5250.00 for the entire job. The rest due on completion. On the day he was to start it rained and continued for about a week. To make a long story short he never showed up after that but continued to tell me he'd have my job done before I returned to work. When he didn't show despite the nice wheather the following week, I told him I wanted my money back and he said he "guessed he'd have to give it to me." That was the last time I spoke to him and he won't return my calls. I looked closer at my contract and discovered I could look up his contractors license on-line (he had put the license number on the contract). Although it is registered to him it isn't active and actually says suspended next to it. The date given was Feb. '01, which is before he signed the contract with me. He owes me $1750.00. Can I sue him for that as well as court costs and how about vacation time lost? Since he lied about being licensed isn't the case pretty open and shut? I live in Rhode Island and need to use civil court because the small claims limit is $1500.00. Anything I should know about civil court. Any Advice will be much appreciated. Thank you.

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