Jeff Howe, of J & C Grading in Oxford, Michigan, agreed to clear a portion of my parcel of all dead & dying trees, stumps and brush from within a noted boundry in December 2014. I clearly stated what I was willing to pay for the job, and he agreed to my price with a handshake and (ironically) a hug. He was given an aerial photograph of the parcel, with boundries clearly marked, we walked the property on 3 occasions, and the scope of the job was discussed in great detail. My primary provision, aside from the work description, was that it be completed prior to the Michigan winter thaw (which is typically mid to late March) as the area would become too saturated from melted snow for heavy equipment until the dryer summer. And summer would provide difficult, as the leaves on the brush would make viewing the parcel much more difficult than the bare twigs of winter. Jeff required payment up front and refused to sign a contract, against my better judgment. As an old friend of a friend, and considering he lived locally with his family, I assumed I could trust him. He was to start in December, but didn’t show until the very end of January. Jeff worked a few days in January, helping a buddy cut some fire wood from the dead wood (not part of what he was being paid to do). He said he would be back the following Monday, then disappeared until March 13, 2015, not returning calls. He worked 1 day clearing a part of one area, and said he wouldn’t be back for 2 weeks due to “frost law”” preventing his heavy equipment from the main roads. This year

Michigan’s “”frost law”” lasted from 3-13-15 and lifted 4-17-15. From this time forward

I left Jeff more than a dozen voicemail messages and texts. On 3 occasions he answered his phone and gave additional promises to bring his equipment out to finish the job

but would never show up or call back. In July

he claimed he now wants more money and never promised to do the work we discussed on many occasions. It has been 5 months since he was paid & disappeared