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California Construction Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for California on
Q: How to fight a fraudulent lien from a contractor

We filed against our contractors bond because he abandoned the job and his worked caused an injury and is faulty. He has subsequently filed a bogus mechanics lien and not followed the law for filing it.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 24, 2024

In California, if you're facing a fraudulent mechanic's lien filed by a contractor, there are specific steps you can take to fight it. First, it's important to gather all relevant documentation, including any contracts, correspondence, and evidence of the work performed (or not... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Construction Law and Legal Malpractice for California on
Q: No autopsy was performed on a suicide death in California. The next of kin was never contacted for the option.
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 21, 2024

Under California law, the decision to perform an autopsy in cases of suicide typically lies within the discretion of the coroner or medical examiner. While autopsies are often conducted in cases of suspicious or unexplained deaths, they may not be required in all instances of suicide. The decision... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Construction Law and Land Use & Zoning for California on
Q: Can an existing 1 story house be torn down and a 2 story be built? The new construction is blocking my ocean view.

Nothing of the existing structure was visible from my house. It had been this way since I bought my house in 1998. It is in the framing process now. Not sure about roofline. It is already effecting the best part of my ocean view. We are on opposite sides of a freeway. Not sure if I should have been... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 21, 2024

Based on the information provided, it is likely legal for your neighbor to tear down their existing single-story home and build a new two-story home, even if it impacts your ocean view. However, there are a few things to explore that may provide some recourse:

- Check if there are any local...
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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Q: What is our recourse for a property subject to a trustee sale with a valid mechanics lien in place?

The property is located in Orange County CA

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 22, 2024

In California, if a property is subject to a trustee sale and there is a valid mechanic's lien in place, the lien may still have priority depending on the timing of the lien and the deed of trust being foreclosed on. Mechanic's liens for work performed on the property can take priority... View More

Q: Per PCC 10140 - it is very complicated and expensive to advertise every project in a newspaper and trade paper

How can we, a state agency, maintain compliance with this law without spending thousands of dollars? Can we print in online papers? We have around 4 or 5 huge construction projects to advertise a month. The ads run for between $950 to $3,000 per paper. We already have them advertised in Cal... View More

George W. Wolff
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George W. Wolff
answered on Feb 7, 2024

There are no published cases interpreting this statute, however the phrase "newspaper of general circulation" in section 100140(a)(1).

However, it has been defined as:

A “newspaper of general circulation” is a newspaper published for the dissemination of local or...
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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Contracts for California on
Q: Client entered a signed/executed construction contract which he breached. What are the options for monetary loss?

Mid work the client stopped the contractual payments due to his stating of financial/loans delays on his part. Client then requested structural changes to cut cost delaying production time and creating loss of opportunity. After about 6 months of constant communication and proposed changes to the... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 28, 2024

Under California law, when a client breaches a construction contract, you have several options for recouping monetary losses. First, you can send a formal demand letter to the client outlining the breach and requesting payment for the work performed and any other damages incurred due to the breach.... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Business Law, Construction Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: Do I have any recourse for getting back money I paid to an unlicensed CA contractor who I fired for poor quality work?

I hired an unlicensed "contractor" on the recommendation of family members to do a bath and kitchen remodel. After paying him more than $10,000, I fired him because of the poor quality of the work he did on the bathroom remodel and the kitchen planning. The bathroom has to be completely... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 28, 2024

In California, hiring an unlicensed contractor can complicate the process of recourse for poor quality work. However, you do have options to pursue. First, you can consider filing a complaint with the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB), which handles disputes involving unlicensed... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: The owner didn’t notify me of any construction being done outside for property addition.Do I have any rights?

No privacy & noise.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 25, 2024

In California, tenants have the right to quiet enjoyment of their rented property. This means your landlord should inform you about any significant disruptions, like construction, that could affect your living conditions. The lack of notice and the resulting noise and privacy issues you're... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Q: How do I file a disgorgement suit against an unlicensed contractor? What forms do I need?

CSLB already completed their investigation and confirmed that he is unlicensed.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 18, 2024

To file a disgorgement suit against an unlicensed contractor in California, you'll need to start by preparing a complaint that outlines your case. This complaint should include the details of the contractor's unlicensed status, the work performed, and the amount paid to the contractor.... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Q: have LLC construction activitiesBut don't have contractor license I did a job for h ,owner now she want her money back

I did construction job ,I don't have license. Now the owner wants her money back or small clim crt.

The job done under LLC name ,

Can she sue me or she can sue the LLC?

Which better: give her money back face to face ?or go to court? Please help

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 14, 2024

Under California law, performing construction work without a contractor's license can lead to serious legal consequences. If you completed a job without a license, the client has the right to request a refund, even if they were initially satisfied with the work.

The legal liability in...
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2 Answers | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Q: I am a General contractor Valid Lisc. How long does a home owner have to notify me of the deects on the home?

They owned the property. Califoenia property

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Jan 10, 2024

In California, the statute of limitations for construction defects generally provides homeowners with ten years to file a lawsuit for latent defects, which are defects that are not immediately apparent. This ten-year period typically begins from the date of substantial completion of the... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: No contract with our GC ,fired him, never agreed to his percentage take. He wants 30K, if we don’t pay can he place Lien

It has been well over 20 days, no contract was signed and he made some egregious mistakes and never stuck to project due dates that cost us 40k. We paid him 45k before our barn was completed, even after he told us it would be around 25k. He never finished the barn (only trim and doors left) but... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 10, 2024

In California, a contractor can file a mechanics lien for work done on a property, even if there was no formal contract. However, there are specific time frames and conditions that must be met. For residential projects, the contractor typically has 60 days from completion of the work to record a... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Construction Law, Contracts and Land Use & Zoning for California on
Q: how do i file a breeh of contract an demand for payment and lean on sed real property forth with .

a non lycenced contractor /bilder went into a writin contract with a home ower ,secured full payment, for work and materearls, and then no call no show by due date of sead work .

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 1, 2024

In California, if you're facing a situation where a contractor has breached a contract and failed to perform the agreed-upon work, you have several legal options. First, you should consider sending a formal demand letter to the contractor, outlining the breach and requesting the fulfillment of... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights and Construction Law for California on
Q: I need a lawyer for my case my private Entrance has been blocked for over 8 months
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Dec 15, 2023

In your situation, where your private entrance has been blocked for over eight months, seeking legal assistance is a wise step. Under California law, you have rights regarding the access and use of your property.

The first action is to find an attorney who is experienced in property law and...
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3 Answers | Asked in Construction Law and Contracts for California on
Q: I have an interior design client that is in breach of contract. She refuses to pay our invoices.

She owes 2 past-due invoices and has insufficient funds to cover the latest check that was given to us per the signed agreement.

Treg A. Julander
Treg A. Julander
answered on Dec 11, 2023

You could first send a demand letter on attorney letterhead to see if that provokes her to make the past-due payments. If that doesn't work, you could file a lawsuit for breach of contract. If your work contributed to a work of improvement, you may be entitled to record a mechanics lien... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury, Construction Law, Wrongful Death and Municipal Law for California on
Q: How to file a lawsuit against the county
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Dec 3, 2023

Filing a lawsuit against a county in California requires several specific steps. First, you need to determine the legal basis for your lawsuit. This involves identifying the specific actions or inactions by the county that you believe have harmed you and how they violated the law or your rights.... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Construction Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: Hello, Can an individual sue CA Registrar of Contractors up to $10,000 when Building Contractor violates law?

On both Riverside and San Bernardino Counties Court websites, in the Small Claims information section, there’s a notation in small print stating you can sue the Registrar of Contractors up to $10,000 — What To Do When Your Contractor Won’t Pay (Plaintiff’s Small Claims Judgment against... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Nov 29, 2023

In California, suing the Registrar of Contractors (ROC) directly in a small claims court for a violation by a building contractor is not a typical course of action. The ROC is a regulatory body, and their role is to license and oversee contractors, not to act as a party in contractual disputes... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Who is liable for property damages?

In California, an apartment complex hired an outside contractor to paint the fence. The hired contractor negligently sprayed the fence without covering any cars along the fence. My truck is covered in paint overspray. The landlord is pointing fingers at the contractor to be liable, and the... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Nov 22, 2023

Under California law, the primary responsibility for damages caused by negligence typically falls on the party who directly caused the damage, in this case, the contractor. Given that the contractor admits to the negligence leading to the paint overspray on your truck, they would be the first party... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Construction Law for California on
Q: If you enter in to a lump sum contractor with a HUD or RD rider that limits the GC profit to 14%, but are making more.

The lump sum was based on unit price, can you ask for back up such as sub contract for the GC?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Nov 18, 2023

Under California law, if you have entered into a lump sum contract with a HUD or RD rider limiting the general contractor's (GC) profit to 14%, but suspect they are making more, you have certain rights to review documentation. The lump sum based on unit price should have clear, itemized... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Construction Law and Contracts for California on
Q: I have been sent a lawsuit threat for using design builds from a contractor business.

The lawsuit was sent as a text message and stated

“To whom this may concern,

This message is to inform you of the filing of an LLC for (JC construction) Your willful involvement in the forming of (J and C construction) is a legally binding contract and acceptance of all terms... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Nov 14, 2023

In California, the enforceability of such a claim in the text message you received is questionable. Generally, merely learning a skill or technique from someone does not create an enforceable right for them to prevent you from using that skill, especially if it's a common method in the... View More

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