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California Construction Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Q: When are you supposed to sign a stop notice release ? Before or after you get paid ?
Donald M Barker
Donald M Barker answered on Feb 20, 2020

After or simultaneously when the payment on the Stop Notice is "Honored," i.e., check clears your bank account or you have cash in hand. NEVER release before payment. If obligor on Stop Notice "all of a sudden" finds a problem with your work or services after you sign the Release but before... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Q: In California, if a contractor working on your home does damage to property, are they required to pay for defect repair?

Scaffolding company put their scaffolding on a small decorative wall and cracked it. The house is 90 years old, the wall was standing strong. But when cracked it is apparent the wood inside is gone. But it really did not matter as the stucco was thick and intact. The scaffold company claims they... Read more »

George W. Wolff Esq.
George W. Wolff Esq. answered on Dec 10, 2019

He is probably right about the dry rot.

That was already there before they came along.

It’s probably good it was discovered as it could have gotten much worse or even dangerous!

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law, Business Law and Construction Law for California on
Q: I work for a contractor and he's been waiting on payment from a corporation since June of 2019 . What is taking so long?

The contractor I work for was doing a job for a company called CFS Complete Facility Solutions. We did construction work for them at a Taco Bell. We completed the job and during that process. A corporation called Cushman and Wakefield bought CFS. The contract says they have 90 days to pay us and... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Dec 6, 2019

If you are an employee of this contractor, your employer cannot make you wait for your pay until a client pays. You are entitled to payment on regularly designated pay days.

As to why there is a delay, there could be any number of reasons and no one here can know that answer. There are...
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Construction Law for California on
Q: Construction: Can a client require a materials/ Labor breakdown before issueing payment on a signed contract?

We submitted billing for a partial contract amount, waited for two months only to find out that the general contractor is requireing us to submit a materials/ labor breakdown. This was not stated in the initial signed contract and in my opinion is a breach of what I consider to be trade secrets.

George W. Wolff Esq.
George W. Wolff Esq. answered on Nov 14, 2019

Normally if you have a fixed price contract, the other party cannot ask to see your labor and material costs.

The contract you have might require this, or require a list of your subcontractors, so please review your contract in detail or have legal counsel do so.

2 Answers | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Q: We lost our home in the Carr Fire and have rebuilt. I fear that we have been overcharged and was wondering what to do
George W. Wolff Esq.
George W. Wolff Esq. answered on Nov 4, 2019

Why do you feel you were overcharged?

Was this a fixed price or cost-plus contract?

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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Q: When a politician is creating laws going against the constitution and the right of the people, is that a felony offense?
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Oct 23, 2019

As a general matter, legislators are not prosecuted for their actions in the course of making laws. Good laws are made and bad laws are made. One process for catching bad laws is judicial review, where a court could invalidate a law upon determination that is unconstitutional. Good luck

Tim...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Construction Law for California on
Q: Can you please confirm if my interpretation of the BPC code for unlicensed subcontractors is correct:

A licensed contractor sent unlicensed tile installers, (1099 employees, not W-2 employees), to install our kitchen floor. The job was $1,500 plus materials. He claims that since they were "employees," and covered under their workmans comp, they did not need to be licensed. Is this true?

James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer answered on Oct 4, 2019

Homeowner With Question On Licensure: Your thinking about licensed subcontractors is mostly correct (nicely done !). A contractor or subcontractor may perform ANY TYPE OF WORK without a license so long as the whole of the work is LESS THAN $500.00 (the "PennySaver" advertisement type of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Construction Law for California on
Q: The district court judges and clerk violated laws and rights. How and where do I sue the federal judge?

The judges and clerk of the US District court prejudiced against the ProSe for not admitting the crimes the defendants lawyer tried to make up. Then the judges were bias and prejudice so we requested the judge to recuse from the case but refused to do so. After the recusal request, the lawyer... Read more »

Joseph Franklin Klatt
Joseph Franklin Klatt answered on Sep 10, 2019

You don't sue the judge. Judges are generally immune from civil liability for their actions in court. As a practical matter, they are entitled to latitude, and they don't even have to be right 100% of the time. They have to deal with what they have as best they can. If the ultimate result of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Real Estate Law and Construction Law for California on
Q: Is general contractor in breach of contract? What should I do- he's insisting on payment bu appears to have abandoned me

12 HI contracts with 1 GC 10 paid in full due to how progress payments worded Only 3 HIC completed 65% work don 85% of total balance paid Arranging financing for 1/2 of 15% left but now have preliminary lien notice from subcontractor & want to hold back 10% of total balance until resolved & all... Read more »

James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer answered on Aug 30, 2019

Dear Owner Requesting Advice on Retention Payment issue: While I am adept at advising owners in a construction setting, your question as stated is probably not capable of reply in this limited forum until more information is obtained. Critically, an attorney would definitely need to review the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Q: Hired a home depot contractorand he quit how can i get help?

I went to home depot to have a new door installed. I talked to an employee. They took down my info and said contractors would contact me. One of their contractors started the door install. We started talking about a remodel of bath and kitchen. He started the next day. NOW HE DID THE DEMOLITION... Read more »

James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer answered on Aug 18, 2019

Homeowner With Contractor Abandonment. Your situation sounds upsetting; I'll try to offer some guidance.

First, perhaps you should be trying to contact the actual contractor that abandoned this job - do you have their company name ? if you do you can look them up online or on the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy and Construction Law for California on
Q: How do I find out if a construction company I hired has filed for bankruptcy?
Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison answered on Aug 15, 2019

Open an account at pacer.gov and you call search all federal databases.

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Q: We have a new pool just built and there are brown stains forman in the spa and pool and they wont do anything about it

The start up guy from the company came out one time and never seen him again now our pool is forman brown stains in the pool and spa and they wont do anything about it do i have cause for legal action

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Aug 9, 2019

You could set up a quick consult with a California attorney to review the contract and the options it presents to you. You could discuss arbitration (if it is a condition of the contract), small claims, or continued efforts to work toward resolution - and try to figure out which route could be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Contracts for California on
Q: Contract with construction company. Paid them over $800,000 found out that the actual cost was $400,000.

Found out that the contractor (employee of the company) charged us $800,000 to remodel our house the owner of the company said that the actual cost was $480,000. Our contract stated that we would pay the cost of the work done plus 15% for the contractors fee. This work was completed in 2012. We... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jul 25, 2019

Unless you have provable evidence of fraud you may have run out of time to da anything about this very unusual situation. And before you move in the direction of suing for fraud you should hire a lawyer experienced in real estate and business contracting law. You may find out that the owner of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Construction Law for California on
Q: Can a prime contractor require closeout documents from their subcontractors before any progress payments are made?

I have a job which is complete now. My first progress billing was April. My final billing was May. Neither have been paid to me, yet the prime contractor has required all closeout documents, including warranties to be submitted. Further stating all progress payments will be held until documents are... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jun 26, 2019

Since this is the end of June, it sounds like the primary contractor has had trouble getting his progress payments from the buyer, or whoever is building the property. Here is the bottom line: Regardless of what you "have always believed" about progress payments and when documents are due, and... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Consumer Law, Real Estate Law and Construction Law for California on
Q: How Long Does a Restoration Company Have to Perform On a Contract ?

In December of 2018 my home sustained over 45,000 interior damage rendering it uninhabitable . I signed a contract with a licensed , reputable restoration company February 20, 2019 for repairs . Contract appears legal but the start and end date of work was left blank . Explanation given “ we may... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on May 28, 2019

Based upon your description of what happened it sounds like you have good reason to ask the builder for a statement of the work done, and then pay the builder some reasonable amount (especially for materials) and cancel the contract IN WRITING. However, before you do that you might want to look... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Tax Law and Construction Law for California on
Q: If someone fraudulently got my ssn and 1099 me but never had a signed w9 from me, can i fight this lie?

I worked for the person contracted to do this job and he couldnt contact them at tax time so he pretended to be someone else to get my ssn. I did cash some checks from him cause he claimed he couldnt withdraw the money and i had acheck cashing account. i cashed them for him to pay the people... Read more »

David S. Greenberg
David S. Greenberg answered on Apr 24, 2019

I have represented a taxpayer in a situation quite similar to yours. My approach led to the IRS completely exonerating my client.

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Workers' Compensation and Construction Law for California on
Q: Travel is done on my own time and compensated with $20 per diem for traveling steel/iron worker?

I just started a new job as a traveling steel/ Iron worker. The company is an ESOP.

I was reading over my employees handbook and came across this paragraph."Nonexempt hourly employees that travel and business are paid for hours spent traveling as outlined below: REGULAR TRAVEL: Regular... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Apr 4, 2019

There are a lot of facts and documents that would need to be known to give a definitive answer. Union membership and collective bargaining agreement provisions would need to be known. Generally, without a CBA that might be allowed to modify the law in general, you must be paid for travel at a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Construction Law and Consumer Law for California on
Q: So I been living at my house for 17 years since I was 15 the man passed away can they kick me out with no eviction

I have no family he took care of me and payed all my bills I don't know what to do he did everything for me for 17 years

Scott Richard Kaufman
Scott Richard Kaufman answered on Mar 4, 2019

I would think YES they have to "evict" you. That's likely to happen FAST. At 30+ years old, now is as good a time as any to go and grow up and join the adult community out there and experience the outside world! Sorry for your loss. Good luck with you!

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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Q: What is a mechanic's lien?
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Dec 7, 2018

In general, a mechanic’s lien is a security interest against someone’s property. It can arise if a homeowner fails to pay a contractor who performs work and the contractor files the lien. If you are involved with a mechanic’s lien and require more in-depth information, consult with an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Q: Our contractor seems to have abandoned our project, no contact in 3 wks. He left many tools. When can I sell his tools?

Very strange, he won't return calls or texts. We know he's alive because of recent social media postings. Our project is not complete and he has some materials we already paid for. We will have to hire somebody else to finish the project. He has left at least $1000 dollars worth of tools at our... Read more »

Hung Le
Hung Le answered on Dec 4, 2018

First, it's better you look at the contract to see if (i) any period required for a contract termination; (ii) if the answer is yes, then you have to follow it, and you will have your entitlement to sell tools left at your house. If the answer is no, (or you think it is worthy doing so) then you... Read more »

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