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California Construction Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Q: Construction: we are using a contractor who we’ve lost confidence in.

We have a major rebuild for which we have a construction loan. Our contractor rarely comes by our job site and the project is run primarily by his crew. There are many parts that have been poorly constructed. Including support beams that hold up our new roof. His invoices are emails that demand... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on May 12, 2022

Dear Major Rebuild With Contractor Troubles: these types of situations are tricky, and it's nearly impossible in this forum to issue out a set of instructions to you (this, from a 35 year attorney who is a developer and a licensed Contractor). You have overlays of Contractor's... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Construction Law for California on
Q: Does cashing a check from my Ca contractor that says paid in full means I can’t go after for the rest of the funds

They are now out of business and the check is good as of today and I wanted to cash this before going after the rest of funds

Julie King
Julie King answered on Feb 15, 2022

Yes, cashing a check marked "payment in full" or similar language constitutes the settlement of a claim under California law. If they are out of business, the only way you'll get the rest of your money is to speak with a litigation attorney to see if there is a way to sue the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Construction Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Habitability of Apartment, Rent, slip & Fall, harassment, elderly, woman, discrimination, disabled.

Last night, I slipped in my bathroom again on water that was over 1" on floor. 2'x2' hole created by contractor early Jan 2022, left and never returned. Bugs fall on me taking shower, red rash reoccuring, painful. Reoccuring infection in mouth. Sink in kitchen blocked with black... Read more »

Theodore Allan Greene
Theodore Allan Greene answered on Feb 15, 2022

Your sounds like it's very bad for you. You should be trying to contact local attorneys that handle landlord/tenant matters. Keep trying until you get a consultation with someone who can help. good luck... TED

2 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents, Personal Injury, Construction Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: Family and I were in a car accident caused by the city. what do we do?

The city was working on a traffic light. Causeed another vehicle to hit us.

William John Light
William John Light answered on Jan 23, 2022

If you are hurt, see a doctor. Then contact an attorney. If you don't need medical attention, you probably don't have a case worth pursuing. You have 6 months to file a Tort Claim with the City, which is a requirement before filing a lawsuit. When you talk to an attorney, be prepared.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Contracts for California on
Q: Contract Fraud - Can I be sued for misrepresentation/contract fraud even tho I printed a disclosure on the contract.

Worked as Unlicensed Contractor, and printed disclaimers/disclosures of "NOT A LICENSED CONTRACTOR" on all Quotes and Invoices. The Plaintiff/Customer claims he was unaware that we weren't licensed. Sent customer 3 quotes and 3 invoices all with the disclosure printed on them. I... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Jan 10, 2022

Dear Unlicensed Contractor: You asked if you can "be sued for fraud" for having operated without a license despite placing "disclosures" of such on your invoices. Unfortunately, making "disclosures" on your paperwork does not obviate the requirement that you have... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Q: I did a repair job and completed it, is the person I did it for required to pay me even if I contracted the job out?
James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Dec 12, 2021

Dear Repair Tradesperson: The scenario you identify is a typical Contractor-Subcontractor arrangement, whereby you (Contractor) obtain the project and subcontract it out. There are some nuances regarding licensure and what was placed in writing between you and the Owner, but without that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Contracts for California on
Q: Is the contract for work on my house voidable? If so, what do I need to do to void this contract?

I signed a contract for work to be done on my house after some water damage was incurred. They came to my house on 10/30 to look at what needed to be done and provided me with an estimate on 11/2. However, I now know that their contractor’s license expired on 10/31.

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Nov 26, 2021

if they performed work that benefited you, you still owe the money for the work completed, regardless of their contractor license status. if they have not performed any work, then it may be possible to cancel the contract but you would have to spend money on a lawyer to review the contract and the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Construction Law, Real Estate Law and Civil Rights for California on
Q: Can I file a law suit for discrimination, harassment and mental anguish against my home association board members!

The president and other board members of my home association conjured to propose penalties against me. They are prejudicially and selectively isolating and discriminating against me based on my race, creed, and national origin. They conspired to create and to apply fictitious rules and false... Read more »

Louis George Fazzi
Louis George Fazzi answered on Oct 28, 2021

Sounds like you need a good lawyer.

Start by looking for good civil rights attorneys; there are many good ones between Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Do a Google search and then start calling and talking to as many as you can until you find someone who indicates s/he can...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Construction Law, Intellectual Property and Small Claims for California on
Q: What is the law regarding replacing sentimental property that is damaged in the state of California

I had a leak in my ceiling in the apartment I rent. They rushed me out put me in another apartment but they damaged a lot of my property and a lot of it with sentimental value including an airplane propeller that my ex-boyfriend UPS to me when I got my bachelor's degree from flight school he... Read more »

Jonathon Maddox
Jonathon Maddox answered on Sep 22, 2021

This would not be an intellectual property question, but there's not really a law in regards to this. This would be more appropriately a question for the insurance company that was used to fix the ceiling. As far as I know though, most insurance companies don't give any additional value... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Civil Litigation, Construction Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: I did some concrete work for a contractor and he says the home owner is refusing to pay. How do I get my money ?

Contractor says I need to file a lien on the homeowner but I’m not sure who is responsible when generally I’d be paid by the contractor.

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Aug 27, 2021

Dear Unpaid Subcontractor: Your options for getting paid are two-fold: (A) a breach of contract claim against the General Contractor and/or (B) a mechanic's lien processing against the Homeowner. Clearly, you are not "required" to pursue the Homeowner (as intimated by the GC)... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Employment Law and Construction Law for California on
Q: Can I sue for drug test mix up? If so, who gets sued, the clinic or lab?

I needed to do a drug test for a new company that was going to employ me and when I went to the urgent care to do so, my employer calls me 2 days later to tell me that my urine was mixed up with someone else. I want to take legal action but not if I have a case or not.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jul 30, 2021

It is not likely that you could so anyone.

Just go back and do another test. It is that simple.

The law does not provide valid legal claims for mere inconvenience.

Good luck to you.

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Q: I Want to Open Hydrogen Station, I wanted to Know about its Legal Formalities etc. In USA
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Jul 28, 2021

A California attorney could advise best, but your post remains open for four weeks. It could be difficult for any attorney to meaningfully advise on the formalities you ask about in the brief format of this forum. There are many things to consider, whether from an intellectual property standpoint... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Construction Law for California on
Q: hello.on 11/20/2020 my husband contracted with a company to install chair lift in our home. at the time measurements

were taken and a 2k deposit given. the owner told my husband that the parts would not be at their warehouse until end of jan or first couple weeks in feb. my husband subsequently became deceased on 12/10 .i phoned and advised the owner of my husband's death and that i wished to cancel his... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Apr 25, 2021

Chairlift Cancellation: We always first start with analyzing the contract language, and so in this instance would be interested in examining any sort of "cancellation" provisions. If none, then we would need to look to case law, and the focus is on "impossibility to perform"... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law and Construction Law for California on
Q: Would forming an LLC or Corporation be better for a person who wants to start their own General Contracting Company?

I want to become a first time business owner and was wondering which would suite me the best in terms of taxes, protection, and future costs? I am planning to elect to file taxes under S-Corp subsection for either of these business entities that I am willing to go with.

Shawn R. Jackson Esq.
Shawn R. Jackson Esq. answered on Feb 22, 2021

The answer to your question should be developed in an initial free consultation by video call or telephone call. The short answer is ... it depends" ... upon your preferred management structure, the operations plan, your succession plan ... and how well you get along with others ...

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1 Answer | Asked in Workers' Compensation and Construction Law for California on
Q: I was trying to service an ac unit on the 2nd roof of a townhouse a roof tile broke under my ladder, broke my ankle

I am trying to see how to move forward with this. I got up on the first roof then my co worker handed me the ladder to get to the second roof I secured it got up about 3 steps then the roof tile broke my ladder slid and my weight the the weight of my ladder came down on my right ankle and broke it... Read more »

Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace answered on Feb 20, 2021

This is a classic Workers Compensation claim. to 'move forward', you get a REAL ortho surgeon from the comp insurer's approved list, do NOT let the comp insurance adjuster or the boss pick your treating physicians or you won't be happy. But you need the list of approved... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for California on
Q: Can a licensed CA. General contractor perform home inspections and be hired to complete the repair work?

Is there any circumstances where a CA. Licensed General contractor can be paid for a home inspection and be hired separately for the nessasary repairs to the same home? B&P code says that home inspectors performing repair work can be considered as unfair business practices. Does that mean... Read more »

Ernest Charles Payne Jr
Ernest Charles Payne Jr answered on Feb 6, 2021

You’re talking about CA B&P 7197. The law is pretty clear and the circumstances where a company performing a home inspection can also perform repairs are very narrow and limited: like roof repairs pursuant to a roof certification inspection or termite repairs pursuant to a termite report.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Construction Law for California on
Q: After default, can I present new evidence against the plaintiff?

I'm in default but have learned that the contractor needed a separate permit to perform the work so that the work would be reviewed by the city and signed off accordingly. That was part of the contract, that I would have to pay them once the city signed off the permit. Since they didn't... Read more »

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Dec 23, 2020

if there is a default against you, it means you failed to appear and the judge entered judgment. there are only limited circumstances where that default could be lifted and you will need a lawyer to go over those options and do the work which means you will need to pay a lawyer to do this. it is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Q: For a $50k job can a contractor have an escrow co. ask for/hold the entire $50k vs asking for a $1k deposit to go around

For a $50k job can a contractor have an escrow co. ask for/hold the entire $50k vs asking for a $1k deposit to go around Business & Professions Code 7159. Therefor the contractor is not asking for the whole payment upfront but an escrow company with specific instruction on when to release... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Dec 8, 2020

Dear "Unlawful Deposit" Inquirer: This is an interesting question, and in honesty the only real "authority" on the correct/authorized answer would be an investigative personnel at the CSLB (Contractors State License Board). Nevertheless, I'll use 30+ years experience in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Q: Home remodel went 70% over budget—and contract is fuzzy. Do we still owe our general contractor his 15% final payment?

Our G.C. said he could remodel and expand our small, 50-year-old Calif. home for $300,000 and complete in 8 months. After 11.5 months, we insisted on moving back in even though it was not completed. Total cost for labor/materials so far has been around $470,000. Due to the delays, we had to pay an... Read more »

George W. Wolff Esq.
George W. Wolff Esq. answered on Oct 21, 2020

Home Improvement Contracts are required to be in writing and for a fixed price, have a fixed completion date and have certain other requirements.

Have an experienced Construction...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Constitutional Law, Construction Law, Consumer Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: I am a homeowner in Ca I hired a contractor to do painting around the house. I am I in my rights to fire the contractor.

I hired the contactor to do painting around the house. The job is not being done correctly or at all.

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Oct 5, 2020

You have the right to terminate any contract at any time for any reason BUT you cannot terminate all contracts without penalty. Meaning, if you terminate the contract without "good cause" you may have to pay the other party some damages. Now you say that they are not doing it... Read more »

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