Home > Uncategorized > Alatriste v. Cesar’s Affirms Rights Against Unlicensed Contractors.

Alatriste v. Cesar’s Affirms Rights Against Unlicensed Contractors.

The Court of Appeals (Fourth Appellate District) just decided the case of Esaul Alatriste v. Cesar’s Exterior Designs, Inc., Case No. D054761.  This was a homeowner’s suit by Alatriste against a defendant landscaper of Cesar’s , where Alatriste sought reimbursement of the $57,500 paid defendant for landscaping work.  Part of the claim was pursuant to Business & Professions Code Section 7031, which allows a party to recover "all compensation paid to an unlicensed contractor."  The trial court’s judgment in favor of the plaintiff was affirmed where: 1) plaintiff’s prior knowledge of defendant’s unlicensed status does not bar his section 7031(b) reimbursement claim; 2) plaintiff is entitled to recover the total amount paid even though defendant was licensed during a portion of the work; and 3) plaintiff is entitled to recover payments for materials retained by him.  Significantly, even though Alatriste knew Cesar’s was unlicensed at the time of entering into the contract, and received the benefit of the bargain by receiving a significant amount of landscaping work and services, Alatriste was still entitled to recover all of the money paid to Cesar’s Exterior due to his being unlicensed at the time.  This is a stern warning to contractors to make sure your contractor’s license is in effect at all times, or risk serious consequences.

Nothing herein should be construed as legal advice or creating any attorney-client relationship. Please consult with an attorney for specific legal advice. Thank you.

All Rights Reserved © 2010 by Michael L. Mau, Esq.

The Mau Law Firm

Blog: http://maulaw.spaces.live.com

Website: www.MauLaw.com

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