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E. J. Franks Construction, Inc. v. Sahota

California Court of Appeals, Fifth District

June 5, 2014

E. J. FRANKS CONSTRUCTION, INC., Plaintiff, Cross-defendants and Respondents,
v.
BHUPINDER K. SAHOTA et al., Defendants, Cross-Complainants and Appellants. EDDIE FRANKS et al., Cross-defendants and Respondents.

[CERTIFIED FOR PARTIAL PUBLICATION[*]]

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Merced County No. CU149926. Ronald W. Hansen, Judge.

Page 1124

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1125

COUNSEL

P. Fateh K. Sahota for Defendants, Cross-complainants and Appellants.

Page 1126

Sean P. McLeod for Plaintiff, Cross-defendant and Respondent and for Cross-defendants and Respondents.

OPINION

PEÑA, J.

INTRODUCTION

Edward J. Franks II (Eddie Franks) became a licensed general building contractor in 1995, and operated a sole proprietorship under the name E. J. Franks Construction. During the course of constructing a home for defendants (the Sahotas), Franks incorporated his company under the name E. J. Franks Construction, Inc. (EJFCI). On April 12, 2005, his contractor’s license was reissued to the corporation. The trial court rejected the Sahotas's contention EJFCI was prohibited by Business and Professions Code section 7031[1] from pursuing quantum meruit damages against them because it was an unlicensed contractor at the time the construction contract was entered and, therefore, was not licensed “at all times” during the performance of the contract. (Id., subd. (a).) The Sahotas appeal this ruling and also raise other contentions. In the published portion of this opinion, we hold section 7031 does not apply to the unique situation here because to do so would not advance the statute’s goal of precluding unlicensed contractors from maintaining actions for compensation. We reject the Sahotas’ other contentions in the unpublished portion of the opinion.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On December 6, 2006, EJFCI filed its complaint in the Merced Superior Court, case No. 149926, to foreclose on a mechanic’s lien, and for breach of contract, common counts, and quantum meruit. On or about ...


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