Judicial Council of Cal. v. Jacobs Facilities, Inc.Annotate this Case
The Judicial Council of California, (JCC) entered into a contract with Jacobs Facilities, a wholly owned subsidiary of Jacobs. Performance of the contract required a license under the Contractors’ State License Law. Facilities was properly licensed when it commenced work. Later, Jacobs, as part of a corporate reorganization, transferred the employees responsible for the JCC contract to another subsidiary and caused the new subsidiary to obtain a contractor’s license, while permitting the Facilities license to expire. Facilities remained the signatory on the JCC contract until a year later, when the parties entered into an assignment to the new, licensed subsidiary. JCC sued under Bus. & Prof. Code 7031(b), which requires an unlicensed contractor to disgorge its compensation. Defendants contended that Facilities had “internally” assigned the contract to the new subsidiary prior to expiration of its license; JCC ratified the internal assignment when it consented to the assignment to the new subsidiary; and Facilities had “substantially complied” with the law. After the jury found for defendants on the other defenses, the substantial compliance issue was not decidedd. The court of appeal reversed, concluding Facilities violated the statute when it continued to act as the contracting party after its license expired, and remanded for a hearing on substantial compliance.