Legal Question in Civil Litigation in California

Iím an unlicensed handyman. I made a verbal bid with an attorney to build a fence on his property for $700 labor plus the cost of materials to build the fence. And, the amount for cost of materials would be disclosed on the invoice for completed work. The attorney hired me, I completed the work and invoiced for $700 labor plus $639 for the cost of materials that I paid for out of my pocket. I attached the materials sales tickets to the invoice to support the amount of $639. Now the attorney is trying to avoid payment of the work making statutory citation that an unlicensed contractor can not invoice a job for more than $500 including the cost of materials even though he knowingly hired me for an amount over $500. It appears this person will enjoy free home improvement at my expense. Is there a fraud statute to enable court ruling in my favor for the amount of $1,339 ?

Asked on 9/29/13, 9:11 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

Unlicensed means what you described: you can not sue or collect for more than $500 for your labor. That is the penalty for you 'violating the law' requiring a license to do contracting. You can file a small claims action and try to convince the judge to award the materials costs and the allowable $500.

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Answered on 9/30/13, 1:33 am

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