Stockton Construction Dispute Lawyers
Construction Dispute Law in California
When a property owner and a general contractor contract for a construction project to take place on some property in Stockton, California, whether it's a house, some landscaping, or a remodeling project, there is always a chance that something can go wrong. In fact, at least a very minor setback may be more likely than not.
Most often, the owners of land and contractors can end disagreements before they get too serious, thus eliminating the need for litigation. Most contracts governing construction projects have built-in remedies for the most common problems, usually requiring the party that causes a delay or other problem to pay the other party a set fee.
Even if the parties can't easily resolve their disputes, and someone else needs to intervene, that somebody doesn't always need to be a judge or jury. Many construction disagreements call for mediation, during which a neutral third party helps the parties to the dispute negotiate a settlement. They might also go through arbitration, during which a third party renders a binding decision.
Litigation of a Stockton, California construction dispute is never something that anyone wants to do. Nonetheless, there are sometimes no other avenues.
Examples of Construction Disputes That Might Lead to Litigation in Stockton, California
Delays in Construction: Delays are often points of contention between contractors and landowners. Contracts sometimes have clauses which explicitly state that the project needs to be completed by a certain date, or penalties will be imposed on the contractor (reduced payments, for example). However, if the contract doesn't contain such built-in remedies, or one party refuses to abide by them, litigation may be necessary. If a contractor causes a delay that it could have prevented, it will usually be liable to the landowner for any harm resulting from it.
Owner's Refusal to Pay: If the contractor completes the project, and the owner refuses to pay the agreed-upon price, the contractor will usually file a lawsuit to recover what is owed. Of course, the owner will usually claim that there is a good reason for not paying, arguing that the contractor didn't conform to the project's specifications, or that the quality of construction was unacceptably poor. In such a case, the court will have to decide if the contractor actually breached the contract by doing shoddy work, which could, at least in part, excuse the owner's duty to pay.
Subcontractor Disputes: In large projects, contractors often can't handle every aspect of the construction, so they hire other (usually smaller) contractors to do some specialized work for them, such as plumbing, electrical installations, and the like. The general contractor, nonetheless, is responsible to the owner for anything that goes wrong. If a subcontractor messes up, and the owner sues the contractor, the contractor will have to pay. Nonetheless, the contractor can then go after the subcontractor to recover whatever he had to pay.
Mechanic's Liens: A mechanic's lien is a way for a contractor to secure payment if a landowner declines to pay. In such cases, if the contractor sues and wins, he or she can sometimes impose a mechanic's lien on the property he or she just worked on. This allows the contractor to force a sale of the property to cover the judgment. It is usually used when other attempts to secure payment fail.
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Can a Stockton, California Attorney Help?
Disputes over construction delays or defects can be extremely taxing. Therefore, getting an experienced Stockton, California real estate attorney might mean the difference between success or failure in your business ventures.
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Life in Stockton
Stockton is a major inland port city and the seat of San Joaquin County, California. It's position amid Central Valley farmland, Interstate 5 and California State Route 99 make it an ideal hub for transit. Stockton is much more than agriculture and shipping though. A number of telecommunication and manufacturing companies are located in Stockton. The city is also an ideal place for renewable energy companies whom the city has encouraged though economic incentive programs. Much of their focus focuses on developing alternative fuels for agricultural development.
The waterways, plains, and diverse landscape of Stockton makes it an ideal location for movie makers throughout the ages. "Cool Hand Luke," "Dead Man on Campus," "Flubber," "Fat City," as well as "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark" are just a few classics filmed in Stockton. Stockton is a standout city nationally as well. It's received an "All-America City" and National Civic League award twice. The City of Stockton has emphasized safety through community programs and police presence in the past years. The city has also put emphasis on community partnerships like the Downtown Alliance that works to both decrease unemployment rates as well as keep the district busy and vibrant. Sunset Magazine even bestowed "Best Tree City" and "Best of the West Food Fest" awards upon Stockton. The University of the Pacific is located in Stockton with the second largest private university in the state, National University.