Originally published by Matthew DeVries on Best Practices Construction Law blog.
A contractor in North Dakota wasn’t laughing when it was not allowed to pass “Go” and could not immediately collect its $200,000 for work performed. In Snider Construction v. Dickinson Elks Building, LLC, the court held a contractor was not entitled to recover for labor and materials during a time period when the contractor was unlicensed. There, the out-of-state contractor entered into the construction contract on December 26, 2011, but did not get its contractor’s license until February 5, 2012. The contractor later filed a lien for approximately $200,000. The trial court awarded the contractor its claim for damages, and the owner appealed.
On appeal, the owner argued that North Dakota Code requires a contractor be licensed at the time of contract formation or commencement of work under the contract to maintain a claim or action related to the work performed under the contract. Because the contractor did not obtain a license until after it had entered into the contract with the owner and started working on the project, the owner claimed that the contractor barred from bringing any claim.