WA Legal Roundup: Division III
Yay! An administrative law review! These are always so much fun! No really. Alright, alright, so they’re kind of lame. I’ll try to jazz it up a little.
Manina owns an apartment building and he hires AWR (dba Comet Roofing) to reroof it. Comet does the roofing job and Manina refuses to pay. So Comet files a lien against the property.
Manina then turns Comet into the Dept. of Labor & Industries for failing to provide a disclosure statement. RCW 18.27.114(1)(b) requires that contractors provide customers a written disclosure statement when repairing a “commercial building.” Comet contended that the apartment building was not a commercial building and thus they were not required to provide a disclosure statement. WRONG! The ALJ, the Superior Court of Spokane County and now Division III of the Court of Appeals, all say that this apartment building was a commercial building.
Webster says that “commercial” means “having profit as the primary aim.” Did the court ask Gary Coleman what he thought it meant? Well, anyway, since Manina rented the units out for profit=COMMERCIAL. Unfortunately for Comet, if you fail to provide a disclosure statement on a repair of a commercial building, YOU CAN’T FILE A LIEN. Ouch!
Comet made one more attempt to escape the restraints of the statute by arguing that Manina was a contractor and thus the exception to the statute applied. However, the statute defined “contractor” and it did not apply to Manina. I wonder if they asked Webster what a “contractor” was?
And finally, the decision was not arbitrary and capricious and “commercial” and “contractor” are not vague. Comet goes down in flames.