A Butte County Superior Court judge dismissed a multi-count felony case against Mr. Jay Soderling for contracting without a license in violation of California Business and Professions Code section 7028.16. The Butte County District Attorney’s Office had charged Mr. Soderling with felony violations for allegedly contracting without a license. However, Mr. Soderling was not an owner, officer, or director of the construction company in question (Aurora Ridge Homes). And the prosecution’s own witness, an investigator from the Contractors State Licensing Board (CSLB) confirmed the law that simply an employee or other representative of a construction company could not be liable for contracting without a license. Rather, that liability, if any, would go to the owners, officers, and directors of the construction company.

          Of equal importance the contractor in question, Aurora Ridge Homes, had valid responsible managing officers (RMOs) for most of the time in question. Under state law, a valid RMO can work under his or her license thereby allowing a construction company without a license to continue working.

          No homeowner or consumer was aggrieved or injured in the case. Rather, this was just another example of government bureaucracy out of control looking to justify their existence. The CSLB and most other licensing boards in California have evolved from oversight agencies whose mission was to protect the consumer to large bureaucracies who act as if they are lawmakers, prosecutors, judges, juries, executioners and social justice warriors to promote their own power and protect and grow their bureaucracies. Or often they pursue their own petty and personal grievances through licensing actions.

Paul Goyette is the founder of Goyette Ruano & Thompson and has taken 54 trials to jury verdict.