Jones v. Short
In Jones v. Short, 696 P.2d 665, 667 (Alaska 1985), the plaintiff was a general contractor whose insurer, without his knowledge, failed to renew his registration certificate.
During the lapse in registration, the plaintiff contracted to perform work in violation of the statute.
The Alaska Supreme Court reversed the trial court's grant of summary judgment against Jones, and remanded the case to determine if he had substantially complied with the statute.
In doing so, the court held that substantial compliance with the regulatory statute was sufficient, and stated that the compliance would be considered substantial if it "affords the public the same protection that strict compliance would offer." Id. at 668 n.10.
In Jones v. Short, a contractor filed a petition to establish a mechanic's lien. Id. at 666.
The petition was challenged by the property owner, who demonstrated that the petitioner did not have a valid certificate of registration as required by state law when the contract with defendant was made. Id. at 667. Nevertheless, the contractor had, prior to entering into the contract, done everything necessary to obtain the required certificate, including acquiring public liability and property insurance and a surety bond, and had paid a filing fee, but his insurance agent had failed to procure the necessary insurance certificate for him. The Jones Court held that petitioner was in substantial compliance with the regulatory statute because what the contractor had done afforded the public the same protection that strict compliance would offer. Id. at 668.