Aesthetic Property Maintenance, Inc. v. Capital Indemnity Corp

In Aesthetic Property Maintenance, Inc. v. Capital Indemnity Corp., 183 Ariz. 74, 900 P.2d 1210 (1995), a contractor's license was automatically suspended when the contractor failed to renew. 183 Ariz. at 75, 900 P.2d at 1211. The evidence showed that the Registrar of Contractors had erroneously sent the renewal notice to the contractor's old address. Id. The contractor renewed immediately once he became aware of the problem. Id. The supreme court reversed summary judgment against the contractor and held that the contractor could sue for payment on one job completed and one job begun while his license had inadvertently lapsed through no fault of his own. Id., 183 Ariz. at 75, 78, 900 P.2d at 1211, 1214. The court allowed that "substantial compliance is adequate when it satisfies the general policy or purpose of the statute" and it set out factors to determine substantial compliance. Id., 183 Ariz. at 78, 900 P.2d at 1214. The Supreme Court held that a contractor had substantially complied with the statute even though its license had been suspended by operation of law for failure to pay a renewal fee. The contractor's failure to timely pay the fee was caused, in part, by the ROC's failure to send the renewal notice to the correct address, even though the contractor had provided the ROC with its new address. Moreover, the contractor had paid the late fee and had the license reinstated as soon as it learned of the suspension. Furthermore, the contractor had remained financially responsible by keeping current its surety bond, workers' compensation insurance, liability insurance and financial documents. 183 Ariz. at 78, 900 P.2d at 1214.