Contractor Gets Benched After Failing to Pay Jury Fees

Pencil resting on fee statement

Attorney Garret Murai analyzes TriCoast Builders, Inc. v. Fonnegra

April 11, 2022
Garret Murai - California Construction Law Blog

Trial by jury is a fundamental right under the U.S. and California Constitutions. However, to avail yourself of this right, you not only have to declare that in advance that you intend to try your case to a jury but post jury fees as well. In TriCoast Builders, Inc. v. Fonnegra, a contractor who failed to timely post jury fees, discovered on the day of trial that it waived the right to insist on a jury trial when the defendant pulled an “I gotcha” and waived his right to a jury trial.

The TriCoast Case

In May 2014, Nathaniel Fonnegra house was damaged by fire. The following month, Fonnegra entered into a construction contract with TriCoast Builders, Inc. to repair the property. Dissatisfied with the work, Fonnegra terminated the contract, and TriCoast in turn filed a complaint against Fonnegra for unpaid work.

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