Can I Be Required to Mediate, Arbitrate or Litigate a California Construction Dispute in Some Other State?

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The Third Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal has provided the only published opinion that analyzes and applies Section 410.42.

September 19, 2022
William L. Porter - Porter Law Group

It is not uncommon in the construction industry for an out-of-state general contractor to include a provision in a subcontract requiring a California subcontractor to resolve disputes outside the state of California, even though the work is to be performed within California. Fortunately, most California subcontractors are immune from this tactic. California law generally prohibits clauses requiring subcontractors to travel outside California to resolve construction disputes.

California Code of Civil Procedure Section 410.42, [CCP 410.42 Link] renders “void and unenforceable,” any provision in a contract that “purports to require any dispute to be litigated, arbitrated, or otherwise determined outside this state,” so long as the contract is “between the contractor and a subcontractor with principal offices in the state, for the construction of a public or private work of improvement in this state.” Similarly, this law voids any similar contractual term that might prevent the California subcontractor from commencing an action, obtaining a judgment, or resolving its dispute in the courts of California.

Mr. Porter may be contacted at bporter@porterlaw.com



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