Rick Snider and Janan Snider d/b/a RJ Snider Construction, Plaintiffs and Appellees
Dickinson Elks Building, LLC, Defendant and Appellant
from the District Court of Stark County, Southwest Judicial
District, the Honorable William A. Herauf, Judge. REVERSED
T. Foss, Fargo, N.D., for plaintiffs and appellees.
Christopher J. Thompson, West Fargo, N.D., for defendant and
1] Dickinson Elks Building, LLC, appeals from a judgment
awarding Rick and Janan Snider, doing business as RJ Snider
Construction ("RJ Snider"), $198, 255.08 for unjust
enrichment and quantum meruit claims. Dickinson Elks argues
the district court erred by deciding RJ Snider's claims
were not precluded by N.D.C.C. § 43-07-02. We conclude
RJ Snider was not precluded from maintaining its claims;
however, we reverse and remand for the district court to
determine whether any of the damages awarded were for
services and materials provided before RJ Snider was
2] On December 26, 2011, RJ Snider contracted with Granville
Brinkman to furnish materials and labor for construction work
on real property owned by Dickinson Elks. RJ Snider's
principal place of business is located in Washington. On
January 13, 2012, RJ Snider applied for a contractor license
from the North Dakota Secretary of State, and the license was
issued on February 6, 2012.
3] RJ Snider provided services and materials for Dickinson
Elks' property from December 26, 2011, to November 30,
2012. Dickinson Elks paid RJ Snider for all of the services
and materials it provided between December 26, 2011, and
February 1, 2012. RJ Snider billed Dickinson Elks $71, 542.50
for the services and materials it provided from February 2,
2012, through March 14, 2012. Dickinson Elks paid $47, 929.51
of the billed amount but did not pay $23, 612.99. RJ Snider
billed Dickinson Elks $174, 642.10 for the services and
materials it provided from March 15, 2012, until November 30,
2012. Dickinson Elks did not pay any of this amount.
4] In January 2013, RJ Snider recorded a construction lien
for $198, 255.08 against Dickinson Elks' property. In May
2014, Dickinson Elks served RJ Snider with a demand to start
a lawsuit to enforce the lien and record a lis pendens within
30 days of the demand. RJ Snider sued Dickinson Elks in June
2014, seeking foreclosure of the construction lien and a
money judgment for $198, 255.08. RJ Snider recorded a notice
of lis pendens on July 28, 2014.
5] Dickinson Elks moved for summary judgment, arguing RJ
Snider's complaint should be dismissed under N.D.C.C.
§ 43-07-02 because RJ Snider was not a licensed
contractor when it started work on the property. Dickinson
Elks also argued RJ Snider did not have a valid construction
lien, because RJ Snider did not record a lis pendens within
30 days of receiving the demand to enforce the lien. The
district court partially granted the motion and entered a
judgment forfeiting RJ Snider's construction lien because
RJ Snider did not record a lis pendens within 30 days of
receiving Dickinson Elks' demand to enforce the lien as
required under N.D.C.C. § 35-27-25. The court concluded
RJ Snider's claims were not precluded under N.D.C.C.
§ 43-07-02. Dickinson Elks appealed, and this Court
dismissed the appeal because the judgment was not a final,
appealable judgment. Snider v. Dickinson Elks Bldg.,
LLC, 2016 ND 162, ¶ 12, 883 N.W.2d 475.
6] RJ Snider amended its complaint, claiming it was entitled
to a money judgment against Dickinson Elks under the
principles of quantum meruit and unjust enrichment. The
parties stipulated to entry of findings of fact, conclusions
of law, and order for judgment, and also agreed Dickinson
Elks was not waiving any right to appeal by entering into the
stipulation. The parties agreed RJ Snider provided materials
and services for the benefit of Dickinson Elks' property,
it was not paid for the services and materials it provided,
and RJ Snider established it was entitled to a money judgment
against Dickinson Elks in the amount of $198, 255.08 under
the principles of quantum meruit and unjust enrichment.
7] The district court entered findings of fact, conclusions
of law, and order for judgment consistent with the
parties' stipulation. Judgment was entered in favor of RJ
Snider in the amount of $198, 255.08.
8] Dickinson Elks argues the district court erred in
determining RJ Snider's claims were not precluded by
N.D.C.C. § 43-07-02. Dickinson Elks contends N.D.C.C.
§ 43-07-02 requires a contractor be licensed at the time
of contract formation or commencement of work under the
contract to maintain a claim or action related to the work
performed under the contract. Because RJ Snider did not
obtain a license until after it had entered into the contract
and started ...