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Ricky Maucione, Inc. v. Chen

A-5858-01T5 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2003) (Unpublished)

CONTRACTORS; CONTRACTS—Where refusal to issue a certificate of occupancy is unrelated to a contractor’s work and the contractor has substantially performed its obligations, it is entitled to be paid.

A contractor sued a homeowner for final payment after the work was complete. The homeowner claimed that the contractor was not entitled to final payment because the municipality had not issued a certificate of occupancy. He also claimed that, included in the charges, was the installation of a basement door that he did not authorize. The lower court found that the contractor was entitled to final payment because the contractor substantially performed its required work and the municipality’s refusal to issue a certificate of occupancy was unrelated to the quality or completeness of the contractor’s work. The lower court also rejected the homeowner’ claim that he did not authorize the extra basement door. It noted that the homeowner’s attorney, in correspondence to the builder, authorized the installation of the door. The Appellate Division affirmed.

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