Contractor’s Statutory Compliance Reviewed De Novo

A construction contractor sued a homeowner for labor and materials used in remodeling work. The homeowner defended by claiming the contractor did not comply with the Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act: there was not a signed contract; the contractor did not give the homeowner the required consumer-rights brochure. Those facts were not disputed.

The contractor won a bench trial. The substantive question on appeal was whether the contractor substantially complied with the Act. The Fourth District Illinois Appellate Court used a de novo standard of review. Because the facts were not disputed, the court had to decide only whether the contractor’s actions amounted to substantial compliance with the Act. And “[w]hether there is substantial compliance with a statutory provision is a question of law, and our standard of review is de novo.

The appellate court ultimately ruled that the contractor did substantially comply with the Act. Read the whole case, Behl v. Gingerich, No. 4-08-0974 (12/21/09), by clicking here.