Can I sue for my architect for liquidated damages base on his delay of getting me city permit?

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Can I sue for my architect for liquidated damages base on his delay of getting me city permit?

Can I win even if there was no time frame or written penalties on contract, on the premise of common law and reasonable performance?

Asked on December 21, 2010 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Generally, you can only sue IF there was something in the agreement or contract stating that there was some time frame. It does  not need to be a date certain, would have to be *something,* such as a statement that time is of the essence, or that the architect will use best efforts to get the permit as soon as reasonably possible, etc. If there's nothing in the contract, but there's schedule-related correspondence, estimates, or memos pre-dating the agreement being signed, which could have been material inducements to you to sign with this architect, that may be enough. But if there's nothing at all, it would be very difficult to sue, unless you can essentially show fraud or theft of some kind (e.g. architect took your money and never even began working).


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