Unfortunately, construction defects occur far more often than they should in new construction. In an effort to stem the tide of litigation relating to construction defects, the State of California has implemented several pieces of legislation that require potential plaintiffs to follow certain pre-litigation steps in order to be eligible to file an actual lawsuit should a lawsuit remain necessary. The “Calderon process” is an example of pre-litigation steps that are required to be taken by a homeowner’s association prior to filing suit against a developer for construction defects.
The Calderon process was created in the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act, and is now codified as California Civil Code Section 1375 et seq. Section 1375 is lengthy; however, the first paragraph explains the basic purpose of the Calderon process as follows:
“Before an association files a complaint for damages against a builder, developer, or general contractor (“respondent”) of a common interest development based upon a claim for defects in the design or construction of the common interest development, all of the requirements of this section shall be satisfied with respect to the builder, developer, or general contractor.”
Under the applicable statute, the word “Association” is defined as “a nonprofit corporation or unincorporated association created for the purpose of managing a common interest development.”
“Common interest development” includes:
- A community apartment project
- A condominium project
- A planned development
- A stock cooperative
The Calderon process requires a homeowners’ association to serve the potential developer or contractor with a notice informing the developer or contractor that legal proceedings regarding the alleged construction defects will be commenced. The developer or contractor then has 60 days to respond to the Notice. From there, the parties are required to cooperate with an exchange of records as well as with mediation efforts and all other efforts to reach an out of court resolution to the issue.
If the procedures set forth in the Calderon process apply to your potential complaint for construction defects and you fail to comply with the process you may lose your right to pursue the issue through a traditional lawsuit. If, however, you have followed the pre-litigation requirements set forth in the Calderon process and were unable to reach a resolution your case will be ready to proceed to trial shortly after it is filed because of all the pre-trial steps taken in compliance with the Caldron process.
If you believe you or your association suffers from construction defects, contact the experienced construction defect attorneys at Martinez & Schill LLP for a free consultation. 619-512-5995.