Baker v. Dolphin Beach Rental (CA1 6/15/10)

A short reminder of the limits of the state’s power.

Dolphin, which manages condos in Rocky Point, contracted with Baker to service their air conditioners. When Dolphin tried to cancel the contract, Baker sued. Under 32-1153, only licensed contractors can sue to recover for services that must be licensed; Baker wasn’t licensed in Mexico, so Dolphin moved to dismiss. The trial court granted the motion.

The Court of Appeals reversed. Arizona has the power to regulate professions and occupations only in Arizona. Its licensing statutes do not apply to other jurisdictions. The court cites an analogous case (Kenyon 1985) regarding work done on the Navajo reservation and, as is this judge’s wont,  a case from another state, this time California. The court points out that this is true even though both parties were Arizona residents and the contract was entered into here, so perhaps that’s where the trial court had gone wrong.

But this raises a serious question we’ve always had: why vacation in a place where you need an air conditioner?