The Business & Professions Code sections on contractors allow the licensing board to take disciplinary action against a contractor for any violation of some prohibitions, but only for willful violation of others.  This case involved one of the latter types of violations—failure to obtain a building permit required for the work that the contractor performed.  This decision holds that in this statutory context, “willful” does not require specific intent, meaning that the licensee intentionally or knowingly decided to disregard and violate the building laws.  Here, the substantial evidence supported the licensing board’s finding of general intent sufficient to constitute a willful violation.  Acco’s project manager made an affirmative decision not to inquire about the permitting requirements, and to proceed with the boiler replacement having no permit.  That conduct constituted a willful disregard of the building laws.

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 5 (Moor, Acting P.J.); November 15, 2018 (published December 13, 2018); 30 Cal. App. 5th 80