Manny Mechanic is running an auto repair shop but is not registered with the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR). He is actually a pretty good mechanic and has built up a clientele of local people who depend on him to do car repair for low cost. He just hasn’t gotten around to getting licensed. On the other hand, he is not a “shade tree mechanic.” He has an actual shop, with business cards, work orders, etc.
Manny tunes up Carl Customer’s car. Something goes wrong, however, in that Carl feels that the tune-up just has not worked out. Partly because he is a “good guy,” Manny did the work and even released the car back to Carl without getting paid. After calling Carl numerous times demanding his $500 bill, Manny files a small claims action against Carl. Carl defends on the grounds that (1) Manny is not registered with the BAR, and (2) the work is poorly done. How would you rule?
How would you rule?
The correct answer is b, Manny takes nothing.
Even if you feel that the work was indeed done well, the ruling is that Manny takes nothing because he is not registered. A valid BAR registration, if the repairman is in the business of auto repairs, is a prerequisite to getting paid, even if the work is of good quality. [B&PC §9884.16.]