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socrateaser
socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 39184
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I am a service company - Telecom consulting and am based in

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I am a service company - Telecom consulting and am based in Idaho with my client in Ca.
I have not been paid for services provided now going on 4 months which is absurd, and I don't know how much I can bill for late payment fee (percentage, flat rate, etc.) or whatever you'd call it in Ca. nor do I know whether or not the charge would be based on Idaho Law or CA Law.
There is no clause about which state governs the contract, nor does it provide for penalties or late fees but does clearly say that all billing is payable upon receipt.
Can you tell me what if anything I can charge and what governs my ability to bill this?

Thank You.
Hello,

Under California Civil Code 1646, "A contract is to be interpreted according to the law and usage of the place where it is to be performed; or, if it does not indicate a place of performance, according to the law and usage of the place where it is made."

In Idaho, choice of law is controlled by an Idaho Supreme Court ruling: Seubert Excavators, Inc. v. Anderson Logging Co., 126 Idaho 648 (1995), which holds that "the significant relationship to dispute are place of contracting, place of negotiation of contract, place of performance, location of subject matter of contract, and domicile, residence, nationality, place of incorporation, and place of business of parties." In plain English, an Idaho Court would try to determine where the contract was made, where it was to be performed, where the breach occurred, where the lawsuit was filed, etc., and thereby determine which state' laws should prevail in the dispute.

Whereas in California, the most important factor is where the contract was made -- generally this is deemed to be the place where the last party signs the contract, because it is that party's signature that operates as the contract acceptance, which binds both parties.

Given that background, assuming that Idaho law controls, then ID Stat. 28-22-104 provides prejudgment interest on a written contract, without any express provision, at the rate of 12% simple interest per annum/year. Whereas Cal. Civil Code 3287 provides that prejudgment interest is 10% simple interest per annum/year.

Please let me know if I can clarify my answer or further assist.

Hope this helps.

socrateaser and 7 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi there......I asked a question about potential application of interest on a client's late fees in CA just recently and was advised no go unless in the written contract because the client was in CA. However, I thought you answered an earlier question of mine which should be considered and back on 9/16/2013 (above). This answer compared to yesterday’s now totally confuses me. It does appears that while I am the last signer and in Idaho, where the contract was made, and the work done is also done from Idaho that Idaho law prevails unless I am totally misunderstanding the answer from 9/16. Based on the earlier answer it appears that I may well be able to invoice interest under ID Stat. 28-22-104. There is no other contractual interest stated in the contract, nor is interest mentioned at all and the money due upon receipt is clearly stated in my agreement. How do I submit another inquiry to you directly to answer so not to lose continuity regarding how this may or may not change your answer from yesterday? TY

Open a new Q&A session, put my userid in the first line of your question ("To socrateaser, only"), and then ask the question.

Your question from yesterday did not discuss conflict of law issues -- so, my answer was predicated on the entire contract taking place between California parties.

Thanks for your continued confidence.

Note: Please do not reply to this post. Just open a new Q&A. Once you do, I will close this session, again.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Just did, did you get it?