Court of Appeals (Div 1) Rules That Prompt Pay Act Does Not Apply To Architects

In RSP Architects v. Five Star Devel’p Resort Communities , the Court ruled that Arizona’s Prompt Pay Statute (A.R.S. 32-1129.01), does not apply to a contract for architectural services.  The prompt pay statute provides a mechanism to protect contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers  from non-payment.  The statute sets forth scheme that governs when payment is due.  For example in a commercial project the owner must make a progress payment within seven days after it approves and certifies a contractor’s pay application.  The statute also sets up a scheme that will deem a contractor’s pay application approved and certified if the owner does not object to the pay application within fourteen days of its receipt.

The Court’s decision rested on the statutory language and article in which the statute is found, which is article 2 of chapter 10, which governs licensing of contractors.  This article specifically exempts its application to architects.   The Court also examined Article 3 of Chapter 10 which expressly addresses architects.  The Court determine that because the legislature demonstrated that it did not intend to include architects within the prompt pay statute.