There is no dispute that defendants herein meet the first prong of the definition of “contractor”. The dispute centers entirely around the second prong. Defendants assert that they were something less than general contractors, something more than roofing contractors, and thus specialty contractors (and not required to be licensed). Plaintiff asserts that defendants qualify as both general contractors and roofing contractors, and were required to be licensed.

General contractor

A general contractor is a group or individual that contracts with another organization or individual (the owner) for the construction or renovation of a building, road or other structure. A general contractor is defined as such if it is the signatory as the builder of the prime construction contract for the project. A general contractor is responsible for the means and methods to be used in the construction execution of the project in accordance with the contract documents. Said contract documents usually include the contract agreement including budget, the general and special conditions and the plans and specification of the project that are prepared by a design professional. A general contractor usually is responsible for the supplying of all material, labor, equipment, (engineering vehicles and tools) and services necessary for the construction of the project. To do this it is common for the general contractor to subcontract part of the work to other persons and companies that specialize in these types of work. These are called subcontractors.

General contractors conducting work for government agencies are typically referred to as prime contractors. The responsibilities of a prime contractors working under a contract are essentially identical to those outlined above. In many cases, prime contractors will delegate portions of the contract work to subcontractors.

General contractor “sub-types”
In some states, general contractors for real estate construction are broken into a small number of sub-types. In Florida, for example, a residential contractor, is a general contractor, however, he or she is permitted only to oversee, coordinate, and be liable for codes (i.e., act as a general contractor) for structures up to 4 stories in height.

Federal District Court Opinions

FULL CIRCLE DAIRY LLC v. McKINNEY, (M.D.Fla. 11-30-2006) FULL CIRCLE DAIRY LLC Plaintiff, v. RUEL R. McKINNEY, II, and RUEL McKINNEY Defendants. Case No. 3:06-cv-159-J-32MCR. United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Jacksonville Division. November 30, 2006


[fn1] Under the E-Government Act of 2002, this is a written opinion and therefore is available electronically. However, it has been entered only to decide the motions addressed herein and is not intended for official publication or to serve as precedent.

TIMOTHY CORRIGAN, Magistrate Judge

This case is before the Court on cross motions for summary judgment. Plaintiff, Full Circle Dairy LLC (“plaintiff”), filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. (Doc. 68). Defendants, Ruel R. McKinney, II, and Ruel McKinney (“defendants”)[fn2], filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc. 71). Plaintiff responded to defendants’ motion (Doc. 74); defendants responded to plaintiff’s motion (Doc. 80). Plaintiff also filed a reply to defendants’ response to plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 83). The Court heard oral argument on November 7, 2006, the transcript of which is Page 2 incorporated by reference.


The parties submitted a Joint Stipulation of Material Facts (Doc. 69) to facilitate the resolution of the cross motions for summary judgment. Rather than recapitulate the facts and exhibits that comprise the stipulation, the Court incorporates the stipulation by reference.

This dispute arises out of the construction of a multi-million dollar fully functional dairy facility in Madison County, Florida. Under the Agreement between the parties, defendants were required to construct for plaintiff commodity barns, a mechanic’s shop, a fuel depot, a milking center, four barns and two travel lanes. Defendants were not required to clear or excavate the land or install electrical wiring, water lines, plumbing fixtures, telephone lines, air conditioning, heating or ventilation systems. A dispute arose during construction, which resulted in plaintiff terminating the Agreement. This occurred after plaintiff paid defendants approximately 1.4 million dollars for work performed. There is a companion case in Circuit Court in Madison County, Florida, in which defendant Ruel McKinney II seeks to foreclose a $900,000 lien concerning the job at issue here. The parties ask this Court to resolve the issues presented in the cross motions in the hope that it will facilitate a resolution of both actions. Page 3


Summary judgment is proper where “there is no genuine issue as to any material fact” and “the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). “The burden of demonstrating the satisfaction of this standard lies with the movant, who must present pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, that establish the absence of any genuine material, factual dispute.” Branche v. Airtran Airways, Inc., 342 F.3d 1248, 1252-53 (11th Cir. 2003) (internal quotations omitted). An issue is genuine when the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmovant. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249-250 (1986). In determining whether summary judgment is appropriate for either party herein, the Court must draw inferences from the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmovant and resolve all reasonable doubts in that party’s favor. See Centurion Air Cargo, Inc. v. United Parcel Serv. Co., 420 F.3d 1146, 1149 (11th Cir. 2005).