Court bans FM Mechanical from doing business in state
NORTH DAKOTA – Following legal action by the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection division, on September 3, 2021, the Cass County District Court banned contractor Steve Mitchell, doing business as FM Mechanical, from doing business in North Dakota after it found he had violated consumer fraud and licensing laws. The Court found that Mitchell was operating without a contractor’s license and performed poor quality work. The Court also determined that Mitchell had violated a May 2020 agreement with the State that required him to refund $8,000 owed to a consumer before he would be eligible to operate as a contractor in the state. Mitchell has not paid that debt. The Court also ordered him to pay $3,982.00 in penalties and costs and restitution to other affected consumers.
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem reminds consumers not to conduct business with unlicensed contractors. “State licensing laws protect the consumer. If you hire an unlicensed contractor, there is a likelihood the contractor will just take your money and not do any of the work,” cautioned Stenehjem.
According to Parrell Grossman, director of the Consumer Protection division, Mitchell has ignored the Attorney General’s instructions and the Court’s previous orders to stop his contractor services. “Consumers should be wary and should not hire FM Mechanical or use Steve Mitchell’s services. Mitchell continues to defy the ban on contracting by doing small jobs in an effort to fly under the radar, but the harm to consumers is very real,” Grossman said.
Contractors doing jobs valued at $4,000 or more must be licensed by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State’s office maintains a searchable registry of currently licensed contractors, available online at https://sos.nd.gov/business/contractors, or by calling (701) 328-2900.