BY THE COURT
Kansas Fairness in Private Construction Contract Act, K.S.A.
16-1801 et seq., provides in K.S.A. 16-1806 that the venue
for any action to enforce the Act shall be in the county
where the real property is located. Parties to any
construction contract covered by the Act cannot agree to a
from Johnson District Court; Rhonda K. Mason, judge.
C. Gosch and Lisa L. Martin, of Triplett Woolf Garretson,
LLC, of Wichita, for appellants.
R. Gondring, of Hennessy & Gondring, P.A., of Kansas
City, Missouri, and S. Owen Griffin, of Troppito Miller
Griffin, LLC, of Kansas City, Missouri, for appellee.
Hill, P.J., Leben, J., and Walker, S.J.
an interlocutory appeal of an order denying a change of venue
in a lawsuit arising out of a construction contract for a
project in Johnson County. The subcontractor, Wheatland
Contracting, LLC, sued the contractor, Jaco General
Contractor, Inc., in Johnson County. In response, Jaco moved
to transfer venue to Sedgwick County based on the forum
selection clause in their contract. The district court denied
Jaco's motion because the Kansas Fairness in Private
Construction Contract Act states that venue for any action to
enforce the Act shall be in the county where the real
property is located. The sole question of law for us then,
is, does the Act nullify this contract's choice-of-venue
provision? It does.
provide a context for our decision.
and Wheatland agreed that Wheatland would perform plumbing
and associated trade work on a Kentucky Fried Chicken
restaurant in Johnson County. The contract contained a forum
and venue selection clause that stated: "[T]o the
fullest extent permitted by law, the parties agree and
stipulate that the Eighteenth Judicial District, District
Court, Sedgwick County, Kansas, is the court of exclusive
jurisdiction and venue to determine any dispute between
Contractor and Subcontractor arising out of or relating to
filed a mechanic's lien on the project in Johnson County.
Jaco later substituted a bond for the mechanic's lien,
which the court approved, and the court then discharged the
lien. Wheatland proceeded to make a claim on that bond.
sued in Johnson County District Court, claiming breach of
contract, action on bond, violations of the Act, and quantum
meruit. Jaco moved to dismiss or, in the alternative, to
transfer venue to Sedgwick County. The district court denied
the motion, ruling that despite the venue clause in the
contract, the plain language of K.S.A.16-1806 required the
venue of the suit to be in the county where the project was
granted Jaco's application for interlocutory review.