Yesterday I wrote a short article on why Sending a Colorado Notice of Intent to Lien Requires Planning. The reason? Because it is due before the mechanics lien can be filed, and requires a ten day waiting period.
There is a legal question buried in this discussion, however, that goes unanswered in that article. The question is this: When is the Colorado notice of intent requirement considered completed? Simply put, is the notice of intent to lien requirement achieved upon mailing the notice, or upon the recipient’s actual receipt of the notice?
The time difference between these two events can be pretty vast. In fact, as we’ve talked about in the past on this blog, it is possible that a recipient never receives a document mailed by certified mail as the recipient can simply refuse or not claim the parcel. If the requirement is considered met only after receipt of the mailing this could easily stretch out the 10 day waiting period to something less predictable.
In Colorado, however, concern is not needed for most of these issues. According to strong case law in the state, service of the notice of intent to lien is effected “when the notice is property addressed, registered, and mailed.” There is no requirement in the statute (or in case law) that the notice be actually received in order for it to be effective. See 6S Corp. v. Martinez, 831 P.2d 509 (Colo. App. 1992).
It is critical, however, that the mail piece be “properly addressed, registered and mailed.” If you get the recipient’s address wrong or send the notice to the wrong place, or if you do something as simple as leaving a single penny off the postage.
Do also remember that the Colorado Notice of Intent to Lien can be sent by personal service. In this case, the requirement is only effected upon actual receipt by the receiving party. One could argue, therefore, that it is faster to serve a Colorado Notice of Intent to Lien document by mail, as opposed to personal service.