For those who provide construction labor or materials to a public works project in the state of Nevada, the Little Miller Act ensures that payment will be made. Like every other state’s Little Miller Act, Nevada requires that the prime contractor secures a payment bond for the benefit of their subcontractors, suppliers, and other project participants should a payment issue arise on the project. If a qualifying party isn’t paid for their work, they have the right to make a bond claim to recover their payment.
This post will show you step-by-step how to make a payment bond claim in Nevada, to get the money you’ve earned.
Table of Contents
Step 1: Find out if you can make a Nevada payment bond claim
Is a payment bond required on your project?
Under the Nevada Little Miller Act (found in Nevada Revised Statutes §339.015 et. seq.), any publicly funded construction project with a total contract value of $10,000 has a payment bond taken out by the prime contractor. The amount of the bond posted by the prime contractor must be equal to 50% of the total contract price.
Is your work protected under the Nevada Little Miller Act?
In Nevada, the protected parties include anyone who has a direct contract for over $500 with the bonded contractor, or one of their subcontractors. Translated, that means all first-tier and second-tier subs, material suppliers, equipment lessors, architects, and laborers in the first two tiers can make a bond claim. In addition to that, if the work requires a license, the party must be licensed to make a bond claim.
Step 2: Send a preliminary notice
To have the right to make a Nevada bond claim, the claimant must first provide a preliminary notice. It should provide:
- A description of the labor or materials to be provided
- The name and address of the hiring party
- A description of the property being improved
You must send this written notice to the bonded prime contractor within the first 30 days of first furnishing labor or materials to the project by registered or certified mail.
This notice may be sent late, but it will limit the amount of recovery to the labor or materials provided in the 30 days prior to the notice being sent. Failing to provide this notice will bar the party from making a bond claim.
Step 3: Sending a notice of intent
If you do experience slow or non-payment, it may be time to make a bond claim. However, there’s one more thing a claimant can do before making your bond claim. This isn’t necessarily a required step, but this can be an effective way to try and elicit payment before enforcing your bond claim in court. Go ahead and send a Notice of Intent to Make a Bond Claim to both the surety company and the contractor who posted the bond.
Consider this a final warning shot. This notice should state that if payment isn’t made within x amount of days, you are willing to make a claim against the payment bond. This is typically effective to induce payment, since surety companies and contractors alike want to avoid having claims against their bonds at all costs.
Step 4: Make your Nevada bond claim
Who do I need to send the bond claim to?
The only party required by Nevada statute to receive a bond claim is the general contractor who took out the bond on the project. It should be sent to the contractor’s office or personal residence. However, the more people “up-chain” who receive a copy of the bond claim the better. Particularly the surety company, as this will help speed up the process to recover payment.
When do I need to send the bond claim?
To successfully make a payment bond claim, it should be made within 90 days from the last date the claimant furnished labor or materials to the project. The claim should be sent by registered or certified mail. Note, there is one exception to this rule. Anyone working on highway construction projects must send their claim to the Dept. of Transportation within 30 days of final acceptance of the contract.
What do I need to include in the bond claim?
There is no specific format or extensive requirements to make a valid bond claim. The only information specifically required is:
- The amount due under the bond claim
- The name of the person who hired you on the project
But there’s no harm in adding any additional information that may prove helpful. This could include identifying the project or property, and a description of the labor and materials provided to the project.
Another special note for highway construction projects. In addition to the information required above, the bond claim should also include a statement that the claim has yet to be paid, and should be notarized as well.
What’s next? Take these 4 steps after making a bond claim.
If you’ve followed these steps, then congratulations! You’ve successfully made a Nevada bond claim. This is typically enough to get your payment problem the attention it deserves. If the claim alone doesn’t pressure the hiring party to make a payment, you may need to take additional action.
Step 5: Enforce your Nevada bond claim
Hopefully, it hasn’t come to this. But, unfortunately, this is sometimes necessary to get what you’ve earned. The deadline to enforce a payment bond claim in Nevada is 1 year from the last date the claimant furnished labor or materials to the project. If you miss this deadline, then your bond claim will expire, and no longer be enforceable.
So, if that one-year deadline is steadily approaching without a response or payment plan, it may be time to enforce your bond claim. Keep in mind, that this is a full lawsuit. This will cost both time and money to enforce your claim. Before proceeding with this step, we recommend contacting a local construction attorney to help guide you through this process.