In California, one who performs construction labor or provides materials on a construction project obtains a right to file a mechanics lien or a construction lien. The right, however, is not absolute, and if you don’t act fast to file your lien after non-payment….you may wait too long.
Filing Deadline: When Notice of Cessation or Completion is Filed
In one way or another, every construction project comes to an end.
In California, when the end comes, an owner may file one of two instruments to signify the end of the construction project – most importantly, this filing sets a certain start date for when the lien period will begin and end. The two types of instruments are Notices of Cessation and Notices of Completion.
- Notices of Cessation are instruments signed & filed by an owner that stipulates when work has been discontinued on a project.
- Notices of Completion are instruments signed & filed by an owner that stipulates when work has been completed on a project.
When one of these instruments have been filed, a “Claim of Lien” must be filed by Prime Contractors within 60 days of the notice’s filing, and by Subcontractors or Suppliers within 30 days of the notice’s filing.
Filing Deadline: When Notice of Cessation or Completion is Not Filed
In the event a Notice of Cessation or Completion is not filed by the owner, a “Claim of Lien” must be filed within 90 days after completion of the work of the improvement. This time period applies to all parties: prime contractors, subcontractors or material suppliers.