Alabama Bond Claim Guide and FAQs

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Alabama Bond Claim Overview


Preliminary Notice Deadlines
None / not applicable.


Bond Claim Deadlines
Prime contractors cannot file a claim against their own bond.


Preliminary Notice Deadlines
None / not applicable.


Bond Claim Deadlines
45 Days

Must file a Notice of Bond Claim with the surety at least 45 days before filing suit to enforce your rights against a bond. All suits must be filed within 1 year from the "final settlement" of the public works contract


Preliminary Notice Deadlines
None / not applicable.


Bond Claim Deadlines
45 Days

Must file a Notice of Bond Claim with the surety at least 45 days before filing suit to enforce your rights against a bond. All suits must be filed within 1 year from the "final settlement" of the public works contract

Alabama Bond Claim FAQs

Claim FAQs

Who is protected?

In Alabama, parties who furnish labor and/or materials to the general contractor or first-tier sub are protected.  Lower tier subcontractors and suppliers to suppliers may be covered, but it is not specifically delineated by statute.

When is the deadline to file a Lien/Make a claim?

In Alabama, the claimant must provide the surety with written notice of the bond claim at least 45 days prior to starting suit.  Note that suit must be initiated within 1 year of the final settlement of the contract, so the deadline for providing the notice of bond claim to the surety is 45 days prior to 1 year after completion of the work.  It may be advisable, therefore, to provide the bond claim within 45 days after the last furnishing of labor and/or materials to the project by the claimant.

Who should receive the Lien/Claim?

In Alabama, the only party required to receive the bond claim is the surety.  It is likely advisable, however, to also provide a copy of the bond claim to the general contractor, and the contracting public entity.  The contracting public entity will send a certified copy of the bond to the claimant, if requested.

When is the deadline to initiate suit, or, how long is my Lien effective?

In Alabama, a suit to enforce must be initiated more than 45 days, but less than 1 year, after final settlement of the contract (the completion of the project).

What must the Lien/Claim include?

The bond claim provided to the surety must include only the nature of the claimed, and the amount claimed to be due.  To obtain a copy of the bond, the notice of claim to the contracting public entity must include a description of the labor and/or materials furnished, and a statement that payment has not been made.  It may be advisable to also include the identity of the general contractor and some description of the project.

How must the Claim be sent?

An Alabama bond claim must be sent via registered or certified mail.

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Alabama Bond Claim Free Forms

Alabama Bond Claim Form - free from

Alabama Bond Claim Form

Notice of Bond Claim must be filed with the surety at least 45 days before filing a lawsuit to enforce your rights against a bond....

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Notice of Intent to Make Bond Claim Form - free from

Notice of Intent to Make Bond Claim Form

A Notice of Intent to Make Bond Claim is not a required document, but it can be a powerful one. By sending this notice, a...

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Alabama Bond Claim Statutes

When you perform work on a state construction project in Alabama, and are not paid, you can file a “lien” against the project pursuant to Alabama’s Little Miller Act. Since the claim is not against the state or county’s actual property, but instead against a posted bond, the claim is not really called a “lien” but is more frequently referred to as a “bond claim” or “little miller act claim.” Alabama’s Little Miller Act is codified in Title 39 of the Alabama Code, Public Works, Section 39-1-1, and is reproduced below.

Alabama Little Miller Act

Section 39-1-1

Bonds required of persons contracting for public works; commencement, etc., of actions upon bond by persons supplying labor, etc., to contractor; offer to accept judgment; notice of completion of project by contractor and final settlement; applicability.

(a) Any person entering into a contract with an awarding authority in this state for the prosecution of any public works shall, before commencing the work, execute a performance bond, with penalty equal to 100 percent of the amount of the contract price. In addition, another bond, payable to the awarding authority letting the contract, shall be executed in an amount not less than 50 percent of the contract price, with the obligation that the contractor or contractors shall promptly make payments to all persons supplying labor, materials, or supplies for or in the prosecution of the work provided in the contract and for the payment of reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred by successful claimants or plaintiffs in civil actions on the bond.

(b) Any person that has furnished labor, materials, or supplies for or in the prosecution of a public work and payment has not been made may institute a civil action upon the payment bond and have their rights and claims adjudicated in a civil action and judgment entered thereon. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a civil action shall not be instituted on the bond until 45 days after written notice to the surety of the amount claimed to be due and the nature of the claim. The civil action shall be commenced not later than one year from the date of final settlement of the contract. The giving of notice by registered or certified mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the surety at any of its places of business or offices shall be deemed sufficient under this section. In the event the surety or contractor fails to pay the claim in full within 45 days from the mailing of the notice, then the person or persons may recover from the contractor and surety, in addition to the amount of the claim, a reasonable attorney’s fee based on the result, together with interest on the claim from the date of the notice.

(c) Every person having a right of action on the last described bond as provided in this section shall, upon written application to the authority under the direction of whom the work has been prosecuted, indicating that labor, material, foodstuffs, or supplies for the work have been supplied and that payment has not been made, be promptly furnished a certified copy of the additional bond and contract. The claimant may bring a civil action in the claimant’s name on the bond against the contractor and the surety, or either of them, in the county in which the work is to be or has been performed or in any other county where venue is otherwise allowed by law.

(d) In the event a civil action is instituted on the payment bond, at any time more than 15 days before the trial begins, any party may serve upon the adverse party an offer to accept judgment in favor of the offeror or to allow judgment to be entered in favor of the offeree for the money or as otherwise specified in the offer. If within 10 days after the service of the offer, the adverse party serves written notice that the offer is accepted, either party may then file the offer and notice of acceptance together with proof of service and the clerk of the court shall enter judgment. An offer not accepted shall be deemed withdrawn and evidence of the offer shall not be admissible. If the judgment finally obtained by the offeree is less favorable than the offer, the offeree shall pay the reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred by the offeror after the making of the offer. An offer that is made but not accepted does not preclude a subsequent offer. When the liability of one party to another party has been determined by verdict, order, or judgment, but the amount or extent of the liability remains to be determined by further proceedings, any party may make an offer of judgment, which shall have the same effect as an offer made before trial if the offer is made no less than 10 days prior to the commencement of hearings to determine the amount or extent of liability.

(e) This section shall not require the taking of a bond to secure contracts in an amount less than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

(f) The contractor shall, immediately after the completion of the contract, give notice of the completion by an advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation published within the city or county in which the work has been done, for a period of four successive weeks. A final settlement shall not be made upon the contract until the expiration of 30 days after the completion of the notice. Proof of publication of the notice shall be made by the contractor to the authority by whom the contract was made by affidavit of the publisher and a printed copy of the notice published. If no newspaper is published in the county in which the work is done, the notice may be given by posting at the courthouse for 30 days, and proof of same shall be made by the judge of probate, sheriff, and the contractor.

(g) Subsection (f) shall not apply to contractors performing contracts of less than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) in amount. In such cases, the governing body of the contracting agency, to expedite final payment, shall cause notice of final completion of the contract to be published one time in a newspaper of general circulation, published in the county of the contracting agency and shall post notice of final completion on the agency’s bulletin board for one week, and shall require the contractor to certify under oath that all bills have been paid in full. Final settlement with the contractor may be made at any time after the notice has been posted for one entire week.

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