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Can I file a lien without filing a prelien?


We are a lumber company that delivered an order to address in Oakland, CA on January 11, 2021. They are disputing the charges on the credit card. Can we file a lien on the property now?

3 replies

Feb 3, 2021
A Preliminary Lien Notice covers materials delivered within twenty days prior to the date of the notice, so a Preliminary Notice would be too late based on a delivery on January 11, 2021. If you are in direct contract with the Owner, i.e., the Owner contracted with you to deliver the lumber, you can still record a Mechanic's Lien on the property. If you are too late to assert your lien rights, you can still file a lawsuit against the contractor to collect on the lumber purchased.
Feb 3, 2021

Hi Kalei,

I agree with Mr. Ginn. It sounds like you sold directly to the owner (assuming "they" in your question refers to your customer/the owner) and you still have time to record a lien based on your January 11, 2021 delivery date. The lien may be premature if the lumber is sitting on the site and not incorporated into the project, but you certainly do not want to wait too long as your deadline to record a lien can come and go quickly. Perhaps a strongly-worded demand letter from a construction attorney might be appropriate to get things going.


Feb 8, 2021
If I competed my scope of work on 12/15/2020 can I file a preliminary lien on the owner even if the home owner listed on there permit is different?

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