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Can I still File a Lien

OregonLien Deadlines

Hi, I'm a subcontractor and have a difficult client I'm dealing with. My question is if my payment is still protected since our las work day was on 7/30/21. However the project did not pass inspection until last Friday and we returned to complete correction the following day. I'm wondering what day counts as the last day of work. Considering our portion of the project was not completely finished until last Saturday.

1 reply

Oct 26, 2021

The deadline to file a mechanics lien in Oregon is essentially based on two different triggering events, but the key number to keep in mind is 75 days. According to §87.035, a lien must be filed within 75 days of either the claimant's last date of furnishing labor and/or materials to the project, or within 75 days of the completion of the project as a whole; whichever is earlier.

That being said, there is case law from the Supreme Court of Oregon that has held that punch list, remedial work, or corrective work performed after the project is substantially completed will not operate to extend the lien filing deadline. There the court focused on whether the work performed was critical to the project's completion, minor work does not suffice. However, if a formal change order was issued, that may operate to extend the deadline. 

If based on this information, you have missed your lien filing deadline, that doesn't mean you have no avenues for recovery. You still have recourse against your client for claims under Oregon's prompt payment laws, and contractual claims such as breach of contract and/or unjust enrichment. 

Here are some additional resources that may prove useful:

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