Can we file a lien in California while still on the project

2 weeks ago

Want to know if we can file a lien on a project that we are still working on in California, or should we be filing a stop notice or threat to lien.,

Additional info about this contractor
Project Role: Subcontractor
Attorney Carlton & Alberola
12 reviews

Under Civil Code section 8414. “A claimant other than a direct contractor may not enforce a lien unless the claimant records a claim of lien within the following times:
(a) After the claimant ceases to provide work.
(b) Before the earlier of the following times:
(1) Ninety days after completion of the work of improvement.
(2) Thirty days after the owner records a notice of completion or cessation.”

So if you a claimant other than a direct contractor (so, a subcontractor) you can threaten to record one if you are not paid, but as long as you are on the job and the work is ongoing, no. You can prepare a lien, serve it on the owner (or GC, if you are not the GC), and let them know it will be recorded in the event you are not paid. If you want to discuss, feel free to call me next week. Thanks, Andrew

Carlton & Alberola and/or Andrew Carlton have not been retained by the recipient of the above comment and, moreover, the above comment does not create an attorney-client relationship. The above is general commentary based on limited and insufficient information. If you wish to obtain legal advice, please contact Andrew Carlton at 949-954-6666 x101, or by email at

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