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Can you lien a city owned project?

North DakotaBond ClaimsMechanics LienPayment BondRight to Lien

Doing a job for a contractor. The job is for a city. No problems just want to know for future if you can lien a city or county or state owned project.

1 reply

Jul 17, 2019
Great question, and it's one we get pretty often here at the Expert Center. Generally, publicly owned projects (like state, county, or city projects) are not susceptible to lien claims - public property isn't subject to mechanics liens. Rather, for public jobs, payment bond claims typically provide similar protection to mechanics liens.

When providing work on public jobs, general contractors are generally required to post a surety bond that guarantees all subs and suppliers will be paid on the job. This is done because, as mentioned above, lien claims aren't available to secure a sub or supplier's right to payment. Rather than payment security coming via a right to the property, claimants on public projects have their payment guaranteed by that surety bond (called a "payment bond") which more or less acts like an insurance policy ensuring that claimants will be paid by the company providing the bond if the contractor can't make payment.

I think these resources should be really helpful for you:
(1) North Dakota Bond Claim Guide and FAQs
(2) Construction Payment Bonds – What Contractors and Suppliers Must Know
(3) What’s the Difference Between a Lien Claim and a Bond Claim?
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