Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>Definition of Completion for filing a lien

Definition of Completion for filing a lien

CaliforniaLien Deadlines

Hi, A GC working on a project sent a letter that due to non-payment it stopped working on the project from date xx/xx/xxxx. The project is 95% completed. No notice of completion or Cessation was filed. After almost 10 months, GC and one of its subs file two liens on the property. The landlord wants the lien removed asap. I understand the time limitation fro filing a lien in California, but can the contractor file mechanic's lien on the basis that the completion has not occurred yet and there are still works needed to get done to complete the project even after such a long delay in filing the mechanic's lien? Thank you.

1 reply

Jul 11, 2018
That's a great question. California actually devotes a section of its civil code to defining what exactly constitutes "completion." Under § 8180(a), "completion" occurs upon any of the following events: "(1) Actual completion of the work of improvement. (2) Occupation or use by the owner accompanied by cessation of labor. (3) Cessation of labor for a continuous period of 60 days. (4) Recordation of a notice of cessation after cessation of labor for a continuous period of 30 days." Note, however, that under § 8180(b), "...if a work of improvement is subject to acceptance by a public entity, completion occurs on acceptance." So, if the improvement is not subject to acceptance by a public entity, a continuous work stoppage for 60 days would be considered "completion" in regards to the deadline for filing a California mechanics lien. Even if a continuous work stoppage has not gone on for 60 days, the project will still be considered complete if (i) the owner occupies or uses the improvement and, at the same time, work is ceased; or (ii) a Notice of Cessation is filed - and a Notice of Cessation may be filed by the owner when there has been a continuous work stoppage for 30 days.
0 people found this helpful