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Do I need to alter a Notice of Furnishing when sending outside the US to Canada?

MichiganPreliminary Notice

Our GC is in Canada - Quebec, but the project is located in the US in Michigan. We are based out of Ohio. Since Zlien cannot mail to Canada, I wondered if the rules are different.

1 reply

Oct 30, 2018
That's a good question! Under § 570.1109(1), a Michigan Notice of Furnishing may be made either personally or by certified mail. Unfortunately, the United States Postal Service does not offer certified mail service outside of the United States. Sending the general contractor notice in some other manner may be effective to put them on notice, but as for the actual text of the lien statute - sending USPS certified mail outside the country is not possible. It's worth noting, though, that sometimes when notice is actually received, courts are more lenient as to whether the exact notice methods were followed. So, when certified mail is not possible, there's a chance that some other method of service whereby the sender can confirm the receipt of notice could be effective. Of course, considering the lien statute explicitly states that a claimant may provide Notice of Furnishing via personal service, the safest method of service may be to personally serve the general contractor. When a contractor has a presence on the project site, it may be easier to serve them, too. Other than mailing, notice should be unaffected by the fact that it's going to a recipient outside of the country.
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