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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>I am about to send a letter of intent to file a lien. Assuming the owner will wake up and make the payment. However, I have lost time and I have to mobilize my crew, get equipment etc., all of which costs money. Am I entitled to damages caused by delays in payments?

I am about to send a letter of intent to file a lien. Assuming the owner will wake up and make the payment. However, I have lost time and I have to mobilize my crew, get equipment etc., all of which costs money. Am I entitled to damages caused by delays in payments?

CaliforniaPayment Disputes

Not getting paid on an invoice.

1 reply

Oct 29, 2018
I'm sorry to hear about that you're going unpaid, and I hope a Notice of Intent to Lien does the trick! Whether a claimant is "entitled" to certain damages can be tricky - especially in a situation where no lawsuit is actually in play. On one hand, if a dispute eventually went to court, a judge could certainly rule that a claimant's damages, interest, or some other interest is due from the party who failed to make payment. In fact, that's relatively common. On the other hand, when litigation is avoided, it's ultimately up to the negotiation between the parties as to what amounts will be paid (including any damages). Thus, a claimant could certainly demand that damages be paid, and depending on how talks go, those amounts may be included. But, without legal action, it might be hard to force the other party to cover damages. As for a potential lien claim - a California mechanics lien should be limited to the reasonable value of the work provided or the price that was agreed to for the performance of work (minus any payments that have already been made, of course). If a lien claim were eventually enforced through court action, though, the claimant could certainly be entitled to damages, attorney fees, or other expenses depending on how the court rules.
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