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I have been notified that the pool contractor will be filing for a pre Mechanics Lien due to non payment

CaliforniaConstruction ContractMechanics LienPayment Disputes

We hired a pool designer/builder to complete the installation of a pool and backyard remodel design. We did not allow for sleeves to be in the contract, as we were unclear they were needed, however we did take this information back to the builder once discovered and they agreed via text message to install the said sleeves. They pured concrete without installing the sleeves and are now threatening a mechanics lien on the property due to non payment, as we are attempting to be compensated because we can not go back and place those sleeves as the concrete has been poured. Would the text message from the pool builder be legally binding in California?

1 reply

Mar 5, 2018
Whether or not text messages exchange constitute a contract (or a modification of an existing contract) is not a black and white issue, but the more detailed the text messages were discussing the matter, the better. Courts have largely considered these instances on a case by case basis. Generally, though, if such a communication fulfills all of the requirements of a contract, courts tend to be open to the idea. This at least entails offer, acceptance, and a "meeting of the minds" by both parties. Further, the inclusion of a party's signature on a text may be a key point of contention (and such a signature is always helpful). Hiring a California attorney for further analysis of the circumstances should provide much more insight on the matter. Also, keep in mind that California provides a relatively short time period to foreclose mechanics liens (only 90 days). Once a California lien is filed, there isn't an awful lot of time to resolve the dispute before it escalates to a lien foreclosure suit.
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