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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>I understand that even if I did not Prelim a project I can send a Notice of Intent to Lien however, how much good will it do me if the General Contractors have already filed law suits against the Subcontractor?

I understand that even if I did not Prelim a project I can send a Notice of Intent to Lien however, how much good will it do me if the General Contractors have already filed law suits against the Subcontractor?

CaliforniaLawsuit

I had asked an earlier question about Small Claims court, but my new concern is... I have contacted all of the General Contractors on the projects that we supplied materials for and have been informed that they are back charging and/or have filed law suites against our Customer. We even had two GC's tell us they kicked our Customer off site and had to sub out their work. I attempted to file against the Bond but was told that there are 3 other claims before me and because I am just a supplier I rank last in the law suit(s). We are owed a balance of $16k from this customer and can only go to small claims for $5,000 or can we do 2 cases at $5,000 each? I know private individuals can file twice in one year. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

1 reply

Nov 9, 2018
Thanks for coming back! I'd mentioned the other recovery options due to the limitations on a potential claim in small claims court. To be sure, individual claims in California small claims court are limited to $5,000 - and a claimant can file up to 2 cases in small claims court that exceed $2,500 in a calendar year. Thus, potentially, a claimant could bring two separate claims in the same calendar year that are both $5,000, regardless of whether the claimant is an individual or business. Of course, it's important to be wary of claim splitting. In California (as well as other states), dividing up a claim into multiple actions merely in order to avoid a monetary limit could result in a claim being denied. If claims can be brought together, they typically should - and when that would result in a claim exceeding $5,000, small claims court might not be the best option. Of course, if the claims are truly separate, multiple claims might be warranted. To get more information on California's claim splitting rules and how they might affect your claim(s), it would be helpful to reach out to a local attorney familiar with litigating in California. They'll be able to assess your situation and your claims and advise on how to proceed. This is especially true considering the cost of consulting a lawyer would pale in comparison to potentially losing out on $16,000.
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