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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>I work in the construction industry. I own a Super 10 dump truck as a subcontractor. I have been working with the chat line with supervisor Julie who suggested I ask this question. When I submit a work ticked to the Brokers should I included as a SOP a 20-day Preliminary Notice?

I work in the construction industry. I own a Super 10 dump truck as a subcontractor. I have been working with the chat line with supervisor Julie who suggested I ask this question. When I submit a work ticked to the Brokers should I included as a SOP a 20-day Preliminary Notice?

CaliforniaPreliminary NoticePrompt PaymentRight to Lien

I work in the trucking/construction industry as a subcontractor. I work through Brokers to get my job assignments. They don't pay us/me until they are paid by the contractor who called them for truck(s) to come out to there sites to either remove material or bring material to them at the sites. In other words I will not get paid at all until they are paid first by the contractor that hired them. I want to know if that is legal for them to do it that way AND if I should include as a matter of practice when I submit my work ticket(s) to them a 20-day Preliminary Notice. I am a bit concerned about upsetting the Broker. I'm not sure is they would take offence to me sending this kind of notice.

3 replies

Sep 25, 2018
I'll have to thank Julie for sending you my way! Let's break this down into two ideas, like you did above: (1) When must a contractor make payments? and (2) Preliminary notice requirements. In California, contractors and subs on private projects must make payments in accordance with California Prompt Payment Laws. Under these laws, unless the owner and contractor have agreed to some other arrangement, a property owner must pay their prime contractor within 30 days of receiving an invoice. Then, once that prime contractor receives payment from the property owner, they must pay their subcontractors within 7 days of receiving payment (unless the contractor and sub have agreed to some other arrangement). A party hired by a direct contractor must abide by the same timeframes. Meaning - if a contract between a subcontractor and their sub-subcontractor does not set out a timeframe for payments, the subcontractor must make payment to their sub-subcontractor within 7 days of receiving payment themselves. But, if the contract sets out another timeframe, the timeframe from the contract will apply. When payments aren't made in a timely fashion, interest penalties will apply - but, in order to actually receive any interest, a claimant may have to file suit. More on that idea here: How To Make A Claim Under Prompt Payment Laws. Now, for preliminary notice. As a general matter, it's fair to worry whether exchanging notice would offend a broker, so it might be a good idea to reach out to them beforehand. However, sending preliminary notice is a great way to open up lines of communication with other members of the payment chain, to improve visibility of how payments will make their way through the chain, and finally, sending notice preserves the right to later file a mechanics lien if one becomes necessary. Of course, to preserve the right to lien, that tight must exist in the first place - but California's lien laws apply pretty broadly and afford most parties the right to lien. You can learn more about that here: California Lien and Notice FAQs. Back to notices. In California, notice must be made to the owner, prime contractor, and construction lender (if one is present). Further, preliminary notice should typically be sent by registered or certified mail, by express mail, or by overnight delivery. Personal delivery is also allowable, but there are two potential issues that arise with attempting personal delivery. First, when delivered by hand, it's hard to generate proof that the notice was delivered - and that could be crucial if a payment dispute arises later. Second, notice must still be delivered to (1) the owner, (2) the prime contractor, and (3) the lender (if one is present). So, hand delivering a notice to a contractor could be effective to provide them notice, but the owner and lender would still need notice.
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Jan 5, 2021
Looking for work I owned a super 10
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Jan 27, 2021
Yes
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