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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>I'm in california I was fired from a construction project, at the end of february and was not allowed by the owner back on the job site to remove all of my tools for 15-20 days. So my question is when does my 90 to file actually start? From the day he fired me in an email or the day I was allowed back on the job to remove my belongings?

I'm in california I was fired from a construction project, at the end of february and was not allowed by the owner back on the job site to remove all of my tools for 15-20 days. So my question is when does my 90 to file actually start? From the day he fired me in an email or the day I was allowed back on the job to remove my belongings?

CaliforniaLien DeadlinesMechanics Lien

He owes me $7000 in work that had been completed and refuses to pay as per the contract and payment schedule.

1 reply

May 22, 2019
I'm sorry to hear you had trouble with this job. There are a few things worth considering here. First and foremost - in California, a lien claimant who contracted directly with the property owner must file their claim after the completion of the direct contract, and before 90 days after the completion of the project. Of course, where a contractor is terminated, that would likely serve as the "completion" of their contract.

As far as when that 90 day clock starts ticking - in California, the "completion" date will be deemed the earliest of the following dates (under § 8180(a) of the California Civil Code):

"(1) Actual completion of the work of improvement.
(2) Occupation or use by the owner accompanied by cessation of labor.
(3) Cessation of labor for a continuous period of 60 days.
(4) Recordation of a notice of cessation after cessation of labor for a continuous period of 30 days.
"

So, if there's a point at which the owner has occupied or used the project and work has ceased, that may be considered the completion date. Or, if there is a continuous work stoppage for at least 60 days, then the end of that 60 days may be the completion date. And finally, if the owner happens to file a notice of cessation, then the project might be considered completed 30 days after that filing.

Unlike other states, a California lien claimant's deadline isn't specifically tied to their last date on the job site. Further, it's also worth noting that if the project is ongoing, even if a contractor was fired from the job, the lien deadline will be based off the project's completion date. So, if work has continued, the lien deadline 90-day clock might not have even started yet.

For more information on California Lien and Notice Claims, including things like deadlines and notice requirements, this resource will be valuable: California Lien and Notice Overview.
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