Incomplete Work

CaliforniaMechanics LienPreliminary Notice

Hello, I am a counter top fabricator/ installer and I haven't been paid for a project thats been going on, its been over 3 months since I was on the job site. There is a kitchen counter top that was cut short and I re-made the piece for the contractor, yet he said he will install it himself so I cannot get into the home. Im guessing its because he doesn't want my clock to restart in order for me to file a lien. Since I am not completed with the job, can I use this against him and file a preliminary lien ? I am a bit confused and trying to find advice on what to do.

2 replies

Oct 31, 2018
I'm sorry you have found yourself in a situation in which you are not being paid for the work you have done.

In California, all potential lien claimants (other than wage laborers) are required to provide a preliminary notice within 20 days of first furnishing labor or materials to the project in order to remain fully protected. If the preliminary notice is sent late it is only effective to protect the ability to file a lien for the value of the labor or material furnished beginning from the date 20 days prior to the date on which the notice was provided.

The deadline for the lien claim itself in California is dependent upon the completion of the project as a whole, not the individual lien claimant's last furnishing of labor or materials. The lien must be filed within 90 days from the completion of the project as a whole, although that time period may be shortened by the filing of notice of completion or cessation.
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