Is a Federal DC project standardly “fast pay”?

7 months ago

We furnished doors and hardware fora high profile government project and they are a billion dollar GC
who just wants to “settle” for 60% against change orders.
Will the recent order of just a small amount of material($200) protect our lien rights?

Senior Legal Associate Levelset
474 reviews

First, it’s worth mentioning that mechanics lien rights generally won’t be available for federal construction projects or really any project that’s on publicly owned land. Instead, bond claims (also called “Miller Act claims”) are typically available against payment bonds which a GC must provide under the Miller Act.

To determine whether the job is bonded and to get a copy of the bond, it might be helpful to request that information from the GC. Plus, that will put them on notice that a payment claim might be made if full payment isn’t made. But, it’d be natural for a GC to be reluctant in sharing that information.

If a claimant requests a copy of the bond from the public agency or authority who owns the project, though, that public entity must provide a copy of the bond to the party requesting it. So, sending that request should provide ultimate clarity as to whether the job is bonded, and it will make pursuing a Miller Act claim that much easier.

For more information on making a claim against a federal construction project under the Miller Act:

– Miller Act Guide, Forms, & FAQs
– The Miller Act Claims: What You Need to Know to Make a Claim

Will minor work or materials extend timeframes for making a claim?

Any time a claim is based on a last furnishing date, the question arises: How much work must be done to move the deadline back? Generally, the price of the work won’t be the leading indicator. Instead, the type of work or material being provided will generally be much more influential. If the work is important for the performance and completion of the project, then that will usually serve to move the last furnishing date back. But, if it’s minor work like punch list, site clean up, or warranty fixes, then that probably wouldn’t reset the clock.

Further discussion here: I Returned to a Job – Does that Change the Lien Deadlines?

Disclaimer: The information presented here is not legal advice and should not be construed as such. Rather, this content is provided for informational purposes. Do not act on this information as if it is advice. Further, this post does not create any attorney-client relationship. If you do need legal advice, seek the help of a local attorney.
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