Lien release

CaliforniaPreliminary Notice

I'm subcontractor in a large job and had a project under contract for 2 million and with change order the job totaled 3 million. The original lien was for 2 million and outstanding debt is 1 million. Will the outstanding debt be covered with the original preliminary notice?

1 reply

May 15, 2023

Civil Code section 8102 requires only a single preliminary notice and the notice "is not invalid by reason of any variance from the requirements of this section if the notice is sufficient to substantially inform the person given notice of the information required by this section and other information required in the notice.”

If you gave a reasonable estimate based on the information you had at the time, an initial preliminary notice shouldn’t be defective just because the amount of work increased beyond the original estimate unless the general contractor or public agency can show substantial prejudice from the amount of your estimate. But if there was no reasonable basis for the estimate in the original preliminary notice, there is a risk that it could be defective. If you are concerned about that risk, you could give another preliminary notice that would run the risk of not covering labor and materials furnished more than 20 days before giving the notice. However, in any case you could still have claims for breach of contract for work furnished more than 20 days before the notice.

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