We filed a stop notice for a government job in California. I original amount of the stop notice included retention. The GC wants us to revised the stop notice by removing the retention.
Mar 8, 2019
The amount allowable to be included on a stop notice document in California is provided by § 9352(c) of the California Civil Code as "the amount due the claimant for work provided through the date of the notice." This is the same whether the stop notice is for work done a on public or private work of improvement.
Accordingly, the amount entitled to be included on the stop notice depends on the work performed by the claimant. While California law is not crystal clear on this point, the amount due for work provided through the date of the notice arguably includes retention. Accordingly, if all the work was performed, it seems the total contract amount unpaid may be included on the stop notice. Modifying the stop notice would then be at the discretion of the claimant.
There is nothing in California law that expressly addresses the amendment of a stop payment notice - but, as a practical matter, it can be done and is not that uncommon. As long as the timing provisions are considered, a stop notice may be amended. However, a claimant should be careful with respect to amending the amount included on the stop notice, or amending the stop notice at all in the event that deadlines are approaching. Once the deadline has passed, the document is stuck as-is, or may be rendered invalid if modified.