preliminary notice

8 months ago

What if I sent old form of the preliminary notice without the correct wording and no declaration sheet? Have I lost all my right to file a mechanics lien?

Senior Legal Associate Levelset
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California’s preliminary notice requirements haven’t changed in quite some time. So, keep in mind that unless this issue has spanned several years, an “old” form may well be perfectly sufficient.

Still, a California prelim must include specific information pursuant to California Civil Code § 8102 as well as (1) a general description of the work, (2) an estimate of the price of work, and (3) the statutory language found at § 8202(3). If some required information is not included in the notice, then there’s a chance the notice might not be valid. But, to be sure – there isn’t a statutory or required template for the notice (beyond the specific statutory language mentioned above). And, even if there are some flaws with the notice, there’s a chance it could still be partially or fully effective. Alternatively, sending late notice could still be effective, to some degree.

Regarding the “declaration sheet” – I’ll assume that you’re referring to the proof of notice declaration found at § 8118. And, if that’s the case, the declaration sheet isn’t actually for the recipients of the notice. Rather, it serves as proof that the notice was properly sent. And, when notice is given by mail, it must be accompanied with proof that the document was properly mailed – like documentation from the USPS, an express carrier, a return receipt, tracking records, etc. that prove the notice was properly sent.

Additional California preliminary notice and mechanics lien resources

I hope this information was helpful. For more info on CA’s preliminary notice and mechanics lien requirements, these resources should be valuable:

– The Ultimate Guide to California’s 20-Day Preliminary Notice
–  California Preliminary Notice Guide and FAQs
– California Mechanics Lien Guide and FAQs

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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