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Private project State of CA:

California

In California, the preliminary notice must be sent within the 20-day notice period, and actual delivery is not required within the period. The requirement is considered met if properly sent within the period. I have a tracking number but the USPS can't provide details on when certified mail was delivered. Will my lien prevail? What is the statute that says mailing (not delivery) is required?

1 reply

Jun 7, 2018
That's a great question! §8116 of the California Civil Code makes this clear. It states: "Notice under this part is complete and deemed to have been given at the following times: (a) If given by personal delivery, when delivered. (b) If given by mail, when deposited in the mail or with an express service carrier in the manner provided in Section 1013 of the Code of Civil Procedure..." Further, regarding proof that notice was sent, § 8118(b) states, in relevant parts: "(b) If the notice is given by mail, the declaration shall be accompanied by one of the following: (1) Documentation provided by the United States Postal Service showing that payment was made to mail the notice using registered or certified mail, or express mail...(3) A return receipt, delivery confirmation, signature confirmation, tracking record, or other proof of delivery or attempted delivery provided by the United States Postal Service...(4) A tracking record or other documentation provided by an express service carrier showing delivery or attempted delivery of the notice." Further, it's worth noting that while notice must be sent within 20 days of the start of the project, notice sent late is still effective for the 20 days prior to sending notice (and the remainder of the project). For example, if notice is sent on day 30, lien rights would be protected from day 10 through the rest of the project. While such a situation wouldn't be ideal, it's not bad for a "worst case scenario."
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