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Public School Lien Process

WisconsinPreliminary NoticeRight to Lien

We were hired directly by a public school and we went to send a preliminary notice and found out that's not possible since we're technically the GC in this situation. We just want to make sure that we're not going to miss any timelines in case getting payment becomes a problem later on. Is there anything we should do to ensure payment?

2 replies

Jul 12, 2018
That's a great question, and there's a lot to unpack here. First, when a school is publicly owned, a school construction project will likely not give rise to lien rights. Instead, it will likely be considered a public construction project. On public jobs, the general contractor will typically not have many options in terms of payment security. Whereas lien rights will be available on private projects, public property may not be liened - so on public jobs, bond claims typically provide protection for claimants (on projects where bonding is required). Of course, bond claims only provide protection to claimants down the chain from the prime contractor (as the prime contractor will be the one securing the bond). This is all to say that, for public projects, prime contractors do not have much in the way of protection. This is done relatively intentionally since the public entity will (theoretically) always pay their bills. If payment isn't made, a claimant may ultimately sue the nonpaying public entity for nonpayment. In the event that the project is private and ultimately subject to lien, a prime contractor must provide certain notice to preserve their right to lien under § 779.02 if the prime contractor has contracted with - or will contract with - any subcontractors, suppliers, or service providers. The notice, if required should be either included with the owner or sent to the owner or their agent within 10 days of the first furnishing on the project.
Sep 16, 2019
We are a subcontractor in southern California. We performed work at a public junior high school. The general contractor has not paid us for our services performed on the job and the GC has been paid. What can we do to get paid for our services rendered ? Thanks, Elvis

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