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Should we send a Cali Prelim to new contacts now that we've found them?

CaliforniaPreliminary Notice

We sent a prelim out in California at the start of a project, but were missing both lender and GC info. Fast forward almost a year, and we now have the GC info, and there are several past due invoices. We are wondering if we should send the notice out the GC now, and if that will give us additional protection here or if that could potentially narrow any lien rights we already have.

1 reply

Apr 24, 2018
That's a tough call. On one hand, if notice has not been sent to the proper parties, an eventual mechanics lien filing could be deemed invalid, and the lien could be challenged and ultimately deemed invalid. Further, even if not challenged, an eventual attempt to enforce the lien might not be fruitful. On the other hand, California notices sent late are effective, but they only protect the prior 20 days of work provided. So sending a revised notice can be dangerous. There's a chance that, by sending a second preliminary notice, the second notice could replace the first, properly sent notice for purposes of establishing lien rights. If that were to take place, only the prior 20 days of work would be protected by the second preliminary notice. Some parties involved in the California construction industry recommend sending a sort of amended preliminary notice in a situation where a claimant wishes to correct prior notice without having the new notice reset the timeframe of work protected by the prelim. However, this seems like a risky proposition considering an amended preliminary notice is not provided for by the California lien statute. Ultimately, it's up to each claimant to weigh the potential outcomes of sending a revised or amended preliminary notice - and that's not always an easy decision. For more on the dangers of sending revised notice, check out this article: Is it OK to Send Revised Preliminary Notices?
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