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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>We are Structural and Civil Engineers (Pre-Construction Development), are we required to file Prelim Notices in order to file a Design Professional Lien or a Mechanics Lien? If a Prelim Notice is required, who would the required recipients be, i.e. Client, Owner, Lender, Etc..?

We are Structural and Civil Engineers (Pre-Construction Development), are we required to file Prelim Notices in order to file a Design Professional Lien or a Mechanics Lien? If a Prelim Notice is required, who would the required recipients be, i.e. Client, Owner, Lender, Etc..?

CaliforniaDesign ProfessionalPreliminary NoticeRight to Lien

We are Structural and Civil Engineers (Pre-Construction Development), are we required to file Prelim Notices in order to file a Design Professional Lien or a Mechanics Lien? If a Prelim Notice is required, who would the required recipients be, i.e. Client, Owner, Lender, Etc..?

1 reply

May 24, 2019
That's a good question. In California, in order to preserve the right to file a mechanics lien, those who do not have a contract directly with the property owner must send preliminary notice in order to preserve the right to lien. This notice must be sent to the owner, the project's prime contractor, and the lender (if one is present). If hired directly by the property owner, notice must be sent to the lender if one is present - but otherwise, there's no preliminary notice required to preserve the right to file a mechanics lien.

As for a design professional's lien... There is no preliminary notice required in order to preserve the right to file a design professional's lien. However, it's generally a good idea to send notice anyway since that can help to improve communication and fend off payment disputes before they even arise.

While a design professional's lien doesn't require preliminary notice, there is a notice requirement before filing a design professional's lien. Under § 8304 of the California Civil Code, in order to file such a lien a design professional must provide a notice of demand for payment (essentially, a notice similar to a Notice of Intent to Lien) at least 10 days before filing the design professional's lien. That notice must be made upon the property owner, but also sending it to a lender (if present) might be helpful to compel payment, too.

If you have other questions about California's mechanics lien laws, this resource will be valuable: California Lien and Notice Overview.
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