I understand that a traditional mechanic's lien typically doesn't apply to projects on reservations, so I'm not quite sure what steps I need to take in order to be able to potentially file a bond claim in the future.
Jan 21, 2019
That's a great question. As you'd mentioned above, mechanics liens don't attach to Native American lands like they do to other land, which discuss in this article: Do Lien Rights Exist on Native American Land? For projects on land that is not lienable, it's a great idea to utilize payment bonds to secure payment. Unlike Florida public projects which actually require the use of payment bonds, where payment bonds are voluntarily executed, the bond process won't be bound by statute. So, it's likely a good idea to reach out to the prime contractor who provided the bond or the surety in order to clarify exactly how a claim must be made. Generally, sureties will require some notice of claim prior to a claimant's being able to file suit against the bond - and they should be able to clarify what timeframes are in play. But, ultimately, if payment issues persist, it's a fair assumption that suit against the payment bond might eventually become necessary to recover payment. Regardless of what's required, though, it's generally a good idea to send preliminary notice anyway. When preliminary notice is sent, many payment problems can be avoided in the first place. zlien discusses that idea in this article: Why You Should Send Preliminary Notice Even If It’s Not Required.