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What is the procedure for a mechanics lien in California?

CaliforniaLien DeadlinesMechanics LienPreliminary Notice

We have a commercial client who refuses to paint the remainder of an invoice, which is $19k. It is a number of storage units. We painted the entire buildings (8) along with doors. They are not satisfied with a few doors that we painted. We offered to apply one more coat. Their solution was to hire someone else and deduct that from what they owe us.

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Nov 7, 2018
California requires all potential lien claimants other than wage laborers to provide a preliminary notice to retain the right to file a valid and enforceable mechanics lien. In order to remain fully protected, the notice must be given within 20 days of first furnishing labor or materials to the project. If the notice is sent after 20 days from first furnishing, it protects the value of the labor or material furnished beginning from the date 20 days prior to the date on which the notice was sent. A party who contracted directly with the property owner, however, only needs to send the preliminary notice to the construction lender on the project, if any.

Additionally, California has strict licensing requirements and parties who must be licensed and are not cannot file a mechanics lien (and can't file suit to be paid, and can be forced to give up what they have been paid already).

If the preliminary notice requirement applies, and has been met, there are other deadlines and requirements that must be considered. A direct contractor's mechanics lien in California must be filed within 90 days from the completion of the work as a whole, or within 60 days from the filing of a notice of completion or cessation if one was filed.

Further, there are specific requirements regarding what information must be included on the mechanics lien document. More infomration can be found here: https://blog.zlien.com/construction-payment/mechanics-lien-california/
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