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what is the required to place a mechanics lien in California? For instance, do you need a signed contract?

CaliforniaMechanics Lien

We have few jobs that currently do not have a contract for. In case those job payments are not received, do we need proof that labor and materials were provided?

1 reply

Oct 10, 2018
That's a good question. First, in California, a written contract is not a prerequisite to filing a mechanics lien. Though, it's worth noting that a written contract could be a requirement by those operating under a state license - plus it's just good practice. Anyway, under § 8416 of the California Civil Code, "A claim of mechanics lien shall be a written statement, signed and verified by the claimant, containing all of the following: (1) A statement of the claimant’s demand after deducting all just credits and offsets. (2) The name of the owner or reputed owner, if known. (3) A general statement of the kind of work furnished by the claimant. (4) The name of the person by whom the claimant was employed or to whom the claimant furnished work. (5) A description of the site sufficient for identification. (6) The claimant’s address. (7) A proof of service affidavit..." The lien claim must also include specific language set out by that section of the Code, and there are some specific requirements regarding the proof of service affidavit. However - a written contract need not be included in a California mechanics lien filing. Rather, the lien must include a description of the work provided and the claimant must verify that the information contained in the lien claim is true. If false information is included, the mechanics lien may be deemed invalid, plus penalties could come into play for a party who files a lien with erroneous information - so be sure that all information is accurate. Finally, it's also worth noting that having a written contract is extremely helpful in the event a lien claim is challenged or otherwise must be supported in court. With no written contract to prove payments owed and work performed, it can be hard to prove that a debt is actually owed and unpaid.
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