LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Mark Albert Mellor

How Long Do I Have to File a Mechanic's Lien in California?

CALIFORNIA MECHANIC’S LIEN | CONSTRUCTION LIEN

Establishing a mechanic’s lien or stop notice against a customer’s property for non-payment or other dispute can be an effective method of enforcing contractual rights on a public or private project. Most contractors do not clearly understand the hoops they must jump through to perfect the mechanic’s lien. From the 20-day preliminary notice to a property owner, lender and another contractor, to filing a post-lien lawsuit in order to keep the lien valid, This quick video provides a guide to contractors and design professionals through the maze of requirements for mechanic’s liens.

CONTRACTORS AND MECHANIC’S LIENS/STOP NOTICES

While a primary and effective tool for enforcing payment, a mechanic’s lien can be removed if the complex rules and timelines are not followed carefully. You must ensure the mechanic’s lien process on a private or public project is done correctly to prevent its removal. Even if you are a subcontractor, you must properly record and maintain the lien’s validity. In breach of contract and other contractor construction litigation, non-compliance with lien recording is not the only option for recovering what is owed to you.

MECHANIC’S LIENS/STOP NOTICES AND DESIGN PROFESSIONALS

Whether a design has been implemented or not, architects and design engineers may also record liens on a project. When properly executed, a design professional’s lien can effectively prevent projects from moving forward until reasonable payment has been arranged or received.

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