Changes to California Mechanics’ Lien Laws Effective July 1 – Are You Ready?

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On July 1, 2012, pursuant to Senate Bill No. 189 (“SB 189”), all of California’s laws regarding mechanics’ liens, stop notices and payment bonds were revised, renumbered, supplemented and/or replaced. Although some provisions of SB 189 went into effect previously, the majority of the changes and the most significant changes went into effect on July 1.

First, as of July 1, all of the mechanics’ lien laws and related laws were moved from Civil Code Sections 3081.1 through 3267 and replaced with new laws set forth at Civil Code Sections 8000 through 8848 and 9000 to 9566. However, the bulk of the changes are not substantive. Further, there is no need to refile notices that were filed under the old laws since the effectiveness of a notice given or other actions taken on a work of improvement before July 1, 2012, is governed by the applicable law in effect before July 1, 2012, and not SB 189.

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