The most significant changes to California construction law in decades will become law on July 1, 2012. Owners, builders, developers, design professionals, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and laborers rely on mechanics' liens, stop notices and/or bond claims to preserve their rights to payment. The changes attempt to simplify the legal rules and procedures for utilizing these remedies.
New Definitions, New Rules, New Procedures
Most important, all mechanics' liens, stop notices and bond claims recorded after July 1, 2012 must use the new standardized forms and follow the new definitions, notice prerequisites and statutory release form language. The main substantive changes were meant to make it easier to understand the requirements, standardizing notice requirements and forms, and updating key terminology to reflect actual use of terminology, parties and documents.
Designed to Simplify the Old Statutes
Beyond renumbering, reorganizing and relocating the previous statutes governing mechanics' liens, stop notices and bond claims, many of the changes to the overall scheme are not substantive, and are primarily designed to simplify the old statutes. Thus case law interpreting such language under the old statutes should continue to apply.
The new statutes governing mechanics' liens, stop notices and bond claims can be found in California Civil Code Sections 8000-9566. There are three distinct groups within the statutory scheme:
Contact your Archer Norris lawyer, or Liens, Stop Notices and Bonds Group members Jon Tonsing, Glenn Mau, and Mike McGuire, for additional information or assistance in complying with these important changes to the statutes governing mechanics' liens, stop notices and bond claims.
About the Liens, Stop Notices and Bonds Group
The Archer Norris Liens, Stop Notices and Bonds practice group has many years’ experience working with owners, general contractors, subcontractors, architects, engineers, designers and suppliers in the construction industry and is very familiar with the legal issues. Working in conjunction with our construction and business practices, we provide advice and litigation support to owners, contractors and construction professionals, particularly regarding prosecution and defense of mechanics’ lien claims. We have both challenged and defended mechanics’ lien actions in state courts throughout California.