Protecting against Mechanics Liens

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  • Mechanics Liens

The mechanics’ lien laws were revised effective July 1, 2012.  They are now located in Civil Code sections 8000 to 8840 and 9000 to 9566.  The roots of today’s mechanic lien laws go back to the California Constitution written in 1850.  A contractor’s “public works” remedies are in the Civil Code 9000 section.  Contractors, laborer’s, architects, supplies of construction materials, have, a series of remedies, including the mechanics lien, the stop notice, the payment bond claim (where available), the prompt payment penalties, and the stop work notice.  New forms and other requirement must be followed.  While we suggest you use a professional, here is a nice summary of the current laws and forms.  https://saclaw.org/wp-content/uploads/SBS_Mechanics_Lien.pdf


  • A Mechanic’s Lien does not attach to the entire property

While a mechanics lien can attach to the entire property, technically, it only attaches to the work of improvement and the land on which it is situated together with a convenient space about the same or so much as may be required for the convenient use and occupation thereof.


Even though a mechanic’s lien can be recorded after the work is completed, the lien relates back to the date the first labor or material was furnished for the work of improvement, and transferees who take an interest in the property after the work began, even before the claim of lien is recorded, take title subject to the lien.  (Forsgren Associates, Inc. v. Pacific Golf Community Development LLC (2010) 182 Cal.App.4th 135, 146)


All reasonable Attorney's Fees on Petition to Expunge Lien. The new law removed the $2,000 limit on the amount of attorney's fees that are recoverable on petitions to expunge stale liens.

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