• Important Changes to Mechanics Lien Law Take Effect Today
  • July 11, 2012 | Authors: Christopher J. Menjou; D. Creighton Sebra
  • Law Firm: Morris Polich & Purdy LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • As many of you know, in 2010 Senate Bill 189 was signed into law by Governor Brown, which rephrased and restructured the law pertaining to Mechanics Liens, Stop Notices, bond claims and prompt payment statutes. These sweeping changes, long in the making, take effect today (the actual effective date of July 1, 2012 being a Sunday).

    The new law completely renumbers the Mechanics Liens statutory scheme, establishes new definitions, changes the required forms and provides additional remedies to design professionals. While the full scope of the new statute is too broad a subject for an email update, the following list highlights some of the more important changes:

    • New required forms for Preliminary Notices and Notices of Mechanics Liens
    • New notice requirements for contractors contracting directly with owners
    • New required forms for conditional and unconditional waivers
    • New definition of "completion" for purposes of determining the triggering dates related to liens, Stop Notices and bond claims, which might substantially affect your lien rights
    • New section allowing Design Professionals Liens to be converted into Mechanics Liens
    • New required notices for Stop Payment Notices

    Every owner, developer, contractor and design professional needs to be aware of the changes to the law. In many cases, lien claimants will have to substantially change their procedures to establish and protect their lien rights, as a failure to comply with the new statutes may result in the inadvertent loss of this important security right.