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Mechanic’s Lien–Who and How to Serve

 In Mechanic’s Lien Law Changes and News for California, Mechanic’s Lien Law Updates and News

After preparing and recording your mechanic’s lien, one of the questions is how service should be perfected and who should receive a copy. Here are some general points to remember.

In almost all cases, the service is done by certified mail on the owner. If you are a subcontractor, the mechanic’s Lien is served in similar fashion to the general contractor as well.

Very few states require actual personal service of the mechanic’s lien. Simply call our office for a free consultation we will make sure you are not within one of those states.

But a frequent question is whether service should be made on other persons. There is no legal impediment to doing so, and you would certainly not be liable for any form of defamation. You are simply sending out a true and correct copy of a recordable document.

In many cases it is a good idea to also serve copies of the mechanic’s lien on other persons or entities, including a title/escrow company or realtor if the property is about to be sold, authorized representatives of the owner or general contractor, a construction manager, design professional who oversees the project, or other persons that might be instrumental in getting you paid.

But for full enforceability, also consider sending a demand letter along with the mechanic’s lien. In that letter give the story of what is happened thus far, including dates, performances, change orders, your position as to disputes, etc. This is because the owner in many cases does not know the true facts and is simply getting secondhand information from others. Also include copies of your last unpaid invoices.

That way you can reap fall enforceability benefits from your mechanic’s lien.