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Simplified Private Work Mechanic Lien And Stop Notice Action Guide For Private Work Of Improvement

Event/Task Date Action Action Completion Date
Project Commencement Date
First Work Performed By Claimant If private works:

Serve preliminary lien notice on general, owner and lender within 20 days of first performing work

If California Public Works Serve preliminary lien notice serve on contractor and public entity
Preliminary Lien Notice Served On owner, general and lender
Notice of Completion Or Cessation Recorded by Owner If General Contractor record lien in County Recorders office and/or serve stop notice within 60 days
If not General Contractor record lien in County Recorders office and/or serve stop notice within 30 days
If No Notice of Completion, Date of Actual Completion File lien/stop notice within 90 days
If payment bond Mail notice to surety and bond principal (by certified mail) within 15 days after Notice of Completion or if a Notice of Completion is recorded then mail notice within 75 days after actual completion
If Mechanic Lien/ Stop Notice filed/served If private works, file lawsuit to foreclose within 90 days. If California Public works within 90 days after period in which stop notices must be served

This table is a simplified overview of the time deadlines for filing a stop notice and/or mechanic lien on a private work of improvement. There are exceptions to the deadlines and applications of the remedy. This chart, © 1999, was prepared by William C. Last, Jr. of Last, Faoro & Whitehorn A Professional Law Corporation. Mr. Last is an attorney who has been specializing in Construction Law for over eighteen years. Mr. Last also holds a California A&B contractors license. If you have any questions Mr. Last can be contacted at  or . This bulletin is published periodically to provide general information about current legal issues. If you have a specific legal question or need legal advice, you should contact an attorney.