As a subcontractor or supplier, it is important to preserve your lien rights by serving a Notice to Owner within 45 days from initial furnishing. If you are a supplier of specially fabricated materials, the Notice to Owner must be served within 45 days from the start of fabrication.
Recently, I represented an owner that received a lien. The Notice to Owner represented an initial furnishing date and a Notice to Owner service date to reflect the Notice to Owner was served within 45 days from initial furnishing. The problem was that the lienor’s initial furnishing date was wrong. It was wrong by a long shot. Not even close! Photographic evidence established that the lienor’s initial furnishing date was many months earlier. This meant the lienor failed to serve its Notice to Owner within 45 days of its initial furnishing date and, thus, failed to properly preserve its lien rights. If the lienor moves to foreclose on its lien, chances are the evidence will prove the lienor never properly preserved such rights and the lien should be dismissed as a matter of law, giving the owner an argument that it should be entitled to attorney’s fees.
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