As many of you construction fans know, Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law Senate Bill 189 (“SB 189”) in 2009. Many may be wondering, “What in the world is this?” Well, the answer is simple: SB 189 is a comprehensive face-lift regarding the filing and enforcement of mechanic’s liens and stop notices. It presents noteworthy and significant changes to the California Mechanic’s Lien Law, and if you are a contractor, subcontractor, or material supplier, it is critical that you recognize and understand SB 189. All of us, of course, will be challenged in our re-learning process. We at “Beyond the Scope” – A Construction Litigation Blog, will be introducing you to those amendments or changes during the next few months so that we all have sufficient time to absorb and understand them prior to the effective date of July 1, 2012.
Two changes have already taken effect as of January 1, 2011:
- The lien claimant must now serve a “Notice of Mechanic’s Lien” on the owner of the property before recording the Mechanic’s Lien. A signed “Proof of Service Affidavit” must also accompany this form. It is critical to note that the County Recorder will reject your Mechanic’s Lien without this Notice.
- The law requires a mandatory recording of a Lis Pendens within twenty (20) days after a Foreclosure of Mechanic’s Lien lawsuit has been filed.
The balance of SB 189 will take effect on July 1, 2012 and basically revokes the existing provisions of Civil Code Section 3082 et seq. and replaces them with Civil Code Section 8000, et seq.
Below are a few name changes that some of you, no doubt, will roll your eyes at and possibly consider highly unnecessary. Nevertheless, they include:
1. The term “Stop Notice” will become “Stop Payment Notice”
2. The term “Original Contractor” will become “Direct Contractor”
3. The term “20-Day Preliminary Notice” will become “Peliminary Notice”
4. The term “Materialmen” will become “Material Supplier”
These are just a few of the many changes to take effect, and I encourage you to stay tuned as more significant information will be forthcoming.
Please also note that in order to prepare for the new 2012 changes, Cummins &White, LLP will be offering a complimentary seminar(s) to its clients, subcontractors and suppliers in early 2012. If you are interested in attending our March 8, 2012 seminar, you may register by clicking here or contact Rene Brookbank at email@example.com with questions.