Public Works Projects

In this article, we'll explore the different types of construction notices pertinent to public projects, providing guidance to contractors seeking to protect their interests. Note that these are general guidelines and requirements vary from state to state.  If you have specific questions about your state’s regulations, you should consult an attorney.

Preliminary Notice

If you contract with private property owners, no doubt you are familiar with preliminary notices or “pre-lien” notices sent out at the beginning of projects.  But do you need to send them for public projects where the property owner is a public agency?  The answer is yes.  Claimants who do not have a direct contract with the contractor must send out a preliminary notice.  A preliminary notice places the public entity and direct contractor on notice in the event you need to give a stop payment notice or assert a claim against a payment bond.  

California Stop Payment Notice

In cases where payment disputes arise during a public project, suppliers and subcontractors in California have the option to file a stop payment notice. This is not an option for the general contractor. Upon receipt of a stop payment notice, a public agency will withhold from the direct contractor sufficient funds due or to become due to the direct contractor to pay the claim stated in the Stop Payment Notice. 

Payment Bond Claim

Public works projects often require general contractors to secure payment bonds to protect subcontractors and suppliers against non-payment. In the event of non-payment, subcontractors and suppliers can file a claim against the payment bond to recover the amount owed.

Navigating public works projects in California requires contractors to adhere to strict regulations regarding construction notices to ensure timely and proper payment. While the nuances of these notices can be complex, contractors can protect their interests by understanding the requirements and deadlines associated with each type of notice. By staying informed and proactive, contractors can mitigate the risks associated with payment disputes and safeguard their financial interests in public projects.

Easy Law Construction Notices is not a law firm, and nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice. If you are seeking legal advice regarding construction matters, you can contact The Green Law Group, LLP, for a free initial consultation.