California provides three statutorily recognized construction payment remedies: (1) mechanics liens; (2) stop payment notices; and (3) payment bond claims. Each is intended to provide payment protections for those who furnish labor, materials and services on a construction project. However, each is also different in important ways.
One of those differences has to do with timing. Specifically, when the statutory payment remedy may be used by a claimant. Stop payment notices can be served at any time during a project even before a claimant has completed its work. However, mechanics liens may only be recorded and payment bond claims may only be made after a claimant has completed or ceased performing its work.
In Precision Framing Systems, Inc. v. Luzuriaga, Case No. E069158 (August 29, 2019), the 4th District Court of Appeal examined whether a subcontractor had prematurely recorded a mechanics lien and, thereby, was prevented from filing a lawsuit to foreclose on its mechanics lien.