Architect, Engineer, and Design Professional Liens in California: A Different Animal than the Mechanics’ Lien

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It is important for certified architect, registered professional engineer or licensed land surveyors to realize that they have these rights and to draft their contracts and adjust their procedures to protect these rights to the extent possible.

August 15, 2022
William L. Porter - Porter Law Group

Most in the construction industry are familiar with the rules governing California mechanics’ liens. They know that the Preliminary Notice of Civil Code Section 8034 and 8200-8216 is an important foundational prerequisite document and that the deadline to record a mechanics’ lien is generally triggered by events occurring at the end of construction, including completion of the work of improvement and/or the recording of the notice of completion or notice of cessation. Most of these rules are found in California Civil Code sections 8160-8494.

While architects, engineers and other design professionals are certainly entitled to pursue a mechanics’ lien at the end of a construction project when they are unpaid for their work, unless they also consider the remedy available to them under the California “design professional lien,” they are missing a powerful opportunity to preserve the right to payment only available to architects, engineers, and design professionals.

Mr. Porter may be contacted at bporter@porterlaw.com



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