Court of Appeals Issues Decision Regarding Second-Tier Subcontractors and Pre-Lien Notice

Judge sitting behind bench (illustration)

The defendant, Cascadia, was the general contractor that planned to build a home on property it owned in Lakewood, Washington.

February 6, 2023
Travis Colburn - Ahlers Cressman & Sleight

Velazquez Framing, LLC (“Velazquez”) v. Cascadia Homes, Inc. (“Cascadia”) is a Court of Appeals, Division 2 case where the primary issue on appeal was whether a second tier subcontractor was required to provide pre-lien notice under RCW 60.04 for its labor.

The defendant, Cascadia, was the general contractor that planned to build a home on property it owned in Lakewood, Washington.[1] High End Construction, LLC (“High End”), submitted a bid to Cascadia for framing work on the home. High End began work on Cascadia’s home, but later subcontracted with Velazquez to complete the framing work.[2] Velazquez did not submit a prelien notice for its work on Cascadia’s home, and Cascadia claimed it was unaware that High End subcontracted with Velazquez for framing at the project.

High End invoiced Cascadia and was paid for its work, but High End never paid Velazquez. Subsequently, Velazquez recorded a lien for both labor and materials, and later filed a complaint to foreclose its lien. Cascadia, due to the fact Velazquez did not provide it with prelien notice, moved for summary judgment, arguing prelien notice was required under RCW 60.04.031(1)[3] and the labor portion of a lien cannot be segregated where a subcontractor’s lien includes both labor and materials. Velazquez argued that no prelien notice was required under RCW 60.04.021[4] and RCW 60.04.031 and claimed that subcontractors can segregate the labor portion from the materials portion. The trial court granted Cascadia’s motion and ruled Velazquez did not fall within one of the exceptions for prelien notice in RCW 60.04.031(2), and therefore, could not enforce the lien. Velazquez appealed.

Mr. Colburn may be contacted at


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