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Checklist For Construction Liens and Surety Bonds

1. Contractors and Suppliers Contracting Directly with the Owner

Ensure that owner has recorded and posted Notice of Commencement prior to starting work or delivering materials;
Record Claim of Lien in the county where the property is located within 90 days of final furnishing of labor, services or materials;
Serve copy of Claim of lien on owner either before or within 15 days of recording;
Contractors only – serve Final Contractor’s Affidavit at least five days before filing suit;
File suit within one year of recording the Claim of Lien.

Supreme Court Ruling Impacts Contractors

The Supreme Court recently issued a ruling which will impact all contractors doing business with public bodies. In County of Brevard v. Miorelli Engineering, Inc., the Court dealt with a situation where the County contracted with Miorelli to build a spring training facility for the Florida Marlins. After work had commenced on the facility, the County terminated the contract and withheld amounts due to the contractor. Miorelli sued the County, asserting a variety of claims, including a claim for extra work.

Arbitration and Litigation

Arbitration is often referred to as an alternative to litigation. However, they share the same fundamental premise. A third party is responsible for deciding any dispute. In arbitration, the parties present their dispute to an impartial arbitrator who will make a binding decision on the parties. Arbitration takes place as a result of an agreement in the contract between the parties requiring disputes to be submitted to arbitration. Parties may also agree to arbitration after a dispute arises even in the absence of a contract provision.

Procedure for Perfecting Lien Rights

A construction lien is a claimable charge against real property to secure a debt incurred for improvement of the property. Liens can be very valuable legal tools so long as certain procedural requirements have been satisfied. The purpose of the lien law in Florida is to give security to the contractor, subcontractor or material supplier for a debt incurred for furnishing or installing a product where the product itself cannot be retained to secure payment of the debt.