Lien Filing... The When...

AUGUST 30, 2017

A claim of lien must be filed within 90 days of the last date labor or materials were provided to the project subject to the lien. O.C.G.A. § 44-14-361.1(a)(2). In computing the 90 day period, if the 90th day falls on a weekend or a holiday, the claim of lien must be filed by the last day before the holiday. The prudent thing to do is to provide yourself a time buffer of at least a few days when filing your claim of lien.

For material suppliers: If materials are supplied to a project on an open account, the claim of lien may be filed within 90 days of the last date of delivery of materials to the project, even if the last date of delivery is several months removed from the previous date of delivery. Downtowner of Atlanta v. Dunham-Busch, 120 Ga. App. 342 (1969).

The date that begins the running of the 90 day period is the date of last delivery of materials to the site, not the date of payment for those materials. Atlanta Jewish Community Center, Inc. v. Tom Barrow Co., 130 Ga. App. 608 (1974). When materials are delivered under two separate contracts, the date of delivery of materials under one contract cannot be used as the date of delivery to perfect a lien under the other contract. Cherokee Culvert Co. v. Gurin, 153 Ga. App. 296 (1980).

For the supplier of labor: A provider of labor must file their claim of lien within 90 days of the completion of the work. Completion of work is defined as when the last labor to necessary to finish the job has occurred. Sears, Roebuck and Co. v. Superior Rigging and Erecting Co., 120 Ga. App. 412 (1969); Troup Enterprises v. Mitchell, Carrington & Rayfield, Inc., 199 Ga. App. 173 (1991). Minor installations and additional repair completed within a few weeks of completion of primary contract work has been held to be the last date labor was provided for purposes of filing a claim of lien. Cumberland Bridge Assoc. v. Builders Steel Supply, 169 Ga. App. 945 (1984). The work must be related to the contract regarding which the lien is being filed.

Have you signed a lien waiver? Don't automatically assume you have 90 days to file your claim of lien. If you have signed a lien waiver but haven't been paid for the amount set forth in the lien waiver, you must file an affidavit of nonpayment or claim of lien for the amount owed within 60 days of the date of signing the lien waiver.