California Laws - Civil Code
EFFECT OF THE 1872 CODES (23-23.6)
DIVISION 4. GENERAL PROVISIONS

TITLE 3. PUBLIC WORK OF IMPROVEMENT (17376)(1-click HTML)
CHAPTER 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS (17377)(1-click HTML)
Article 1. Application of Title (9000) (17378)(1-click HTML)

9000. This title applies to a work of improvement contracted for by a public entity. (17379)

Article 2. Claimants (9100) (17380)(1-click HTML)

9100. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), any of the following persons that have not been paid in full may give a stop payment notice to the public entity or assert a claim against a payment bond: (17381)

(1) A person that provides work for a public works contract, if the work is authorized by a direct contractor, subcontractor, architect, project manager, or other person having charge of all or part of the public works contract. (17382)

(2) A laborer. (17383)

(3) A person described in Section 4107.7 of the Public Contract Code. (17384)

(b) A direct contractor may not give a stop payment notice or assert a claim against a payment bond under this title. (17385)

CHAPTER 2. COMPLETION (9200-9208) (17386)(1-click HTML)

9200. For the purpose of this title, completion of a work of improvement occurs at the earliest of the following times: (17387)

(a) Acceptance of the work of improvement by the public entity. (17388)

(b) Cessation of labor on the work of improvement for a continuous period of 60 days. This subdivision does not apply to a contract awarded under the State Contract Act, Part 2 (commencing with Section 10100) of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code. (17389)

9202. (a) A public entity may record a notice of cessation if there has been a continuous cessation of labor for at least 30 days prior to the recordation that continues through the date of the recordation. (17390)

(b) The notice shall be signed and verified by the public entity or its agent. (17391)

(c) The notice shall comply with the requirements of Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 8100) of Title 1, and shall also include all of the following information: (17392)

(1) The date on or about which the labor ceased. (17393)

(2) A statement that the cessation has continued until the recordation of the notice. (17394)

9204. (a) A public entity may record a notice of completion on or within 15 days after the date of completion of a work of improvement. (17395)

(b) The notice shall be signed and verified by the public entity or its agent. (17396)

(c) The notice shall comply with the requirements of Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 8100) of Title 1, and shall also include the date of completion. An erroneous statement of the date of completion does not affect the effectiveness of the notice if the true date of completion is 15 days or less before the date of recordation of the notice. (17397)

9208. A notice of completion in otherwise proper form, verified and containing the information required by this title shall be accepted by the recorder for recording and is deemed duly recorded without acknowledgment. (17398)

CHAPTER 3. PRELIMINARY NOTICE (9300-9306) (17399)(1-click HTML)

9300. (a) Except as otherwise provided by statute, before giving a stop payment notice or asserting a claim against a payment bond, a claimant shall give preliminary notice to the following persons: (17400)

(1) The public entity. (17401)

(2) The direct contractor to which the claimant provides work. (17402)

(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a): (17403)

(1) A laborer is not required to give preliminary notice. (17404)

(2) A claimant that has a direct contractual relationship with a direct contractor is not required to give preliminary notice. (17405)

(c) Compliance with this section is a necessary prerequisite to the validity of a stop payment notice under this title. (17406)

(d) Compliance with this section or with Section 9562 is a necessary prerequisite to the validity of a claim against a payment bond under this title. (17407)

9302. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), preliminary notice shall be given in compliance with the requirements of Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 8100) of Title 1. (17408)

(b) If the public works contract is for work constructed by the Department of Public Works or the Department of General Services of the state, preliminary notice to the public entity shall be given to the disbursing officer of the department constructing the work. (17409)

9303. The preliminary notice shall comply with the requirements of Section 8102, and shall also include: (17410)

(a) A general description of the work to be provided. (17411)

(b) An estimate of the total price of the work provided and to be provided. (17412)

9304. A claimant may give a stop payment notice or assert a claim against a payment bond only for work provided within 20 days before giving preliminary notice and at any time thereafter. (17413)

9306. If the contract of any subcontractor on a particular work of improvement provides for payment to the subcontractor of more than four hundred dollars ($400), the failure of that subcontractor, licensed under the Contractors' State License Law (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 7000) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code), to give the notice provided for in this chapter, constitutes grounds for disciplinary action under the Contractors' State License Law. (17414)

CHAPTER 4. STOP PAYMENT NOTICE (17415)(1-click HTML)
Article 1. General Provisions (9350-9364) (17416)(1-click HTML)

9350. The rights of all persons furnishing work pursuant to a public works contract, with respect to any fund for payment of construction costs, are governed exclusively by this chapter, and no person may assert any legal or equitable right with respect to that fund, other than a right created by direct written contract between the person and the person holding the fund, except pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. (17417)

9352. (a) A stop payment notice shall comply with the requirements of Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 8100) of Title 1, and shall be signed and verified by the claimant. (17418)

(b) The notice shall include a general description of work to be provided, and an estimate of the total amount in value of the work to be provided. (17419)

(c) The amount claimed in the notice may include only the amount due the claimant for work provided through the date of the notice. (17420)

9354. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), a stop payment notice shall be given in compliance with the requirements of Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 8100) of Title 1. (17421)

(b) A stop payment notice shall be given to the public entity by giving the notice to the following person: (17422)

(1) In the case of a public works contract of the state, the director of the department that awarded the contract. (17423)

(2) In the case of a public works contract of a public entity other than the state, the office of the controller, auditor, or other public disbursing officer whose duty it is to make payment pursuant to the contract, or the commissioners, managers, trustees, officers, board of supervisors, board of trustees, common council, or other body by which the contract was awarded. (17424)

9356. A stop payment notice is not effective unless given before the expiration of whichever of the following time periods is applicable: (17425)

(a) If a notice of completion, acceptance, or cessation is recorded, 30 days after that recordation. (17426)

(b) If a notice of completion, acceptance, or cessation is not recorded, 90 days after cessation or completion. (17427)

9358. (a) The public entity shall, on receipt of a stop payment notice, withhold from the direct contractor sufficient funds due or to become due to the direct contractor to pay the claim stated in the stop payment notice and to provide for the public entity's reasonable cost of any litigation pursuant to the stop payment notice. (17428)

(b) The public entity may satisfy its duty under this section by refusing to release funds held in escrow under Section 10263 or 22300 of the Public Contract Code. (17429)

9360. (a) This chapter does not prohibit payment of funds to a direct contractor or a direct contractor's assignee if a stop payment notice is not received before the disbursing officer actually surrenders possession of the funds. (17430)

(b) This chapter does not prohibit payment of any amount due to a direct contractor or a direct contractor's assignee in excess of the amount necessary to pay the total amount of all claims stated in stop payment notices received by the public entity at the time of payment plus any interest and court costs that might reasonably be anticipated in connection with the claims. (17431)

9362. (a) Not later than 10 days after each of the following events, the public entity shall give notice to a claimant that has given a stop payment notice of the time within which an action to enforce payment of the claim stated in the stop payment notice must be commenced: (17432)

(1) Completion of a public works contract, whether by acceptance or cessation. (17433)

(2) Recordation of a notice of cessation or completion. (17434)

(b) The notice shall comply with the requirements of Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 8100) of Title 1. (17435)

(c) A public entity need not give notice under this section unless the claimant has paid the public entity ten dollars ($10) at the time of giving the stop payment notice. (17436)

9364. (a) A public entity may, in its discretion, permit the direct contractor to give the public entity a release bond. The bond shall be executed by an admitted surety insurer, in an amount equal to 125 percent of the claim stated in the stop payment notice, conditioned for the payment of any amount the claimant recovers in an action on the claim, together with court costs if the claimant prevails. (17437)

(b) On receipt of a release bond, the public entity shall not withhold funds from the direct contractor pursuant to the stop payment notice. (17438)

(c) The surety on a release bond is jointly and severally liable to the claimant with the sureties on any payment bond given under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 9550). (17439)

Article 2. Summary Proceeding for Release of Funds (9400-9414) (17440)(1-click HTML)

9400. A direct contractor may obtain release of funds withheld pursuant to a stop payment notice under the summary proceeding provided in this article on any of the following grounds: (17441)

(a) The claim on which the notice is based is not a type for which a stop payment notice is authorized under this chapter. (17442)

(b) The claimant is not a person authorized under Section 9100 to give a stop payment notice. (17443)

(c) The amount of the claim stated in the stop payment notice is excessive. (17444)

(d) There is no basis for the claim stated in the stop payment notice. (17445)

9402. The direct contractor shall serve on the public entity an affidavit, together with a copy of the affidavit, in compliance with the requirements of Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 8100) of Title 1, that includes all of the following information: (17446)

(a) An allegation of the grounds for release of the funds and a statement of the facts supporting the allegation. (17447)

(b) A demand for the release of all or the portion of the funds that are alleged to be withheld improperly or in an excessive amount. (17448)

(c) A statement of the address of the contractor within the state for the purpose of permitting service by mail on the contractor of any notice or document. (17449)

9404. The public entity shall serve on the claimant a copy of the direct contractor's affidavit, together with a notice stating that the public entity will release the funds withheld, or the portion of the funds demanded, unless the claimant serves on the public entity a counteraffidavit on or before the time stated in the notice. The time stated in the notice shall be not less than 10 days nor more than 20 days after service on the claimant of the copy of the affidavit. The notice shall comply with the requirements of Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 8100) of Title 1. (17450)

9406. (a) A claimant that contests the direct contractor's affidavit shall serve on the public entity a counteraffidavit alleging the details of the claim and describing the specific basis on which the claimant contests or rebuts the allegations of the contractor's affidavit. The counteraffidavit shall be served within the time stated in the public entity's notice, together with proof of service of a copy of the counteraffidavit on the direct contractor. The service of the counteraffidavit on the public entity and the copy of the affidavit on the direct contractor shall comply with the requirements of Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 8100) of Title 1. (17451)

(b) If no counteraffidavit with proof of service is served on the public entity within the time stated in the public entity's notice, the public entity shall immediately release the funds, or the portion of the funds demanded by the affidavit, without further notice to the claimant, and the public entity is not liable in any manner for their release. (17452)

(c) The public entity is not responsible for the validity of an affidavit or counteraffidavit under this article. (17453)

9408. (a) If a counteraffidavit, together with proof of service, is served under Section 9406, either the direct contractor or the claimant may commence an action for a declaration of the rights of the parties. (17454)

(b) After commencement of the action, either the direct contractor or the claimant may move the court for a determination of rights under the affidavit and counteraffidavit. The party making the motion shall give not less than five days' notice of the hearing to the public entity and to the other party. (17455)

(c) The notice of hearing shall comply with the requirements of Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 8100) of Title 1. Notwithstanding Section 8116, when notice of the hearing is made by mail, the notice is complete on the fifth day following deposit of the notice in the mail. (17456)

(d) The court shall hear the motion within 15 days after the date of the motion, unless the court continues the hearing for good cause. (17457)

9410. (a) The affidavit and counteraffidavit shall be filed with the court by the public entity and shall constitute the pleadings, subject to the power of the court to permit an amendment in the interest of justice. The affidavit of the direct contractor shall be deemed controverted by the counteraffidavit of the claimant, and both shall be received in evidence. (17458)

(b) At the hearing, the direct contractor has the burden of proof. (17459)

9412. (a) No findings are required in a summary proceeding under this article. (17460)

(b) If at the hearing no evidence other than the affidavit and counteraffidavit is offered, the court may, if satisfied that sufficient facts are shown, make a determination on the basis of the affidavit and counteraffidavit. If the court is not satisfied that sufficient facts are shown, the court shall order the hearing continued for production of other evidence, oral or documentary, or the filing of other affidavits and counteraffidavits. (17461)

(c) At the conclusion of the hearing, the court shall make an order determining whether the demand for release is allowed. The court's order is determinative of the right of the claimant to have funds further withheld by the public entity. (17462)

(d) The direct contractor shall serve a copy of the court's order on the public entity in compliance with the requirements of Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 8100) of Title 1. (17463)

9414. A determination in a summary proceeding under this article is not res judicata with respect to a right of action by the claimant against either the principal or surety on a payment bond or with respect to a right of action against a party personally liable to the claimant. (17464)

Article 3. Distribution of Funds Withheld (9450-9456) (17465)(1-click HTML)

9450. If funds withheld pursuant to a stop payment notice are insufficient to pay in full the claims of all persons who have given a stop payment notice, the funds shall be distributed among the claimants in the ratio that the claim of each bears to the aggregate of all claims for which a stop payment notice is given, without regard to the order in which the notices were given or enforcement actions were commenced. (17466)

9452. Nothing in this chapter impairs the right of a claimant to recover from the direct contractor or the contractor's sureties in an action on a payment bond under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 9550) any deficit that remains unpaid after the distribution under Section 9450. (17467)

9454. A person that willfully gives a false stop payment notice to the public entity or that willfully includes in the notice work not provided for the public works contract for which the stop payment notice is given forfeits all right to participate in the distribution under Section 9450. (17468)

9456. (a) A stop payment notice takes priority over an assignment by a direct contractor of any amount due or to become due pursuant to a public works contract, including contract changes, whether made before or after the giving of a stop payment notice, and the assignment has no effect on the rights of the claimant. (17469)

(b) Any garnishment of an amount due or to become due pursuant to a public works contract by a creditor of a direct contractor under Article 8 (commencing with Section 708.710) of Chapter 6 of Division 2 of Title 9 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure and any statutory lien on that amount is subordinate to the rights of a claimant. (17470)

Article 4. Enforcement of Payment of Claim Stated in Stop Payment Notice (9500-9510) (17471)(1-click HTML)

9500. (a) A claimant may not enforce payment of the claim stated in a stop payment notice unless the claimant has complied with all of the following conditions: (17472)

(1) The claimant has given preliminary notice to the extent required by Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 9300). (17473)

(2) The claimant has given the stop payment notice within the time provided in Section 9356. (17474)

(b) The claim filing procedures of Part 3 (commencing with Section 900) of Division 3.6 of Title 1 of the Government Code do not apply to an action under this article. (17475)

9502. (a) The claimant shall commence an action against the public entity and the direct contractor to enforce payment of the claim stated in a stop payment notice at any time after 10 days from the date the claimant gives the stop payment notice. (17476)

(b) The claimant shall commence an action against the public entity and the direct contractor to enforce payment of the claim stated in a stop payment notice not later than 90 days after expiration of the time within which a stop payment notice must be given. (17477)

(c) An action under this section may not be brought to trial or judgment entered before expiration of the time provided in subdivision (b). (17478)

(d) If a claimant does not commence an action to enforce payment of the claim stated in a stop payment notice within the time provided in subdivision (b), the notice ceases to be effective and the public entity shall release funds withheld pursuant to the notice. (17479)

9504. Within five days after commencement of an action to enforce payment of the claim stated in a stop payment notice, the claimant shall give notice of commencement of the action to the public entity in the same manner that a stop payment notice is given. (17480)

9506. If more than one claimant has given a stop payment notice: (17481)

(a) Any number of claimants may join in the same enforcement action. (17482)

(b) If claimants commence separate actions, the court that first acquires jurisdiction may order the actions consolidated. (17483)

(c) On request of the public entity, the court shall require that all claimants be impleaded in one action and shall adjudicate the rights of all parties in the action. (17484)

9508. Notwithstanding Section 583.420 of the Code of Civil Procedure, if an action to enforce payment of the claim stated in a stop payment notice is not brought to trial within two years after commencement of the action, the court may in its discretion dismiss the action for want of prosecution. (17485)

9510. A stop payment notice ceases to be effective, and the public entity shall release funds withheld, in either of the following circumstances: (17486)

(a) An action to enforce payment of the claim stated in the stop payment notice is dismissed, unless expressly stated to be without prejudice. (17487)

(b) Judgment in an action to enforce payment of the claim stated in the stop payment notice is against the claimant. (17488)

  

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