Legal Question in Construction Law in California

Lien Releases Civil Code 3262 (d)(2)

I have recently been told by a general contractor that lien releases have to be notarized to be valid, but I can't find that language anywhere. I only found that once a check is cashed then it's valid. Am I correct?

Asked on 11/15/06, 7:06 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Gary Redenbacher Redenbacher & Brown, LLP

Re: Lien Releases Civil Code 3262 (d)(2)

The contractor is wrong about needing notarization.

For UNCONDITIONAL releases, the check doesn't even have to clear for the release to be valid. Don't sign an unconditional release, whether for a progress payment or a final payment, unless you have the cash sitting in your hand (or bank).

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Answered on 11/15/06, 7:35 pm

Carl Starrett Law Offices of Carl H. Starrett II

Re: Lien Releases Civil Code 3262 (d)(2)

The releases set forth in Civil Code Section 3262(d) are not lien releases. The are actually releases of your RIGHT to file a mechanic's lien or stop notice. None of those releases require notarization under the law.

The contractor maybe be thinking of a release of a recorded mechanic's lien. If you file a mechanic's lien at the county recorder's office and then receive fully payment, then you must record a notarized release of mechanic's lien.

The language for a release of mechanic's lien must contain specific language and must refer to the document recording number of the mechanic's lien.

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Answered on 11/16/06, 10:59 am

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