In 2009 the Georgia legislature updated the lien law, erasing much of the confusion that surrounded this topic in the past. O.C.G.A. 44-14-361.1 states that the contractor, architect, or material supplier must file his/her lien within 90 days after the completion of the work, the furnishing of the architectural services, or the furnishing or performing of such surveying or engineering services or within 90 days after the material or machinery is furnished. [See 0CGA 44-14-361.1(a)(2)]. Additionally, any confusion as to the computation of time is controlled by O.C.G.A. 1-3-1, which states “Except as otherwise provided by time period computations specifically applying to other laws, when a period of time measured in days, weeks, months, years or other measurements of time except hours is prescribed for the exercise of any privilege or the discharge of any duty, the first day shall not be counted but the last day shall be counted; and, if the last day falls on Saturday or Sunday, the party having such privilege or duty shall have through the following Monday to exercise the privilege or to discharge the duty. When the last day prescribed for such action falls on a public and legal holiday as set forth in Code Section 1-4-1, the party having the privilege or duty shall have through the next business day to exercise the privilege or to discharge the duty. When the period of time prescribed is less than seven days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays shall be excluded in the computation.” [OCGA 1-3-1(c)(3)]. Please take care to file your claim of lien within the time period required in order to properly secure your lien rights.
You should also be aware that “No later than two business days after the date the claim of lien is filed of record, the lien claimant shall sent a true and accurate copy of the claim of lien by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery to the owner of the property or, if the owner’s address cannot be found, the contractor, as the agent of the owner; provided, however, if the property owner is an entity on file with the Secretary of State’s Corporation Division, sending a copy of the claim of lien to the entity’s address or the registered agent’s address shall satisfy this requirement.” [OCGA 44-14-361(a)(2)].
Lastly, in all cases in which a notice of commencement is filed with the Clerk of the Superior Court pursuant to subsection (b) of Code Section 44-14-361.5, a lien claimant shall also send a copy of the claim of lien by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery to the contractor at the address shown on the notice of commencement. [See OCGA 44-14-361(2)].
These steps are just the steps required to properly file a claim of lien. In order to maintain that claim, further steps are required. We will discuss those steps in future articles. As you can see, properly filing a lien claim is quite complex, and best left to professionals.