Are You Furnishing to a Construction Project in Wyoming?
Then You Should Take a Look at this Post about Securing Mechanic’s Lien Rights in Wyoming!
Here’s everything you didn’t know you should know about securing mechanic’s lien rights on projects in Wyoming.
The Notice to Owner
General contractors, subcontractors & material suppliers, including those furnishing rental equipment, can secure a mechanic’s lien in Wyoming, if the parties take the proper steps.
If you are contracted directly with the owner, the Notice to Owner aka Notice of Right to Lien should be served upon the owner prior to receiving any payment, including advances.
If you are a subcontractor or material supplier, a notice should be served upon the owner & the general contractor within 30 days from first furnishing. The general contractor should provide subcontractors & material suppliers with the name and address of the owner and a legal description of the property.
When claimants serve the preliminary notice, burden is placed on the owner to provide claimants with a copy of the Notice of Completion. The Notice of Completion is important because the mechanic’s lien deadline is calculated based on the earlier of last furnishing or completion.
The Notice of Intent & Mechanic’s Lien
Wyoming is one of several states with a Notice of Intent that should be served prior to the lien filing, essentially making the lien a three-step process.
Claimants should serve the Notice of Intent at least 20 days before filing the lien. The lien deadline is then calculated based on last furnishing or substantial completion, whichever comes first. The deadline is different based on whether you contracted directly with the owner or a subcontractor/material supplier.
- General Contractors: file the lien within 150 days from last furnishing or within 150 days from substantial completion, whichever comes first.
- Subcontractors/Material Suppliers: file the lien within 120 days from last furnishing or within 120 days from substantial completion, whichever comes first.
Once the lien has been filed, a copy of the lien should be served upon the owner within 30 days from the filing date. On commercial projects, Wyoming is a full balance lien state, which means the lien is enforceable for the full claim amount, regardless of payments made by the owner.
Suit & Release
If after filing the lien a claimant remains unpaid, the next action is suit to enforce the lien. Suit should be filed within 180 days from the date of the lien filing.
Once payment has been received, claimants should release their lien within 30 days from satisfaction and serve a copy of the release upon the owner within 30 days.
Bond in Lieu of Lien
Wyoming is one of the many states that allow parties to substitute another form of security for the lien, such as a payment bond.
According to statute “…[A] corporate surety bond, letter of credit, cash or cash equivalent of established value approved by the court having jurisdiction over the lien claim in the county where the lien was filed in an amount equal to one and one-half (1½) times the amount of the lien.”
Lien on Leasehold
Furnishing to tenant situations can be tricky, but Wyoming offers clear guidance. If an improvement is authorized or paid for by the landlord, then a lien would attach to the real property. However, if an improvement is not authorized by the landlord, a lien would attach to the leasehold interest.
Wyoming offers a lien remedy specific to mines, quarries, oil, gas & other wells. These types of improvements are inherently complicated. Frequently, these projects cover multiple parcels and the lien may attach to the real property or an interest in the property. Legal advice is recommended.
If the project falls under the Mines, Quarries, Oil, Gas or Other Wells statute, “The lien claimant may file a lien statement in the office of the county clerk in any county where any part of the land, leasehold, mine, quarry, pipeline or other property to which a lien may attach under this chapter is situated within one hundred eighty (180) days” – Wyo. Stat. Sec. 29-3-106.
This is a state where statute dictates the format of the lien waiver. You can view the document in its entirety by reviewing Wyo. Stat. Sec. 29-10-101. Preliminary notice of right to lien; lien waiver form. But, here’s the “meat” of the waiver.
Note to lien claimant: Signing this form has legal implications. If you have any questions regarding how to complete this form or whether it has been properly completed, you should consult an attorney.
In consideration of the PAYMENT received to date, the undersigned does hereby waive, release, and relinquish any and all claim and/or right of lien against the project and the real property improvements thereto for labor and/or materials furnished for use in construction of the project; provided however, the undersigned reserves all claims and/or rights of lien as to monies withheld as retainage in the amount of $_______________, and any labor and/or materials hereafter furnished for which payment has not yet been made. The undersigned has not been paid the sum of $________________ for work performed and/or materials provided under contract on this project and retains the right to file a lien against the property and pursue any and all actions to recover the full amount due, including any and all equitable claims. The undersigned acknowledges receipt of payment for work performed or materials provided and acknowledges that this waiver may be relied upon by the owner even if the undersigned accepts payment in uncertified funds and such payment is subsequently dishonored or revoked, in which case this lien waiver shall remain in full force and effect. The foregoing waiver shall not apply, however, if payment tendered by the owner is dishonored or revoked.
Also, in Wyoming, lien rights cannot be waived within a contract.
Prompt Pay Statute
Unfortunately, for private projects, Wyoming does not provide specific statute on prompt pay/contingent payment clauses. However, on public projects, prompt pay is governed by Wyo. Stat. § 16-6-601 through Wyo. Stat. § 16-6-602.