How do the requirements of lien filing differ if it’s a public or private job?

The Public Works Act and the Private Works Act, LSA R.S. 38:2241, et seq. and 9:4801, et seq. are the statutory schemes governing lien filing on public and private construction projects.

One basic distinction is the time period for which a lien must be filed on a public and private construction project. On a construction project, a lien must be filed within certain time periods after substantial completion and/or notice of termination of work are reached and/or filed in the mortgage records which the construction project was conducted in. For example, a subcontractor has 45 days from substantial completion/notice of termination of work to file a lien on a public construction project.However, that same subcontractor (or supplier, lessor, prime consultant, or professional sub consultant) may have 30 or 60 days on a private project.

These timelines are variable and differ depending upon the type of claimant and whether the notice of contract on the construction project has been filed. There are different notice, timelines, and filing requirements of general contractors, subcontractors, laborers, materialmen, equipment lessors, suppliers, and professional sub consultants on a construction project.

Another basic distinction is the requirement of the property description. On a public project, a claimant only is required to include the municipal address within the lien. On a private project, the claimant must give a more expansive legal description of the property which the lien is being filed on. This could potentially only include plat, square, and other abbreviated legal property details, but it is more advisable to include the full legal property description within or as an exhibit to the lien.

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