Materialmen’s Privilege

Under the Louisiana Public Works Act, the definition of “Claimant” includes any person to whom money is due pursuant to a contract with the owner or a contractor or a subcontractor for…furnishing materials or supplies for the construction, alteration, or repair of any public works.

When to File Claim?

Any claimant within forty-five days after the recordation of acceptance of the work by the governing authority or of notice of default of the contractor or subcontractor, file a sworn statement of the amount due him with the governing authority having the work done and record it in the office of the recorder of mortgages for the parish in which the work is done.

Notice Requirements for Materialmen

If a materialman has not been paid by the subcontractor and has not sent notice of nonpayment to the general contractor and the owner, the materialman shall lose his right to file a privilege on the immovable property.  The notice of nonpayment must be mailed to the general contractor and the owner must be deposited in the mail (certified mail) before seventy-five (75) days from the last day of the month in which the material was delivered, regardless of whether the certified mail was actually delivered, refused, or unclaimed satisfies the notice provision hereof or no later than the statutory lien period, whichever comes first.

Fees

If, after amicable demand for payment has been made on the principal and surety and thirty days have elapsed without payment being made, any claimant recovering the full amount of his timely and properly recorded or sworn claim, whether by concursus proceeding or separate suit, shall be allowed ten percent attorney’s fees which shall be taxed in the judgment on the amount recovered.  However, if the trial court finds that an action was brought by a claimant without just cause or in bad faith, the trial court shall award the principal or surety a reasonable amount as attorney’s fees for defending such action.