Construction Liens – Service of Documents
How should documents be served under the Florida lien law?
Pursuant to Florida Statutes Section 713.18, service of notices, claims of lien, affidavits, assignments, and other instruments required under Cahpter 713 must be made by one of the following methods:
(a) By actual delivery to the person to be served; if a partnership, to one of the partners; if a corporation, to an officer, director, managing agent, or business agent; or, if a limited liability company, to a member or manager.
(b) By common carrier delivery service or by registered, Global Express Guaranteed, or certified mail, with postage or shipping paid by the sender and with evidence of delivery, which may be in an electronic format.
(c) By posting on the site of the improvement if service as provided by paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) cannot be accomplished.
Service of a notice to owner or a preliminary notice to contractor is effective as of the date of mailing if:
(a) The notice is mailed by registered or certified mail, with postage pre-paid, to the person to be served;
(b) The notice is mailed within 40 days after the date the lienor first furnishes labor, services, or materials; and
(c) The person who served the notice maintains a registered or certified mail log that shows the registered or certified mail number issued by the United States Postal Service, the name and address of the person served, and the date stamp of the United States Postal Service confirming the date of mailing; or the person who served the notice maintains electronic tracking records generated by the United States Postal Service containing the postal tracking number, the name and address of the person served, and verification of the date of receipt by the United States Postal Service.
Service of an instrument pursuant to Section 713.18 is effective on the date of mailing the instrument if it:
1. Is sent to the last address shown in the notice of commencement or any amendment thereto or, in the absence of a notice of commencement, to the last address shown in the building permit application, or to the last known address of the person to be served; and
2. Is returned as being “refused,” “moved, not forwardable,” or “unclaimed,” or is otherwise not delivered or deliverable through no fault of the person serving the item.
If the address shown in the notice of commencement or any amendment to the notice of commencement, or, in the absence of a notice of commencement, in the building permit application, is incomplete for purposes of mailing or delivery, the person serving the item may complete the address and properly format it according to United States Postal Service addressing standards using information obtained from the property appraiser or another public record without affecting the validity of service under this section.
Also, under Section 713.18(4), a notice served by a lienor on one owner or one partner of a partnership owning the real property is deemed notice to all owners and partners.