If you’re a reader of this blog, you can probably guess the answer to this question. If there is a single theme in the mechanics lien and bond claim world, it’s that there are so few rules that carry over and apply in every state. The same is true for state bond claim requirements.
A lot of controllers or credit managers do wonder this question, however, which is why I address it here on the blog. The confusion stems from the US Miller Act, which does apply nationwide.
If you’re furnishing materials or labor to a federal construction project, the rules to make a bond claim are the same state-to-state. All claims are processed under the US Miller Act. A lot of companies make the mistake that all public projects are governed by this act, especially if the company performs a lot of federal work. It’s necessary to segregate between public projects commissioned by the federal government, and those commissioned by state or county governments.
There’s another layer of confusion here, however. The rules governing state and county bond claims are commonly referred to as the “Little Miller Act,” and adopt a large number of provisions and theories from the federal version. In fact, there’s a handful of states that copy the federal statute verbatim.
As a result of the similarity in the statute’s names, and that some states have identical requirements, there’s a nasty rumor in the construction industry that bond claim notice and claim provisions are the same state-to-state. This is a dangerous belief, as the majority of rules contrast each other between states. If you want to learn about the bond claim notice and claim requirements in your state, visit Zlien’s helpful Resources Page, which allows you to select a state and view a chart of all bond claim requirements.