Connecticut Bond Claim (Little Miller Act) Overview

It’s easy to file and manage your Connecticut bond claims with zlien, the industry’s only all-in-one bond claim and security rights management platform. Get complete control over your bond claim rights on a state, county, or municipal project, by using intelligent technology. To learn more about Connecticut’s bond claim laws and requirements, read the frequently asked questions below.

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Connecticut

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
None / not applicable.

Connecticut

Bond Claim Deadlines
None / not applicable.

Connecticut

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
None, but you may want to consider sending a request for the bond information.

Connecticut

Bond Claim Deadlines
180 Days

If unpaid, must serve a "Notice of Claim" on the surety and the prime contractor within 180 days from your last furnishing of materials and/or labor to the project. If the payment due is retainage, the "Notice of Claim" for the retainge payment is not due until 180 days after the prime contractor applied for payment of said retainage. Suit to enforce claim must be brought within 1 year from your last furnishing of labor and/or materials to the project, except with respect to retainage, which may be brought within 1 year from the date payment of such retainage was due.

Connecticut

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
None, but you may want to consider sending a request for the bond information.

Connecticut

Bond Claim Deadlines
180 Days

If unpaid, must serve a "Notice of Claim" on the surety and the prime contractor within 180 days from your last furnishing of materials and/or labor to the project. If the payment due is retainage, the "Notice of Claim" for the retainge payment is not due until 180 days after the prime contractor applied for payment of said retainage. Suit to enforce claim must be brought within 1 year from your last furnishing of labor and/or materials to the project, except with respect to retainage, which may be brought within 1 year from the date payment of such retainage was due.

Connecticut Bond Claim (Little Miller Act) FAQs

Connecticut Bond Claim FAQs

Who Is Protected under Connecticut Bond Claim Laws?

There are two types of protection available to unpaid parties on public projects in Connecticut depending on your role in the project – a bond claim/claim on the contract funds, and a claim against the state.

Bond Claim/Contract Funds: In Connecticut, parties who furnish labor and/or materials (including rental materials) to the general contractor or first-tier subcontractor are protected. Suppliers to suppliers and third tier or lower subcontractors are not covered.

Claim Against State: General contractors if unpaid by the contracting public entity.

When is the Deadline to File a Connecticut Bond Claim?

Bond Claim/Contract Funds: The deadline for making a bond claim/claim on contract funds in Connecticut depends on whether or not the amount due to the claimant was included in the general’s submission to the contracting public entity (or the subcontractor’s submission to the general if claimant was hired by a sub). If the amount due to the claimant was included in the submission the claim must be received more than 60, but less than 180, days after the payment date for the labor and/or materials furnished by the claimant. If the amount due to the claimant was not included in the submission, the claim must be received more than 60, but less than 180, days after the claimant’s last furnishing or labor and/or materials to the project.

Claim Against State: A claim against the state must be initiated after the earlier of the execution of the contract or commencement of work, but earlier than the earlier of either 2 years after acceptance of the work by the public agency or 2 years after termination of the contract.

Who Should Receive the Connecticut Bond Claim?

Bond Claims: The claim must be provided to the surety and to the general contractor named as principal in the bond.

Claim Against State: The claim must be provided to the agency head of the public entity department administering the contract.

When is the Deadline to Initiate Suit, or, How Long is My Connecticut Bond Claim Effective?

In Connecticut, an action to enforce a bond claim must be filed in the superior court for the judicial district where the contract was to be performed, within one year after the last date that materials were supplied or any work was performed by the claimant. An exception exists that any suit solely seeking payment for retainage, must be initiated within one year from the date payment of such retainage was due.

What Must the Connecticut Bond Claim Include?

Bond Claim: A Connecticut bond claim must include the amount claimed, the name of the party who hired the claimant, and a detailed description of the project. It may also be advisable to include a description of the labor and/or material furnished, and an identification of the contracting public entity and the general contractor (if the claimant was hired by a sub).

Claim Against State: A claim against the state must include notice of each claim made under the contract and the base for each claim. Further, as outlined by Connecticut case law, but not specifically by statute, the claim should include a statement of the claimant’s intent to pursue a claim for damages in court or through arbitration.

What Are the Lien Waiver Rules?

Connecticut does not have statutory lien waiver forms, and therefore, you can use any lien waiver forms. Since lien waivers are unregulated, be careful when reviewing and signing lien waivers. See this article: Should You Sign That Lien Waiver?. Connecticut state law is unclear or silent about whether contractors and suppliers can waive their lien rights before any work on the project begins. Accordingly, you want to proceed with caution on this subject. You can learn more about such “no lien clauses” at this article: Where Can You Waive Your Lien Rights Before Payment?

Can Suppliers to Suppliers File Bond Claims?

No, suppliers to suppliers likely cannot file a bond claim in Connecticut.

How Must the Connecticut Bond Claim Be Sent?

Bond Claim/Contract funds: The claim must be sent via registered or certified mail, or by any other manner by which civil process is served.

Claim Against State: Connecticut does not specifically provide the manner in which a claim against the state must be “given” to the head of the contracting public entity. It may be advisable, therefore, to deliver the claim via a method that provides proof of receipt.

Connecticut Public Project Preliminary Notice FAQs

Do I Need to Send a Connecticut Preliminary Notice?

It depends.

Bond Claim/Contract Funds: Parties who remain unpaid 30 days after their hiring party is paid for the work the claimant provided must provide notice to the hiring party. Failure of the hiring party to pay within 10 days of receiving the notice may result in 1% interest per month being added to the amount due. If requested in the writing, the hiring party must also place the funds in an interest bearing escrow account – failure to do so may result in the hiring party being held liable for the claimant’s attorney’s fees.

Claims Against State: N/A

When do I Need to Send a Connecticut Preliminary Notice?

Bond Claim/Contract Funds: The preliminary notice must be received more than 30 days after the hiring party receives payment for the labor and/or materials furnished by the claimant.

Claim Against State: N/A.

What if I Send the Connecticut Preliminary Notice Late?

Bond Claim/Contract Funds: Notice cannot be late unless given after the time has passed for suit to be initiated.

Claims Against State: N/A.

How Should the Connecticut Preliminary Notice be Sent?

Bond Claim/Contract Funds: Preliminary notice must be sent via registered or certified mail.

Claim Against State: N/A.

To Whom Must the Connecticut Preliminary Notice be Given?

Bond Claim/Contract Funds: Preliminary notice must be given to the party that hired the claimant. If the claimant was hired by a subcontractor, it may be advisable to also provide a copy of the notice to the general contractor.

Claim Against State: N/A.

Connecticut Bond Claim (Little Miller Act) Statutes

When you perform work on a state construction project in Connecticut, and are not paid, you can file a “lien” against the project pursuant to Connecticut’s Little Miller Act. Since the claim is not against the state or county’s actual property, but instead against a posted bond, the claim is not really called a “lien” but is more frequently referred to as a “bond claim” or “little miller act claim.”

Connecticut’s Little Miller Act is found in Connecticut General Statutes, Title 49, Chapter 847, §§ 49-41 – 49-43, and is reproduced below.

Connecticut Little Miller Act

Sec. 49-41. Public buildings and public works. Bonds for protection of employees and materialmen. Performance bonds. Limits on use of owner-controlled insurance programs.

(a) Each contract exceeding one hundred thousand dollars in amount for the construction, alteration or repair of any public building or public work of the state or a municipality shall include a provision that the person to perform the contract shall furnish to the state or municipality on or before the award date, a bond in the amount of the contract which shall be binding upon the award of the contract to that person, with a surety or sureties satisfactory to the officer awarding the contract, for the protection of persons supplying labor or materials in the prosecution of the work provided for in the contract for the use of each such person, provided no such bond shall be required to be furnished (1) in relation to any general bid in which the total estimated cost of labor and materials under the contract with respect to which such general bid is submitted is less than fifty thousand dollars, (2) in relation to any sub-bid in which the total estimated cost of labor and materials under the contract with respect to which such sub-bid is submitted is less than fifty thousand dollars, or (3) in relation to any general bid or sub-bid submitted by a consultant, as defined in section 4b-55. Any such bond furnished shall have as principal the name of the person awarded the contract.

(b) Nothing in this section or sections 49-41a to 49-43, inclusive, shall be construed to limit the authority of any contracting officer to require a performance bond or other security in addition to the bond referred to in subsection (a) of this section, except that no such officer shall require a performance bond in relation to any general bid in which the total estimated cost of labor and materials under the contract with respect to which such general bid is submitted is less than twenty-five thousand dollars or in relation to any sub-bid in which the total estimated cost of labor and materials under the contract with respect to which such sub-bid is submitted is less than fifty thousand dollars.

(c) No contract for the construction, alteration or repair of any public building or public work of the state or a municipality that requires a person to supply the state or municipality with a bond may include a provision that requires the person to obtain the bond from a specific surety, agent, broker or producer. No contracting officer may require that a bond be obtained from a specific surety, agent, broker or producer.

(d) In the event that any political subdivision of the state enters into a contract described in subsection (a) of this section and fails to obtain delivery from the contractor of the bond required by this section, any person who has not been paid by the contractor for labor or materials supplied in the performance of work under the contract shall have the same legal right of action against such political subdivision of the state as such person would have had against a surety under the provisions of section 49-42. Nothing in this section shall be construed to extend liability to the state for any person’s right to payment or constitute a waiver of the state’s sovereign immunity.

(e) (1) As used in this subsection, “owner-controlled insurance program” means an insurance procurement program under which a principal provides and consolidates insurance coverage for one or more contractors on one or more construction projects.

(2) No contract for the construction, alteration or repair of any public building or public work of the state or a municipality may include a provision that allows or requires the state or municipality to maintain an owner-controlled insurance program, except for (A) a project approved pursuant to section 10a-109e, or (B) one or more municipal projects totaling one hundred million dollars or more (i) under the supervision of one construction manager, or (ii) located within the boundaries of a municipality if under the supervision of more than one construction manager.

(3) Each contract or policy of insurance issued under an owner-controlled insurance program pursuant to this subsection shall provide that:

(A) Coverage for work performed and materials furnished shall continue from the completion of the work until the date all causes of action are barred under any applicable statute of limitations.

(B) Any notice of a change in coverage under the contract or policy or of a cancellation or refusal to renew the coverage under the contract or policy shall be provided to the principal and all contractors covered under the program.

(C) The effective date of a (i) change in coverage under the contract or policy shall be at least thirty days after the date the principal and contractors receive the notice of change in coverage as required under subparagraph (B) of this subdivision, and (ii) cancellation or refusal to renew shall be at least sixty days after the principal and contractors receive the notice of change in coverage as required under subparagraph (B) of this subdivision.

(4) Each principal or contractor shall disclose in the project plans or specifications at the time the principal or contractor is soliciting bids for the construction project that the project will be covered by an owner-controlled insurance program.

Sec. 49-41a. Enforcement of payment by general contractor to subcontractor and by subcontractor to his subcontractors.

(a) When any public work is awarded by a contract for which a payment bond is required by section 49-41, the contract for the public work shall contain the following provisions: (1) A requirement that the general contractor, within thirty days after payment to the contractor by the state or a municipality, pay any amounts due any subcontractor, whether for labor performed or materials furnished, when the labor or materials have been included in a requisition submitted by the contractor and paid by the state or a municipality; (2) a requirement that the general contractor shall include in each of its subcontracts a provision requiring each subcontractor to pay any amounts due any of its subcontractors, whether for labor performed or materials furnished, within thirty days after such subcontractor receives a payment from the general contractor which encompasses labor or materials furnished by such subcontractor.

(b) If payment is not made by the general contractor or any of its subcontractors in accordance with such requirements, the subcontractor shall set forth his claim against the general contractor and the subcontractor of a subcontractor shall set forth its claim against the subcontractor through notice by registered or certified mail. Ten days after the receipt of that notice, the general contractor shall be liable to its subcontractor, and the subcontractor shall be liable to its subcontractor, for interest on the amount due and owing at the rate of one per cent per month. In addition, the general contractor, upon written demand of its subcontractor, or the subcontractor, upon written demand of its subcontractor, shall be required to place funds in the amount of the claim, plus interest of one per cent, in an interest-bearing escrow account in a bank in this state, provided the general contractor or subcontractor may refuse to place the funds in escrow on the grounds that the subcontractor has not substantially performed the work according to the terms of his or its employment. In the event that such general contractor or subcontractor refuses to place such funds in escrow, and the party making a claim against it under this section is found to have substantially performed its work in accordance with the terms of its employment in any arbitration or litigation to determine the validity of such claim, then such general contractor or subcontractor shall pay the attorney’s fees of such party.

(c) No payment may be withheld from a subcontractor for work performed because of a dispute between the general contractor and another contractor or subcontractor.

(d) This section shall not be construed to prohibit progress payments prior to final payment of the contract and is applicable to all subcontractors for material or labor whether they have contracted directly with the general contractor or with some other subcontractor on the work.

Sec. 49-41b. Release of payments on construction projects.

When any public work is awarded by a contract for which a payment bond is required by section 49-41 and such contract contains a provision requiring the general or prime contractor under such contract to furnish a performance bond in the full amount of the contract price, the following shall apply:

(1) In the case of a contract advertised by the state Department of Public Works or any other state agency, except as specified in subdivision (2) of this section, (A) the awarding authority shall not withhold more than ten per cent from any periodic or final payment which is otherwise properly due to the general or prime contractor under the terms of such contract and (B) any such general or prime contractor shall not withhold from any subcontractor more than (i) ten per cent from any periodic or final payment which is otherwise due to the subcontractor or (ii) the amount withheld by the awarding authority from such general or prime contractor under subparagraph (A) of this subdivision, whichever is less. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subdivision (1), the awarding authority shall establish an early release program with respect to periodic payments by general or prime contractors to subcontractors.

(2) In the case of a contract advertised by the state Department of Transportation, (A) the department shall not withhold more than two and one-half per cent from any periodic or final payment which is otherwise properly due to the general or prime contractor under the terms of such contract, and (B) any such general or prime contractor shall not withhold more than two and one-half per cent from any periodic or final payment which is otherwise due to any subcontractor.

(3) If the awarding authority is a municipality, (A) it shall not withhold more than five per cent from any periodic or final payment which is otherwise properly due to the general or prime contractor under the terms of such contract, and (B) any such general or prime contractor shall not withhold more than five per cent from any periodic or final payment which is otherwise due to any subcontractor.

Sec. 49-41c. State contractor to make payment to subcontractor within thirty days.

Any person contracting with the state shall make payment to any subcontractor employed by such contractor within thirty days of payment by the state to the contractor for any work performed or, in the case of any contract entered into on or after October 1, 1986, for materials furnished by such subcontractor, provided such contractor may withhold such payment if such contractor has a bona fide reason for such withholding and if such contractor notifies the affected subcontractor, in writing, of his reasons for withholding such payment and provides the state board, commission, department, office, institution, council or other agency through which such contractor had made the contract, with a copy of the notice, within such thirty-day period.

Sec. 49-42. Enforcement of right to payment on bond. Suit on bond, procedure and judgment.

(a) Any person who performed work or supplied materials for which a requisition was submitted to, or for which an estimate was prepared by, the awarding authority and who does not receive full payment for such work or materials within sixty days of the applicable payment date provided for in subsection (a) of section 49-41a, or any person who supplied materials or performed subcontracting work not included on a requisition or estimate who has not received full payment for such materials or work within sixty days after the date such materials were supplied or such work was performed, may enforce such person’s right to payment under the bond by serving a notice of claim on the surety that issued the bond and a copy of such notice to the contractor named as principal in the bond not later than one hundred eighty days after the last date any such materials were supplied or any such work was performed by the claimant. For the payment of retainage, as defined in section 42-158i, such notice shall be served not later than one hundred eighty days after the applicable payment date provided for in subsection (a) of section 49-41a. The notice of claim shall state with substantial accuracy the amount claimed and the name of the party for whom the work was performed or to whom the materials were supplied, and shall provide a detailed description of the bonded project for which the work or materials were provided. If the content of a notice prepared in accordance with subsection (b) of section 49-41a complies with the requirements of this section, a copy of such notice, served not later than one hundred eighty days after the date provided for in this section upon the surety that issued the bond and upon the contractor named as principal in the bond, shall satisfy the notice requirements of this section. Not later than ninety days after service of the notice of claim, the surety shall make payment under the bond and satisfy the claim, or any portion of the claim which is not subject to a good faith dispute, and shall serve a notice on the claimant denying liability for any unpaid portion of the claim. The notices required under this section shall be served by registered or certified mail, postage prepaid in envelopes addressed to any office at which the surety, principal or claimant conducts business, or in any manner in which civil process may be served. If the surety denies liability on the claim, or any portion thereof, the claimant may bring action upon the payment bond in the Superior Court for such sums and prosecute the action to final execution and judgment. An action to recover on a payment bond under this section shall be privileged with respect to assignment for trial. The court shall not consolidate for trial any action brought under this section with any other action brought on the same bond unless the court finds that a substantial portion of the evidence to be adduced, other than the fact that the claims sought to be consolidated arise under the same general contract, is common to such actions and that consolidation will not result in excessive delays to any claimant whose action was instituted at a time significantly prior to the motion to consolidate. In any such proceeding, the court judgment shall award the prevailing party the costs for bringing such proceeding and allow interest at the rate of interest specified in the labor or materials contract under which the claim arises or, if no such interest rate is specified, at the rate of interest as provided in section 37-3a upon the amount recovered, computed from the date of service of the notice of claim, provided, for any portion of the claim which the court finds was due and payable after the date of service of the notice of claim, such interest shall be computed from the date such portion became due and payable. The court judgment may award reasonable attorneys fees to either party if upon reviewing the entire record, it appears that either the original claim, the surety’s denial of liability, or the defense interposed to the claim is without substantial basis in fact or law. Any person having direct contractual relationship with a subcontractor but no contractual relationship express or implied with the contractor furnishing the payment bond shall have a right of action upon the payment bond upon giving written notice of claim as provided in this section.

(b) Every suit instituted under this section shall be brought in the name of the person suing, in the superior court for the judicial district where the contract was to be performed, irrespective of the amount in controversy in the suit, but no such suit may be commenced after the expiration of one year after the last date that materials were supplied or any work was performed by the claimant, except that any such suit solely seeking payment for retainage, as defined in section 42-158i, shall be commenced not later than one year after the date payment of such retainage was due, pursuant to the provisions of subsection (a) of section 49-41a.

(c) The word “material” as used in sections 49-33 to 49-43, inclusive, shall include construction equipment and machinery that is rented or leased for use (1) in the prosecution of work provided for in the contract within the meaning of sections 49-33 to 49-43, inclusive, or (2) in the construction, raising or removal of any building or improvement of any lot or in the site development or subdivision of any plot of land within the meaning of sections 49-33 to 49-39, inclusive.

Sec. 49-43. Certified copies of bonds and contracts for public works.

Each agency of the state or of any subdivision thereof, in charge of the construction, alteration or repair of any public building or public work of the state or of any subdivision thereof, shall furnish, to any person making application therefor who submits an affidavit that he has supplied labor or materials for the work and payment therefor has not been made or that he is being sued on the bond, a copy of the bond and the contract for which it was given, certified by the administrative head of the agency, which copy shall be prima facie evidence of the contents, execution and delivery of the original. Applicants shall pay for those certified copies such fees as are provided in section 1-212.