Idaho Bond Claim (Little Miller Act) Overview

It’s easy to file and manage your Idaho 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 Idaho’s bond claim laws and requirements, read the frequently asked questions below.

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Idaho

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
None / not applicable.

Idaho

Bond Claim Deadlines
None / not applicable.

Idaho

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
None / not applicable.

Idaho

Bond Claim Deadlines
90 Days

If party did not contract with prime contractor, must file a bond claim notice with the prime contractor within 90 days of last furnishing materials and/or labor to project. Enforcement action is due within 1 year from last date of furnishing labor or materials (for those who did not contract with the prime) or 1 year from final settlement of public project (for those who did contract with the prime).

Idaho

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
None / not applicable.

Idaho

Bond Claim Deadlines
90 Days

If party did not contract with prime contractor, must file a bond claim notice with the prime contractor within 90 days of last furnishing materials and/or labor to project. Enforcement action is due within 1 year from last date of furnishing labor or materials (for those who did not contract with the prime) or 1 year from final settlement of public project (for those who did contract with the prime).

Idaho Bond Claim (Little Miller Act) FAQs

Idaho Bond Claim FAQs

Who Is Protected under Idaho Bond Claim Laws?

In Idaho, licensed subcontractors and parties who supplied labor and/or materials to the general or a first-tier subcontractor are entitled to make a bond claim. Further, if a supplier to a general contractor is responsible for a major part of the project (such that that party may be considered a subcontractor) a supplier to that supplier is entitled to protection, as well.

File A Idaho Bond Claim

When is the Deadline to File a Idaho Bond Claim?

An Idaho bond claim must be received within 90 days after the claimant’s last furnishing of labor and/or materials to the project.

Text: More Idaho Bond Claim Deadline Information

Who Should Receive the Idaho Bond Claim?

In Idaho, the bond claim must only be delivered to the general contractor. If the claimant wishes, a copy of the claim may also be sent to the contracting public entity, and the surety (if known).

General Information on Idaho Bond Claims

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

In Idaho, the date by which the suit must be initiated depends on the identity of the claimant. Suppliers’ suits must be initiated more than 90 days, but less than 1 year, after the claimant’s last delivery of labor and/or materials to the project. Subcontractors’ suits must be initiated more than 90 days, but less than 1 year, after the payment became due from the general contractor.

What Must the Idaho Bond Claim Include?

In Idaho, a bond claim must only include the amount of the claim, and the name of the party to whom the labor and/or materials were furnished. It is likely advisable to also include the identification of the general contractor (if claimant hired by lower-tier party), and the contracting public entity, and include some description of the project and the labor and/or materials furnished.

What Are the Lien Waiver Rules?

Idaho 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?.

Idaho 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?

Learn More About Lien Waivers

Can Suppliers to Suppliers File Bond Claims?

Yes, suppliers to suppliers likely have bond claim rights in Idaho.

Learn more about Bond Claim Rights for Suppliers to Suppliers

How Must the Idaho Bond Claim Be Sent?

The claim must be sent via registered or certified mail.

Idaho Public Project Preliminary Notice FAQs

Do I Need to Send a Idaho Preliminary Notice?

No. Idaho does not require any preliminary notice to be given to preserve the right to make a bond claim on a public project.

When do I Need to Send a Idaho Preliminary Notice?

N/A

What if I Send the Idaho Preliminary Notice Late?

N/A

How Should the Idaho Preliminary Notice be Sent?

N/A

To Whom Must the Idaho Preliminary Notice be Given?

N/A

Idaho Bond Claim (Little Miller Act) Statutes

When you perform work on a state construction project in Idaho, and are not paid, you can file a “lien” against the project pursuant to Idaho’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.”

Idaho’s Little Miller Act is found in Idaho Code, Title 54, Chapter 19, §54.1925 – §54.1930, and is reproduced below

Idaho Little Miller Act

54-1925. PUBLIC CONTRACTS BOND ACT -- SHORT TITLE.

This act may be cited as the Public Contracts Bond Act.

54-1926. PERFORMANCE AND PAYMENT BONDS REQUIRED OF CONTRACTORS FOR PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND PUBLIC WORKS OF THE STATE, POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS AND OTHER PUBLIC INSTRUMENTALITIES -- REQUIREMENTS FOR BONDS -- GOVERNMENTAL OBLIGATIONS.

Before any contract for the construction, alteration, or repair of any public building or public work or improvement of the state of Idaho, or of any county, city, town, municipal corporation, township, school district, public educational institution, or other political subdivision, public authority, or public instrumentality, or of any officer, board, commission, institution, or agency of the foregoing, is awarded to any person, he shall furnish to the state of Idaho, or to such county, city, town, municipal corporation, township, school district, public educational institution, or other political subdivision, public authority, or public instrumentality, or to such officer, board, commission, institution, or agency thereof, bonds which shall become binding upon the award of the contract to such person, who is hereinafter designated as “contractor”:

(1) A performance bond in any amount to be fixed by the contracting body, but in no event less than eighty-five percent (85%) of the contract amount conditioned upon the faithful performance of the contract in accordance with the plans, specifications and conditions thereof. Said bond shall be solely for the protection of the public body awarding the contract.

(2) A payment bond in an amount to be fixed by the contracting body but in no event less than eighty-five percent (85%) of the contract amount, solely for the protection of persons supplying labor or materials, or renting, leasing, or otherwise supplying equipment to the contractor or his subcontractors in the prosecution of the work provided for in such contract.

(3) Public bodies requiring a performance bond or payment bond in excess of fifty percent (50%) of the total contract amount shall not be authorized to withhold from the contractor or subcontractor any amount exceeding five percent (5%) of the total amount payable as retainage. Further, the public body shall release to the contractor any retainage for those portions of the project accepted by the contracting public body and the contractors as complete within thirty (30) days after such acceptance. Contractors, contracting with subcontractors pursuant to contract work with a public body, shall not be authorized to withhold from the subcontractor any amount exceeding five percent (5%) of the total amount payable to the subcontractor as retainage. The contractor shall remit the retainage to the subcontractor within thirty (30) days after completion of the subcontract.

Each bond shall be executed by a surety company or companies duly authorized to do business in this state, or the contractor may deposit any of the type of government obligations listed in subsection (2)(h) of section 54-1901, Idaho Code, in lieu of furnishing a surety company performance or payment bond or bonds. In the case of contracts of the state or a department, board, commission, institution, or agency thereof the aforesaid bonds shall be payable to the state, or particular state agency where authorized. In case of all other contracts subject to this chapter, the bonds shall be payable to the public body concerned.

Said bonds shall be filed in the office of the department, board, commission, institution, agency or other contracting body awarding the contract.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the authority of the state of Idaho or other public body hereinabove mentioned to require a performance bond or other security in addition to these, or in cases other than the cases specified in this chapter.

It shall be illegal for the invitation for bids, or any person acting or purporting to act, on behalf of the contracting body to require that such bonds be furnished by a particular surety company, or through a particular agent or broker.

54-1926A. USE OF GOVERNMENT OBLIGATIONS INSTEAD OF SURETY BONDS.

(a) If a person is required under a law of the state of Idaho to give a surety bond, the person may give a government obligation, as defined in subsection (2)(h) of section 54-1901, Idaho Code. The government obligation shall:

(1) Be given to the official having authority to approve the surety bond, or its authorized custodian;

(2) Be in an amount equal at fair market value to the penal sum of the required surety bond; and

(3) Authorize the official receiving the obligation to collect or sell the obligation if the person defaults on a required condition.

(b) (1) An official receiving a government obligation under subsection (a) of this section may deposit it with:

1. The state treasurer;

2. A national or state chartered bank; or

3. A depository designated by the state treasurer.

(2) The state treasurer, bank, or depository shall issue a safekeeping receipt that describes the obligation deposited.

(c) Using a government obligation instead of a surety bond for security is the same as using:

(1) A corporate surety bond;

(2) A certified check;

(3) A bank draft;

(4) A post office money order; or

(5) Cash.

(d) When security is no longer required, a government obligation given instead of a surety bond shall be returned to the person giving the obligation. If a person supplying labor or material to a contractor defaulting under the public contracts bond act, sections 54-1925 through 54-1930, Idaho Code, files with the contracting body the application and affidavit provided under section 54-1927, Idaho Code, the contracting body:

(1) May return to the contractor the government obligation given as security or proceeds of the government obligation given under the public contracts bond act, sections 54-1925 through 54-1930, Idaho Code, only after the ninety (90) day period for bringing a civil action under section 54-1927, Idaho Code;

(2) Shall hold the government obligation or the proceeds subject to the order of the court having jurisdiction of the action if a civil action is brought in the ninety (90) day period.

(e) The provisions of this section do not affect the:

(1) Priority of a claim of the contracting body against a government obligation given under this section;

(2) Right or remedy of the contracting body for default on an obligation provided under this section;

(3) Authority of a court over a government obligation given as security in a civil action; and

(4) Authority of an official of the state of Idaho authorized by another law to receive a government obligation as security.

(f) To avoid frequent substitution of government obligations, the state treasurer may promulgate rules limiting the effect of the provisions of this section, to a government obligation maturing more than one (1) year after the date the obligation is given as security.

54-1927. CLAIMS FOR LABOR OR MATERIAL FURNISHED OR EQUIPMENT SUPPLIED -- SUIT ON CONTRACTOR’S PAYMENT BOND -- PROCEDURE -- LIMITATION.

Every claimant who has furnished labor or material or rented, leased, or otherwise supplied equipment in the prosecution of the work provided for in such contract in respect of which a payment bond is furnished under this act, and who has not been paid in full therefor before the expiration of a period of ninety (90) days after the day on which the last of the labor was done or performed by him or material or equipment was furnished or supplied by him for which such claim is made, shall have the right to sue on such payment bond for the amount, or the balance thereof, unpaid at the time of institution of such suit and to prosecute such action to final judgment for the sum or sums justly due him and have execution thereon; provided, however, that any such claimant having a direct contractual relationship with a subcontractor of the contractor furnishing such payment bond but no contractual relationship expressed or implied with such contractor shall not have a right of action upon such payment bond unless he has given written notice to such contractor within ninety (90) days from the date on which such claimant performed the last of the labor or furnished or supplied the last of the material for which such claim is made, stating with substantial accuracy the amount claimed and the name of the person to whom the material or equipment was furnished or supplied or for whom the labor was done or performed. Each notice shall be served by mailing the same by registered or certified mail, postage prepaid, in an envelope addressed to the contractor at any place he maintains an office or conducts his business or at his residence.

The contracting body and the agent in charge of its office, is authorized and directed to furnish, to anyone making application therefor who submits an affidavit that he has supplied labor, equipment, or materials for such work and payment therefor has not been made or that he is being sued on any such bond, or that it is the surety thereon, a certified copy of such bond and the contract for which it was given, which copy shall be prima-facie evidence of the contents, execution, and delivery of the original. Applicants shall pay for such certified copies such reasonable fees as the contracting body or the agent in charge of its office fixes to cover the actual cost of the preparation thereof.
Every suit instituted on the aforesaid payment bond shall be brought in appropriate court in any county in which the contract was to be performed and not elsewhere; provided, however, that no such suit shall be commenced after the expiration of one (1) year from the date on which the claimant performed the last of the labor or furnished or supplied the last of the material or equipment for which such suit is brought, except, that if the claimant is a subcontractor of the contractor, no such suit shall be commenced after the expiration of one (1) year from the date on which final payment under the subcontract became due.

54-1928. LIABILITY OF PUBLIC BODY FOR FAILURE TO OBTAIN PAYMENT BOND.

Any public body subject to this act which shall fail or neglect to obtain the delivery of the payment bond as required by this act, shall, upon demand, itself promptly make payment to all persons who have supplied materials or performed labor in the prosecution of the work under the contract, and any such creditor shall have a direct right of action upon his account against such public body in any court having jurisdiction in any county in which the contract was to be performed and executed which action shall be commenced within one (1) year after the furnishing of materials or labor.

54-1929. ATTORNEY’S FEES ALLOWED.

In any action brought upon either of the bonds provided herein, or against the public body failing to obtain the delivery of the payment bond, the prevailing party, upon each separate cause of action, shall recover a reasonable attorney’s fee to be taxed as costs.

54-1930. MEANING OF TERMS USED IN ACT.

The terms “person” and “claimant” and the masculine pronoun as used in this act shall include individuals, associations, copartnerships, or corporations.