Michigan Bond Claim (Little Miller Act) Overview

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

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Michigan

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
None / not applicable.

Michigan

Bond Claim Deadlines
None / not applicable.

Michigan

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
30 Days

Preliminary notice to the prime contractor required within 30 days of first furnishing labor and/or materials for those who did not contract with the prime contractor.

Michigan

Bond Claim Deadlines
90 Days

On non-highway projects, must file a bond claim with the public entity commissioning work within 90 days of last furnishing labor or materials to the project. On highway projects, Notice of Lien Claim must be filed with the department of transportation within 60 days of last furnishing labor and/or materials.

Michigan

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
30 Days

Preliminary notice to the prime contractor required within 30 days of first furnishing labor and/or materials for those who did not contract with the prime contractor.

Michigan

Bond Claim Deadlines
90 Days

On non-highway projects, must file a bond claim with the public entity commissioning work within 90 days of last furnishing labor or materials to the project. On highway projects, Notice of Lien Claim must be filed with the department of transportation within 60 days of last furnishing labor and/or materials.

Michigan Bond Claim (Little Miller Act) FAQs

Michigan Bond Claim FAQs

Who Is Protected under Michigan Bond Claim Laws?

On public projects in Michigan, any party furnishing labor and/or materials to a contractor or first-tier subcontractor may make a claim on the bond. Laborers are also protected. Suppliers to suppliers and subs on or below the 3rd tier are not protected.

File A Michigan Bond Claim

When is the Deadline to File a Michigan Bond Claim?

In Michigan, a bond claim must be received within 90 days of the date on which labor and/or materials were last furnished

For Highway Projects: The claim must be received within 60 days of the date on which labor and/or materials were last furnished.

More Michigan Bond Claim Deadline Information

Who Should Receive the Michigan Bond Claim?

The general contractor and the governmental unit involved must receive the claim.

Highway Projects: The public body contracting on behalf of the state, (usually the Michigan Department of Transportation) must receive the claim in duplicate.

General Information on Michigan Bond Claims

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

Non-Highway: Suit must be filed within one year from date on which the final payment was made to the principal contractor. However, suit may not be initiated prior to 90 days after the date on which labor/ materials last supplied.

Highway: Suit may be filed anytime within one year after completion and final acceptance of the project. Subcontractors must prove they have paid all laborers and vendors.

Tips on Filing A Michigan Bond Claim Foreclosure Action

What Must the Michigan Bond Claim Include?

In Michigan, a bond claim must include the amount claimed, and the name of the hiring party. It is likely advisable to also include an identification of the project and a description of the labor and/or materials furnished.

On a highway job, the claim must identify the project, identify the labor and/or materials furnished, and include a statement that the claimant intends to rely upon the bond. It is advisable to also include the amount of the claim, and the party with whom the claimant contracted.

What Are the Lien Waiver Rules?

Michigan statutorily mandates that all parties on a construction project use certain legislatively designed construction lien waiver forms. This state is one of only 11 states that requires this. If a contractor or owner asks you to use a lien waiver form that does not conform to the statutory form, the waiver will be invalid, and the contractor could get in legal trouble. See this article: The 11 States with Statutory Lien Waiver Forms.

Also, Michigan state law prohibits contractors and suppliers from waiving their right to file a mechanics lien in contract. You can learn more about the prohibition of 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?

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

Learn more about Bond Claim Rights for Suppliers to Suppliers

How Must the Michigan Bond Claim Be Sent?

A bond claim may be sent via certified mail, but any method may be used if actual delivery is proved.

Highway Projects: The claim should be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested.

Michigan Public Project Preliminary Notice FAQs

Do I Need to Send a Michigan Preliminary Notice?

If you are a claimant with no contract with the general contractor, preliminary notice is required.

When do I Need to Send a Michigan Preliminary Notice?

Preliminary notice must be sent within 30 days of first furnishing labor and/or materials.

What if I Send the Michigan Preliminary Notice Late?

When preliminary notice is required, the failure to timely give notice is fatal to a bond claim.

How Should the Michigan Preliminary Notice be Sent?

Preliminary notice should be sent by certified mail, but any method may be used if actual delivery is proved.

To Whom Must the Michigan Preliminary Notice be Given?

Preliminary notice must be sent to the general contractor and the contracting public entity.

Michigan Bond Claim (Little Miller Act) Statutes

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

Michigan’s Little Miller Act is reproduced below.

Contractor's Bond for Public Buildings or Works

Act 213 of 1963 (as amended)

AN ACT to provide a procedure for bonding contractors for public buildings and public works of governmental units; and to repeal certain acts and parts of acts.

129.201 Bonds of principal contractor on public building, work, or improvement; irrevocable letter of credit.

Before any contract, exceeding $50,000.00 for the construction, alteration, or repair of any public building or public work or improvement of the state or a county, city, village, township, school district, public educational institution, other political subdivision, public authority, or public agency hereinafter referred to as the “governmental unit”, is awarded, the proposed contractor, hereinafter referred to as the “principal contractor”, shall furnish at his or her own cost to the governmental unit a performance bond and a payment bond which shall become binding upon the award of the contract to the principal contractor. However, if the principal contractor is a common carrier as defined in section 3 of Act No. 300 of the Public Acts of 1909, as amended, being section 462.3 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, or the designated operator of a state subsidized railroad, the principal contractor may provide an irrevocable letter of credit from a state or national bank or a state or federally chartered savings and loan association instead of the bonds. Neither the invitation for bids, nor any person acting, or purporting to act, on behalf of the governmental unit shall require that the bonds be furnished by a particular bank or surety company, or through a particular agent or broker, or through a bank, company, agent, or broker in any particular locality.

129.202 Performance bond; amount; condition; purpose.

Sec. 2.

The performance bond shall be in an amount fixed by the governmental unit but not less than 25% of the contract amount, conditioned upon the faithful performance of the contract in accordance with the plans, specifications and terms thereof. The bond shall be solely for the protection of the governmental unit awarding the contract.

129.203 Payment bond; amount; purpose.

Sec. 3.

The payment bond shall be in an amount fixed by the governmental unit but not less than 25% of the contract amount solely for the protection of claimants, as defined in section 6, supplying labor or materials to the principal contractor or his subcontractors in the prosecution of the work provided for in the contract.

129.204 Bond, surety, obligee.

Sec. 4.

A bond shall be executed by a surety company authorized to do business in this state. In the case of a contract of the state or a department, board, commission, institution or agency thereof the bonds shall be payable to the people of the state. In the case of all other contracts the bonds shall be payable to the governmental unit.

129.205 Filing of bond.

Sec. 5.

The bonds shall be filed in the office of the governmental unit awarding the contract.

129.206 Public works, contractor's bond; definitions.

Sec. 6.

A “claimant” means a person having furnished labor, material, or both, used or reasonably required for use in the performance of the contract. “Labor and material” includes that part of water, gas, power, light, heat, oil, gasoline, telephone service or rental of equipment directly applicable to the contract.

129.207 Enforcement of claims; notice of supplier to principal contractor or governmental unit; payment to subcontractor.

Sec. 7.

A claimant who has furnished labor or material in the prosecution of the work provided for in such contract in respect of which payment bond is furnished under the provisions of section 3, and who has not been paid in full therefor before the expiration of a period of 90 days after the day on which the last of the labor was done or performed by him or material was furnished or supplied by him for which claim is made, may sue on the payment bond for the amount, or the balance thereof, unpaid at the time of institution of the civil action, prosecute such action to final judgment for the sum justly due him and have execution thereon. A claimant not having a direct contractual relationship with the principal contractor shall not have a right of action upon the payment bond unless (a) he has within 30 days after furnishing the first of such material or performing the first of such labor, served on the principal contractor a written notice, which shall inform the principal of the nature of the materials being furnished or to be furnished, or labor being performed or to be performed and identifying the party contracting for such labor or materials and the site for the performance of such labor or the delivery of such materials, and (b) he has given written notice to the principal contractor and the governmental unit involved within 90 days from the date on which the claimant performed the last of the labor or furnished or supplied the last of the material for which the claim is made, stating with substantial accuracy the amount claimed and the name of the party to whom the material was furnished or supplied or for whom the labor was done or performed. Each notice shall be served by mailing the same by certified mail, postage prepaid, in an envelope addressed to the principal contractor, the governmental unit involved, at any place at which said parties maintain a business or residence. The principal contractor shall not be required to make payment to a subcontractor of sums due from the subcontractor to parties performing labor or furnishing materials or supplies, except upon the receipt of the written orders of such parties to pay to the subcontractor the sums due such parties.

129.208 Copies of bonds and contracts; fees.

Sec. 8.

The agent in charge of the office of the governmental unit shall furnish to anyone making application therefor who submits an affidavit that he has supplied labor 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 the 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. An applicant shall pay such reasonable fees for such certified copies as the agent in charge of the office of the governmental unit fixes to cover the actual cost of preparation thereof.

129.209 Venue; statute of limitations.

Sec. 9.

An action instituted on the payment bond shall be brought only in the appropriate court in the political subdivision in which the contract was to be performed. No action shall be commenced after the expiration of 1 year from the date on which final payment was made to the principal contractor.

129.210 Application of statute.

Sec. 10.

This act shall not apply to any contract awarded pursuant to an invitation for bids issued on or before the effective date hereof, or to any person or bonds in respect to any such contract. The rights, duties, and obligations of parties arising under, or incidental to, bonds executed prior to the effective date of this act shall continue to be governed by the statutes heretofore applicable to such bonds.

129.211 Repeal; restriction on other statute.

Sec. 11.

Section 64 of Act No. 59 of the Public Acts of 1915, as amended, being section 247.464 of the Compiled Laws of 1948 is repealed. The provisions of Act No. 187 of the Public Acts of 1905, as amended, being sections 570.101 to 570.105 of the Compiled Laws of 1948, shall not apply to contracts for public buildings or other public works except construction and maintenance contracts of the state highway commissioner.

129.212 Act inapplicable to contracts awarded under MCL 280.1 to 280.630.

This act does not apply to a contract awarded under the drain code of 1956, Act No. 40 of the Public Acts of 1956, being sections 280.1 to 280.630 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.

PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND PUBLIC WORKS; BOND OF CONTRACTOR

Act 187 of 1905 (as amended)

AN ACT to insure the payment of subcontractors and wages earned and all materials or labor and certain supplies furnished and used in connection with and consumed in constructing, repairing or ornamenting public buildings and public works.

570.101 Building, repairing, or ornamenting public works; bond of contractor required; exceptions.

Sec. 1.

When public buildings or other public works are about to be built, repaired, or ornamented under contract at the expense of the state, or of any county, city, village, township, or school district thereof, it shall be the duty of the board of officers or agents, contracting on behalf of the state, county, city, village, township, or school district, to require sufficient security by bond for the payment by the contractor of all subcontractors and for the payment for all labor performed and materials and certain supplies furnished and used in the erection, repairing, or ornamenting of the public buildings or works. However, if the contractor is a common carrier as defined in section 3 of Act No. 300 of the Public Acts of 1909, as amended, being section 462.3 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, or the designated operator of a state subsidized railroad, the contractor may provide an irrevocable letter of credit from a state or national bank or a state or federally chartered savings and loan association instead of the bond.

570.102 Notice by subcontractor, materialman or laborer.

In the case of a subcontractor, he shall within 60 days after furnishing the last material or supplies or performing the last work covered by his subcontract, serve a written notice in duplicate upon the board of officers or agents contracting on behalf of the state, county, city, village, township or school district as aforesaid, that he is a subcontractor for the doing of some part of such work, which he shall specify in his notice and that he relies upon the security of the bond by this act required to be given by the principal contractor, and the said board of officers or agents shall within 10 days thereafter furnish a copy of such notice to the sureties for the principal contractor: Provided, however, That if such notice is not furnished by the said board of officers or agents within the said 10 days such failure shall in no wise release or impair the obligation of said sureties, and whenever this shall have been done, the said subcontractor shall be entitled, subject to the rights of the persons with whom he has contracted for labor, materials or supplies to the benefit of the security given by the principal contractor, and to be subrogated to the liens of the persons who have performed labor or furnished materials or supplies for such building, repairs or ornamentation, whom he shall have actually paid, but the subcontractor and the persons who shall have performed labor or furnished materials or supplies to him shall not in the aggregate be entitled to receive larger sums that may be required from the principal contractor under his contract with the subcontractor, nor shall this act be construed to change in any way the contract which may have been made between the principal contractor and the subcontractor, except when such contract shall attempt to relieve the principal contractor as against the demands of those performing labor or furnishing materials or supplies to the subcontractor. All others, excepting those furnishing labor, relying upon the security given by the principal contractor, shall within 60 days after furnishing the last material or supplies, serve a written notice in duplicate upon the board of officers or agents contracting on behalf of the state, county, city, village, township, or school district as aforesaid, that such contractor or subcontractor is indebted to them in a specified amount or for the furnishing of certain specified materials or supplies on account of such contract, and the said board of officers or agents shall within 10 days thereafter furnish a copy of such notice to the sureties for the principal contractor: Provided, however, That if such notice is not furnished by the said board of officers or agents within the said 10 days such failure shall in no wise release or impair the obligations of said sureties.

570.103 Bond of contractor on public works; execution, sureties, conditions.

Such bond shall be executed by such contractor to the people of the state of Michigan in such amount and with such sureties as shall be approved by the board of officers or agents acting on behalf of the state, county, city, village, township, or school district as aforesaid, and shall be conditioned for the payment by such contractor to any subcontractor or by any such contractor or subcontractor as the same may become due and payable of all indebtedness which may arise from said contractor to a subcontractor or party performing labor or furnishing materials or supplies or any subcontractor to any person, firm or corporation on account of any labor performed or materials or supplies furnished in the erection, repairing or ornamentation of such building, improvement or works: Provided, however, That the principal contractor shall not be required to make payment to a subcontractor of sums due from the subcontractor to parties performing labor or furnishing materials or supplies, except upon the receipt or the written orders of such parties to pay the sums due them to subcontractors. Such bond shall be deposited with and held by such board of officers or agents for the use of any party interested therein.

570.104 Bond of contractor on public works; prosecution, recovery.

Such bond may be prosecuted and a recovery had at any time within 1 year after the completion and acceptance of the project, by any person, firm or corporation to whom any money shall be due and payable on account of having performed any labor or furnished any materials or supplies in the erection, repairing or ornamentation of any such building or works, in the name of the people of this state for the use and benefit of such person, firm or corporation: Provided, however, That in the case of a suit for the benefit of the subcontractor, he shall be required to allege and prove that he has paid to all parties entitled thereto the full sums due to them for labor, materials or supplies contracted for by him: And provided further, That in no case brought under the provisions of this act shall the people of this state be liable for costs.

570.105 Bond of contractor on public works; definitions.

Sec. 5.

The words “materials” and “supplies” as used herein shall include coal, wood, form lumber, gasoline, kerosene and lubricating and fuel oils necessarily used in connection with or consumed in constructing, repairing and ornamenting public buildings and public works, and the term “labor” as used herein shall include the hauling other than by steam or electric railway to or away from the public buildings or other public works being built, repaired or ornamented, any refuse, materials or dirt accumulated or used in connection with or consumed in the construction, repairing or ornamentation of such public buildings or other public works.