In part one of this two-part series covering the Miller Act, a Raleigh contractor attorney from Cotney Construction Law discussed the first two steps that all subcontractors must follow to file a successful claim:
- Delivering the Miller Act notice to the general contractor
- Contacting the surety to check-in on the status of your claim
Now, we will discuss the final two steps of this process, which includes submitting a sworn claim form to the surety and enforcing your Miller Act claim. Remember, for all of your construction-related legal needs, including services pertaining to the Miller Act, payment bonds, performance bonds, and more, consult an attorney from our Raleigh construction law firm.
Submit a Backup and Sworn Claim Form to the Surety
As we mentioned in part one, the general contractor has a legal obligation to inform subcontractors which surety they are bonded through. Once the subcontractor is privy to this information, they can reach out to the surety for a claim form. You will also be tasked with providing certain backup information like copies of your contract, invoices, emails, communications, change orders, purchase orders, shipping confirmations, and more. Once you collect this information and return it to the surety, they will review your claim. You must also complete a sworn claim form, which must be signed and notarized. Once all of this information has been submitted, it will take between 30-45 days to reach a decision.
Get Paid or Enforce Your Claim
Finally, it’s time to get paid (if the surety accepts your claim). If they agree, you will be required to submit a lien release and waiver before you can be paid. This is to prevent a subcontractor from attempting to “double up” on a claim. In addition, they may request a “Miller Act Claim Cancellation.” This document cancels the claim after your reimbursement is satisfied. Rejected claims must be enforced to proceed. This is accomplished by filing a lawsuit enforcing the Miller Act claim. Subcontractors can work with a Raleigh contractor attorney to file their claim at a federal district court in the same jurisdiction the project is located in. This process can be confusing, so it’s highly recommended that you withhold taking any action before contacting a Raleigh construction law firm. This lawsuit has to be enforced within one year from your final provision of labor or materials; otherwise, it will be not be enforceable.
If you would like to speak with a Raleigh contractor lawyer, please contact us today.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.