MISSOURI is one of a handful of states that require a warning notice be delivered to an Owner as a prerequisite to recording a construction lien. To make things more complicated, with an added cost, MISSOURI Revised Statutes § 429-100 states that “Every person except the original contractor, who may wish to avail himself of the benefit of the provisions of sections 429.010 to 429.340, shall give ten days’ notice before the filing of the lien, as herein required, to the owner, owners or agent, or either of them, that he holds a claim against such building or improvement, setting forth the amount and from whom the same is due. Such notice may be served by any officer authorized by law to serve process in civil actions, or by any person who would be a competent witness. When served by an officer, his official return endorsed thereon shall be proof thereof, and when served by any other person, the fact of such service shall be verified by affidavit of the person so serving.”
To translate this – draft up your MISSOURI Notice of Intent to File Mechanic’s Lien Statement using PreLien2Lien or contract with TRADITION NOTICE SERVICES. If your project was in or around St. Louis, and you are handling this yourself, contact a reputable Process Server company like PRO SERVE at (314) 961-2222. For $60, they will serve your notice on the Owner, and make sure that you are in compliance with the MISSOURI Revised Statutes § 429-100.
One other issue to remember for MISSOURI is that while you have 6 months to record a Mechanic’s Lien Statement with a required 10 day warning notice, it is NOT 6 months PLUS 10 days. The entire lien process is limited to 6 months from the LAST date equipment, labor, materials or services are furnished for a project. Our conservative opinion is always to be proactive and send the warning notice at some point after 90 days but before the fifth month. Negotiated settlements or business disputes can cause enough of a delay to put you right up against the 6 month deadline to record a Mechanic’s Lien Statement.