Happy 2011!! Now that the ball has dropped, the champagne is drunk, and the glitter is gone, it is time to commit to your New Year’s resolutions. One of my ongoing resolutions is stay on top of all deadlines. So, with my outlook calendar in hand and reminders popping up faster than popcorn, I wanted to remind all of our Indiana contractors of the deadlines for submitting payment bond claims and the suit limitations period for filing suit against sureties on various Indiana public projects. Again, it’s always a good idea to consult with an attorney to make sure that you have complied with all notice and suit requirements as well as any deadlines.
Indiana does not require payment bonds to be posted on private projects. If a bond is posted the deadlines for filing a claim and filing suit will be outlined in the bond. It is also essential that regardless of the statutory deadlines, you should always read the bond. If the bond enlarges these time periods, the deadlines in the bond will control.
There are four different types of public projects in Indiana. It’s important to know which type of project you are working on so that you are aware of your statutory rights and obligations. The four types of projects are:
Title 4 State Projects – Indiana Code §4-13.6-1-1 et seq.
Title 4 projects are Indiana state public works projects solicited by the Indiana Department of Administration, the Public Works Division. Unless the bond provides for a greater period of time, a claimant must file a claim with the Public Works Division and the surety within 60 days from the last date labor was performed, material furnished or service rendered. If you have submitted your notice of claim and have not yet been paid, you must wait at least 30 days before filing suit against the surety to recover under the Bond. However, any suit must be brought against the surety within 1 year after final settlement of the contract with the contractor.
Title 5 State Projects – Indiana Code §5-16-1-1 et seq.
Any Indiana state public works project not covered under Title 4 or Title 8 are Title 5 projects. In order to make a claim against the bond on a Title 5 project, the claimant must file a verified claim with the state agency that commissioned the project within 60 days after completing labor or furnishing materials. The state agency will furnish a copy of the claim to the surety. The claimant must then wait at least 30 days. If payment has not been received a suit may be filed against the surety. Any suit against the surety must be brought within 60 days from the date of the final completion and acceptance of the project.
Title 8 Indiana Department of Transportation Projects – Indiana Code §8-23-9-1 et. seq.
Title 8 covers any project for the Indiana Department of Transportation. In order to make a claim on a bond posted for a Title 8 project, a claimant must within 1 year after acceptance of the labor, material, or services by the Commissioner furnish the surety a statement of the amount due. The claimant must wait at least 60 days after furnishing the statement to file suit against the surety. The claimant must bring any action within 18 months from the date of final acceptance of the project by the Commissioner.
Title 36 Local Government Projects – Indiana Code §36-1-12-1 et. seq.
Title 36 projects are projects for local governments, political subdivisions or their agencies. A claimant must within 60 days of last performing labor or furnishing material file with the local government board a signed statement of the amount due. The board will forward the statement to the surety. The claimant must then wait 30 days. If payment has not been received, a suit may be filed against the surety. Any suit against the surety must be brought within 60 days after the date of the final completion and acceptance of the project.
Dizzy yet? It can be difficult to keep track of things. So here is a quick reference guide. LAW under CONSTRUCTION wishes you Happy and Profitable New Year!
|Project Type||Notice of Bond Claim Deadline||Grace period before filing suit||Suit Against the Surety Deadline|
|Title 4||60 days from the last date of labor performed, material furnished or services rendered||30 days after filing notice to file suit against the surety||1 year from final settlement with the contractor|
|Title 5||60 days after completion of labor or service or within 60 days after last item of material was furnished||30 days after filing notice to file suit against the surety||60 days from the date of final completion and acceptance of the project|
|Title 8||1 year after acceptance of the labor, material, or services by the Commissioner furnish the surety a statement of the amount due||60 days after furnishing the statement to file suit against the surety||18 months from the date of final acceptance of the project by the Commissioner|
|Title 36||60 days from the date of last performing labor or furnishing materials||30 days after filing the notice of claim||60 days after the date of final completion and acceptance of the project|