On February 10, 2023, I had the pleasure of presenting with my partner, Henry Quillian, at the ICLE Construction Law for the General Practitioner. The question was posed whether a lien claimant may rely on the information contained in a Notice of Commencement when preparing and filing/sending a Claim of Lien. I promised to answer so here it is: Probably not.
If a Notice of Commencement is not filed, then there is no requirement to send a Notice to Contractor. Also, if certain information contained in the Notice of Commencement is incorrect, it may be deemed fatally deficient, thus relieving contractors of the Notice to Contractor requirements. See Harris Ventures, Inc. v. Mallory & Evans, Inc., 291 Ga. App. 843, 662 s.E.2d 874 (2008). I have seen no cases directly on point, but it would stand to reason that if a Notice of Commencement is "fatally deficient" then you cannot rely on the information when preparing and filing/sending a Claim of Lien. Further, O.C.G.A. 44-14-361.1(2) places an affirmative obligation on the lien claimant to identify and notify the owner of the property of the claim of lien. Therefore, it would be inadvisable to rely on a fatally deficient Notice of Commencement when preparing/filing/sending a Claim of Lien.
If anyone knows of a case on point I'd love to see it!