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If It Doesn't Quack Like A Govt. Construction Contract, It's Not One -- Nor Miller Act Protecte

Wednesday, December 30, 2009 03:47 am


On private construction projects, a mechanic's lien protects subs and suppliers from nonpayment. On a federal project, it's the Miller Act. But be sure an eligible contract with the feds exists before you seek recovery under the Act.

The following cases illustrate three key elements that must be present to apply the Act to a payment claim on a bond.

1. There must be a construction contract.


Air Force project, but only receiving a third of that amount. (See United States for the use and benefit of Roc Carter Company, LLC v. Freedom Demolition, Inc., et al, U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95774 (2009)). The defendants moved to dismiss on the grounds that the 50-year lease, which the United States forged with Robins Air Force Base Properties II, LLC (Robins), was not a construction contract. The court agreed, ruling that while the lease was a government contract, it was not a government contract for construction services but for the transfer of a leasehold interest. Roc failed to convince the court that the lease incorporated by reference an addendum that was a construction contract. The lease contemplated the demolitio [...]

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