When you have a construction lien, you have leverage. Knowing the lien laws of the states you work in can make or break your collection efforts, however. We’re here to take away the complexity and confusion and give it to you straight. If you work in Hawaii and need to know the lien laws, this is the site for you. Here, we break down exactly what the state of Hawaii requires of you to properly file a valid construction lien and bond claim.

How to File a Lien in Hawaii

  • You may not have lien rights on common elements of condos if hired by Association.
  • If hired by the Developer, you will have lien rights.
  • Delivery is prima facie evidence that the materials were used at that project, materials must be used or consumed at the project.
  • Must file and serve (personally) a formal application for a lien and notice of lien within forty-five (45) days of final completion.
  • Between three (3) and ten (10) days after the lien is filed, the court will hold a hearing to determine if there are grounds to let the lien attach to the property. The lien will not attach to the property until the court orders that there is probable cause.
  • The lien is only good for three (3) months after the court’s order allowing it to attach. You must file suit to foreclose before then. 

You must be a licensed Contractor to have a bond claim in Hawaii. 

How to File a Bond Claim in Hawaii

  • You must have a bond on public projects over $25,000.  
  • At least Place 3* Contractors and before have bond claim rights.
    • Must send notice of bond claim to Place 1* Contactor and Surety within ninety (90) days of last work performed and/or materials supplied. 
    • Must file suit on your bond claim within one (1) year after the last delivery of labor and/or materials to the project site.

If you work in Hawaii, you need to keep the lien laws for your state handy when it comes time to file a new construction lien. Closely following these rules will make sure the liens and bond claims you file are valid. If you want someone else to take care of filing your lien or bond claim, and do it the right way, contact a professional Hawaii lien attorney who is experienced with construction law. Our sister company, The Cromeens Law Firm, has a lien and collections team ready to take care of it for you. Your business is counting on you. Take responsibility and file your liens the right way.

*The “places” referenced in the rules above correlate to the Construction Food Chain Chart from Karalynn Cromeens’ book,
Quit Getting Stiffed. The chart can be found here to use when following these lien and bond rules.