A GUIDE TO LIEN AND BOND CLAIMS ON ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF
TRANSPORTATION HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS
LIENS AGAINST PUBLIC FUNDS
Section 23(c) of the Mechanics Lien Act (770 ILCS 60/23) states in part:
"Any person who shall furnish labor, material, services, fixtures,
apparatus or machinery, forms or form work to any Contractor having a contract for public improvement for the State, may
have a lien for the value thereof on the money, bonds or warrants due or about
to become due the Contractor."
A Notice of Claim for Lien on Public Funds:
- Must contain a sworn statement and/or be notarized.
- Must identify the contract and specify the unpaid items and the dollar
amount claimed for each.
- Must be served on the Secretary of Transportation, the Prime Contractor and
Subcontractor (if applicable) by hand delivery or certified mail (with return
receipt requested, delivery to addressee only).
- Will cause the withholding of the claimed amount from the Prime Contractor
for ninety (90) days, but does not force IDOT to pay the lien claimant.
Filing a Notice of Lien is not enough to ensure payment. The Department can hold
funds for only ninety (90) days. It is your responsibility (or your attorney's
responsibility) to follow the law, as the Department is very limited in what it
can do to protect your financial interests.
If the Subcontractor or Supplier is not paid within ninety (90) days after
giving such notice, a complaint (lawsuit) must be filed within that same ninety
(90) days. The Subcontractor or Supplier must, within ten (10) days after filing
suit, notify the Department of the
commencement of the suit by delivering a copy of the Complaint (file-stamped by
the Clerk of the Court) to the Secretary of Transportation. The document should
be delivered by certified or registered mail.
Liens against public funds apply only to monies that become due the contractor
after the lien is filed. If you wait to file a lien until the contract is almost
complete, there may be insufficient funds available to cover all liens. The Act
- "There shall be no preference between persons giving such notice, but all
shall be paid pro rata in proportion to the amount due under their respective
Any funds available will be shared among all lien holders.