Mechanics' liens automatically become invalid if the claimant does not foreclose within 90 days of recording. However, the lien will still appear on the title until it is released in writing or by court order.
If the contractor does not release the lien upon request, the owner of the property may petition the court for a release order (also called expunging the lien). Cal. Civ. Code §§ 8480-8488. This guide outlines the steps, and includes sample forms and instructions.
Prior to filing the petition, the owner must send a formal demand for release. A customizable version of this form may be downloaded here:
There is no Judicial Council form for this procedure. Instead, the relevant documents must be typed on 28-line pleading paper. A customizable template may be downloaded from this link:
In addition, one Judicial Council form is required for all new civil cases, including this petition:
Click here to download this guide with step-by-step instructions, including sample forms:
Petition for Release of Mechanics Lien, Step by Step
updated kf 2/2014