What Is a Trapping Notice?

What Is a Trapping Notice? Is It Different than a Preliminary Notice?

In some states a preliminary notice may be due prior to furnishing, or within so many days after first furnishing. If you do not serve your notice within that time period, your lien or bond claim rights may be jeopardized. Some states may allow you do to a late notice, but the notice may only trap from a certain period forward – hence, a Trapping Notice.

Here’s an Example

As an example, California requires a notice to be served within 20 days from first furnishing.  A late notice may be served, but the lien when later filed will be effective only for materials or services provided 20 days prior to serving the notice and thereafter.

In other words, if you first furnished on April 1st, a notice served on June 1st would reach back “to trap” any furnishings 20 days prior to the service of the notice (May 12th) and after.

Once the deadline for a statutory notice passes, and an online update is processed, the next action will switch from displaying the Preliminary Notice to a Trapping Notice:


Be aware:  the deadline listed for the Trapping Notice is the last possible day, based on the last furnishing date listed, that a trapping notice will protect the last furnishing listed. Serve the Trapping Notice as soon as possible to protect as many furnishings as possible!

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