In May 2015, I authored a post addressing the Arizona Court of Appeals’ then-recent decision in Cemex Construction Materials South, LLC v. Falcone Bros., Inc., 237 Ariz. 236 (App. 2015). My post can be found here. The Cemex decision will, however, cease being good law next Saturday. The case was legislatively overruled by House Bill 2268, which was signed into law by Governor Ducey on May 12, 2016 and will become effective on August 6, 2016.
As a reminder, Cemex upended the longstanding construction industry practice of mailing preliminary twenty-day notices on Little Miller Act projects via first class mail with a certificate of mailing. This had been done as a cost saving measure because: (1) Arizona’s mechanic’s lien statute requiring twenty-day notices—A.R.S. § 33-992.01—expressly provides in Subsection (F) that the notices may be provided by “first class mail sent with a certificate of mailing;” and (2) the Little Miller Act section requiring 20-day notices in certain instances—A.R.S. § 34-223(A)—incorporated by reference a significant portion of § 33-992.01. Nevertheless, Cemex held that this industry practice did not comply with § 34-223(A). Specifically, the Court found that the mailing provisions of § 33-992.01(F) were excluded from § 34-223(A), such that Little Miller Act 20-day notices were required to “to be served by registered or certified mail,” like Little Miller Act ninety-day post-completion notices.