When Are Sworn Statements Necessary?

M. Hussein Houjaij

Usually when I get a call from a (sub)contractor about their construction project the topic of the conversation is about them not receiving the required payment(s). At this time, we start reviewing their contract (assuming they have one) and discussing the different aspects of their situation. One of the things we ask for are their request(s) for payment(s) and the applicable lien waivers. However, many times the (sub)contractor does not have any sworn statements. This can be very problematic.

In Michigan, sworn statements are required by statute. The purpose of the sworn statement is to list each subcontractor and/or supplier that the contractor has engaged with to provide labor and/or materials to the specific project. Specifically, MCL 570.1110(1)(a) states the following:

“(1) a contractor shall provide a sworn statement to the owner or lessee in each of the following circumstances:

(a) When payment is due to the contractor from the owner or the lessee or when the contractor requests payment from the owner or lessee.”

Furthermore, subcontractors are also required to provide sworn statements as well. However, rather than providing the sworn statement to the owner or lessee, the subcontractor must submit the sworn statement to the contractor that it is working for. Specifically, MCL 570.1110(3), states the following:

“(3) A subcontractor shall provide a sworn statement to the contractor when payment is due to the subcontractor from the contractor or when the subcontractor requests payment from the contractor.”

The legal requirements for construction projects can be quite complicated. If you are experiencing issues with receiving payment for your services, then it is advisable to contact an attorney to assist you.

Zacharia S. Bonham is a partner at Daudi & Kroll, P.C., focusing primarily on Commercial Litigation, Construction Law, and Immigration Law. He can be contacted for any questions related to this article or other areas of law at zac@daudikroll.com or (517) 381-2663.