DE HB109 | 2011-2012 | 146th General Assembly


Completed Legislative Action
Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Democrat 6-2)
Status: Passed on June 25 2012 - 100% progression
Action: 2012-06-25 - Signed by Governor
Text: Latest bill text (Engrossed) [HTML]


The primary purpose of this Act is to provide a party (a contractor, a subcontractor or a material supplier) with the right to file a legal action against a contractor or an owner who has improperly withheld the payment of money to force settlement or for other reasons unrelated to a lawful dispute. Often the value of these claims and the cost of litigation do not justify filing litigation. Moreover, the current statute is often unclear and confusing, which has resulted in difficulties for the Courts in applying the statute and overseeing the related litigation. The Act further seeks to provide clear language that will allow parties to pursue claims under the statute and recover an amount equal to the amount wrongfully withheld plus attorneys fees, if it is determined that the contractor or owner withheld payment in bad faith. Additionally, this Act seeks to expand the applicability of the Chapter to encompass various construction services offered on present day projects which may not have been offered when the Chapter was originally enacted. In sum, the revisions to the Chapter are primarily focused on three areas: (1) applying the Chapter to all services provided on construction projects; (2) coordinating the various sections so they work cohesively, making such sections easier to apply; and (3) addressing relevant issues that the Courts have historically struggled with in applying the statute. In particular, the revisions to current Chapter 35, Title 6, on a section by section, basis are as follows: First, existing Section 3501 was amended to cover relationships between contracting parties in three categories: (1) demolition, erection, construction, completion, addition or repair of any building or structure; (2) improvements to land; and (3) other construction services. The current version of the statute covered only the first category. Section 3503 amends the existing statute by combining the contract clauses in current 3506 and 3507 into one section. This section also seeks to harmonize the timing of events under the two sections, which are currently inconsistent. This section also adds a clause in section (d)(5) that makes it against public policy to require any agreement to be subject to laws of any State other than Delaware or to require any legal action, arbitration, mediation or other resolution procedure to take place outside the State of Delaware. Finally, the title was changed from “Payments to Contractor” to “Contract Terms” to reflect the combination of the two sections. Prior Section 3502, now embodied in Section 3504, was amended to reflect the three categories of projects covered by the Act. Prior Section 3503, now embodied in 3505, was amended to reflect the three categories of projects covered by the Act. Prior Section 3504, now embodied in 3506, was amended to reflect the three categories of projects covered by the Act and reference the correct new sections of the Act. New Section 3507 embodies former sections 3506 and 3507. In addition, the first subsection was revised to allow a contractor or subcontractor 15 days to dispute an invoice and thereby avoid the situation where the invoice is designated as accepted. This is a more reasonable timeline for all types of construction projects than the current 7 days. Prior Section 3508 was revised to clarify when attorneys’ fees and litigation costs could be awarded, the standard to award such fees, and to exclude attorneys’ fees from the limitation provided for in 10 Del. C. 3912.

Tracking Information

Register now for our free OneVote public service or GAITS Pro trial account and you can begin tracking this and other legislation, all driven by the real-time data of the LegiScan API. Providing tools allowing you to research pending legislation, stay informed with email alerts, content feeds, and share dynamic reports. Use our new PolitiCorps to join with friends and collegaues to monitor & discuss bills through the process.

Monitor Legislation or view this same bill number from multiple sessions or take advantage of our national legislative search.


An Act To Amend Title 6 Relating To Building Construction And Payment.


Roll Calls

2012-06-14 - House - House Third Reading (Y: 38 N: 0 NV: 0 Abs: 3) [PASS]
2012-06-05 - Senate - Senate Third Reading (Y: 19 N: 0 NV: 0 Abs: 2) [PASS]
2011-06-22 - House - House Third Reading (Y: 40 N: 0 NV: 0 Abs: 1) [PASS]


2012-06-25 Signed by Governor
2012-06-14 Passed by House of Representatives. Votes: Passed 38 YES 0 NO 0 NOT VOTING 3 ABSENT 0 VACANT
2012-06-05 Passed by Senate. Votes: Passed 19 YES 0 NO 0 NOT VOTING 2 ABSENT 0 VACANT
2012-06-05 Amendment SA 1 - Passed by Senate. Votes: Passed 18 YES 1 NO 0 NOT VOTING 2 ABSENT 0 VACANT
2012-05-09 Reported Out of Committee (EXECUTIVE) in Senate with 6 On Its Merits
2012-04-26 Amendment SA 1 - Introduced and Placed With the Bill in Senate
2011-06-23 Assigned to Executive Committee in Senate
2011-06-22 Passed by House of Representatives. Votes: Passed 40 YES 0 NO 0 NOT VOTING 1 ABSENT 0 VACANT
2011-06-22 Amendment HA 2 - Passed in House by Voice Vote
2011-06-22 Amendment HA 1 - Stricken
2011-06-22 Amendment HA 2 - Introduced and Placed With Bill
2011-06-07 Amendment HA 1 - Introduced and Placed With Bill
2011-06-01 Reported Out of Committee (ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT/BANKING/INSURANCE/COMMERCE) in House with 1 Favorable, 8 On Its Merits
2011-05-10 Introduced and Assigned to Economic Development/Banking/Insurance/Commerce Committee in House

Delaware State Sources

Bill Comments