(a) Except as provided in Section 19237, a household mover in compliance with this chapter has a carrier’s lien on used household goods and personal effects to secure payment of the amount specified in subdivision (b) for transportation and additional services ordered by the consignor. A carrier’s lien does not attach to food, medicine, or medical devices, items used to treat or assist an individual with a disability, or items used for the care of a minor child.
(b) (1) The amount secured by the carrier’s lien is the maximum total dollar amount for the transportation of the household goods and personal effects and any additional services, including any bona fide change order permitted under the rules and regulations administered by the bureau, that is set forth clearly and conspicuously in writing adjacent to the space reserved for the signature of the consignor and that is agreed to by the consignor before any goods or personal effects are moved from their location or any additional services are performed.
(2) The dollar amount for the transportation of household goods and personal effects and additional services may not be preprinted on any form, shall be just and reasonable, and shall be established in good faith by the household mover based on the specific circumstances of the services to be performed.
(c) Upon tender to the household mover of the amount specified in subdivision (b), the carrier’s lien is extinguished, and the household mover shall release all household goods and personal effects to the consignee.
(d) A household mover may enforce the carrier’s lien on household goods and personal effects provided in this section except as to any goods that the household mover voluntarily delivers or unjustifiably refuses to deliver. The carrier’s lien shall be enforced in the manner provided in this section and Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 9601) of Division 9 of the Commercial Code for the enforcement of a security interest in consumer goods in a consumer transaction. To the extent of any conflict between this section and that Chapter 6, this section shall prevail. Every act required in connection with enforcing the carrier’s lien shall be performed in good faith and in a commercially reasonable manner.
(e) The household mover shall provide a notification of disposition at least 30 days prior to any disposition to each consignor and consignee by personal delivery, or in the alternative, by first-class and certified mail, postage prepaid and return receipt requested, at the address last known by the household mover and at the destination address, and by electronic mail if an electronic mail address is known to the household mover. If any of the required recipients of notice are married to each other, and according to the household mover’s records, reside at the same address, one notice addressed to both shall be sufficient. Within 14 days after a disposition, the household mover shall provide to the consignors any surplus funds from the disposition and an accounting, without charge, of the proceeds of the disposition.
(f) Any person having possession or control of household goods or personal effects, who knows, or through the exercise of reasonable care should know, that the household mover has been tendered the amount specified in subdivision (b), shall release the household goods and personal effects to the consignor or consignee, upon the request of the consignor or consignee. If the person fails to release the household goods and personal effects to the consignor or consignee, any peace officer, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 19237, may take custody of the household goods and personal effects and release them to the consignor or consignee.
(g) This section shall not affect any rights, if any, of a household mover to claim additional amounts, on an unsecured basis, or of a consignor or consignee to make or contest any claim, and tender of payment of the amount specified in subdivision (b) is not a waiver of claims by the consignor or consignee.
(h) Any person injured by a violation of this section may bring an action for the recovery of the greater of one thousand dollars ($1,000) or actual damages, injunctive or other equitable relief, reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, and exemplary damages of not less than three times the amount of actual damages for a willful violation.
(i) Any waiver of this section shall be void and unenforceable.
(j) Notwithstanding any other law, this section exclusively establishes and provides for a carrier’s lien of a household mover on used household goods and personal effects to secure payment for transportation and additional services ordered by the consignor.
(k) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Consignor” means the person named in the bill of lading as the person from whom the household goods and personal effects have been received for shipment and that person’s agent.
(2) “Consignee” means the person named in the bill of lading to whom or to whose order the household mover is required to make delivery as provided in the bill of lading and that person’s agent.
(l) Any document required by this section may be in an electronic form, if agreed upon by the household mover and the customer.
(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 421, Sec. 8. (SB 19) Effective January 1, 2018. Operative July 1, 2018, pursuant to Section 19294.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018