Dept. of Industrial Relations logo

Lien Fee Refund Policy

Topics covered in this section:

Automatic refunds
Requested refunds

Automatic refunds

(a) Lien filing and/or lien activation fees will be automatically refunded when any one of the following occurs:

  1. A lien filing or activation fee is paid properly but the lien or lien activation was not processed due to a system error. In this case, the filing or activation fee must be resubmitted in order for the lien or activation to be processed. However, the filing or activation date will be deemed to be the date on which the filing or activation fee was first properly paid.
  2. A lien activation fee is paid and it is confirmed by the fee payment system that such fee was paid previously for the same lien, or the lien is not available for activation.
  3. An improper amount is paid for a lien filing fee or activation fee. In this case, the filing or activation fee must be repaid in the proper amount in order for the lien filing or lien activation to be effective. The lien filing or activation date will be deemed to be the date that the filing or activation fee is properly paid.
  4. A lien filing fee is properly paid, but due to a procedural defect in the filing of the lien, the filing is not effective and the filer was not able to re-file and cure the defect with 15 days pursuant to 8 CCR section 10222(a). The lien filing date will be deemed to be the date that the lien is properly filed.

Requested refunds

(b) If for any reason a refund is not issued within ten (10) days under (a)(1) through (3), or within 25 days under (a)(4), a Lien Filing Fee Refund Request form must be completed and submitted no later than thirty (30) days from the date of payment of the contested fee. Any required documentary proof must be filed with the request, or if specified by the Division, as a supplement to the request. A refund will only be provided upon a showing of good cause. Good cause for a refund includes, but is not limited to the following reasons:

  1. A fee was paid for a lien for which no filing or activation fee is required pursuant to sections 4903.05 or 4903.06 of the Labor Code.
  2. An activation fee was erroneously paid for a lien other than the lien for which payment was intended and the lien for which the activation fee was erroneously paid was filed by a lien claimant other than the lien claimant that paid the contested fee.
  3. An activation fee was erroneously paid for a lien other than the lien for which payment was intended and the lien for which the activation fee was erroneously paid was filed by the same lien claimant that paid the contested fee. In this case, a refund will be provided only if all of the following apply:
    1. The lien claimant did not file a declaration of readiness and was not a lien claimant of record at any lien conference with respect to the erroneously paid lien from January 1, 2013 up to the date of the filing of the request;
    2. The erroneously paid lien is not set for a lien conference on any date up to 30 days following the filing of the request; and
    3. Proof of payment for the correct lien is provided with the request for refund.
  4. An activation fee is paid that was paid previously for the same lien but the duplicate payment is not confirmed by the fee payment system and no refund was issued in accordance with (a) (2). Proof of the prior payment must be provided with the request.
  5. Based on a finding of good cause in accordance with these rules, a workers' compensation administrative law judge or the appeals board has determined that the lien claimant is entitled to a refund of the fee. A final order from a judge or the appeals board authorizing the refund must be provided with the request for refund.

(c) A refund of the lien filing or activation fee is allowed only as set forth (a) and (b). Where the refund of a lien filing and/or activation fee is not authorized as set forth in (a) or (b), and the credit card company or bank through which payment was made has refused payment of the fee to the Division, the Division may commence collection proceedings against the lien claimant for payment of the fee. Additionally, the lien claimant and/or lien claimant's representative may be subject to sanctions under Labor Code section 5813 for improperly terminating payment of the required fee.

June 2013