Category Archives: Liens

Mechanics’ liens: Easy to file and a challenge to enforce or defend

By Victor M. Metsch

Your sub-contractor client has not been paid for work, labor and materials on a real estate construction job. She sends you copies of the sub-contract, a summary of the work done and the invoices.  She asks you to prepare and file a mechanic’s lien.

Seems simple enough – take a standard pre-prepared form, fill in the blanks and file the lien. Nothing to it!

Of course, that was the easy part.  Identifying possible defenses to a mechanic’s lien goes far beyond the narrow confines of the Lien Law.  And defending the lien, if challenged, may give you—and your client—angina.

How can anything that, at the outset, seemed so uncomplicated, become so complex, time-consuming and expensive from both a prosecution and defense vantage point?    Let’s take a look at some recent decisions that sustained, vacated or otherwise adjudicated mechanic’s liens. Continue reading