Mechanics Lien

News & Analysis as of

The Construction Advantage – Issue 12

Welcome to the twelfth edition of The Construction Advantage! In this issue, we bring you issues of competitive bidding, more mechanics lien case law, and a Maine case of a dismissed appeal. We hope that you enjoy our...more

Construction Law Advisory - December 2014

In This Issue: - Retainage limited to 5 percent in Massachusetts: Outlier or coming to your state? - Pennsylvania overhauls mechanic’s lien law with creation of state construction notices directory -...more

General Contractors Beware of Subordination Clauses

In California, a general contractor can usually rest assured that in the event of nonpayment, it can rely upon the remedy of a mechanics lien, which remedy is, in fact, even a constitutional right....more

General Contractor’s Prospective Waiver of its Lien Rights is Enforceable in California

In an opinion published in September 2014, entitled Moorefield Construction, Inc. v. Intervest Mortgage Investment Company, et al., D065464, the California Court of Appeal held an original contractor can contractually waive...more

Recent Developments in Arizona Construction Law

Notable 2014 Case Law: Bonds - In Ponderosa Fire District v. Coconino County, 235 Ariz. 597 (Ct. App. Ariz. 2014), the Court of Appeals considered whether the County had discretion to decide not to call...more

A Cautionary Tale for General Contractors

Construction lenders often go to great lengths to ensure their deeds of trust have priority over mechanic’s liens. Typically, as part of the construction loan process, general contractors are asked to sign documents...more

Not in My Kitchen – California Supreme Court Decertifies Golden State Boring Case

On November 11, 2014, the California Supreme Court rejected the recent California Court of Appeals decision Golden State Boring & Pipe Jacking, Inc. v Eastern Municipal Water District, 228 Cal.App.4th 273 (2014) which we...more

The Construction Advantage – Issue 11

Welcome to the first Thanksgiving edition of The Construction Advantage! In this issue, we bring you yet another tale of a mechanics lien case and a priority between an engineer and a lender in a failed golf course project....more

California Court Holds Mechanic’s Lien Claimants Entitled to Pre-Judgment Interest of 7 Percent, Not 10 Percent, Against...

Under California Civil Code (CC) Section 3289, a mechanic’s lien claimant may obtain pre-judgment interest against contracting property owners calculated at 10 percent per annum from the date of breach. In Palomar Grading &...more

Recent Changes to the Mechanics’ Law

Mechanics’ Lien - • An In Rem lien (against real property). • For the payment of all debts due by an owner to a contractor (or by a contractor to his subcontractors) for Labor or Materials furnished....more

CEB’s Mechanics Liens and Related Remedies – 2014 Update

I’ve been writing for the CEB – the Continuing Education of the Bar – which publishes legal practice guides for lawyers for some time now. But I don’t think I’ve been quite as excited to write for the CEB than writing...more

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Subcontractor Should Have Proceeded Against Project Bond

Last month, a divided Supreme Court held that a subcontractor on a public works program should have timely proceeded against the project bond, and had no remedy against the Village after the general contractor went bankrupt...more

Construction Law Alert: Appellate Court Rules General Contractors Can Contractually Subordinate Mechanics Lien Rights

In Moorefield Construction, Inc. v. Intervest-Mortgage Investment Co., 230 Cal. App. 4th 146 (4th Dist. 2014), a California appellate court upheld an agreement executed by a general contractor which subordinated its...more

Pennsylvania’s Mechanics’ Lien Law Of 1963 – The Owner’s Perspective After The Amendments Of 2006 - 2014

When a property owner undertakes a construction project, chances are that he looks forward to enjoying his new (or improved) property. Drawings in hand, he anticipates the day when his project will be complete and ready for...more

10 Answers to Those Nagging Mechanics Lien Questions Keeping You Up at Night. Kind of

Construction lawyers may not ponder the great questions in life. We leave that to the estate planning attorneys. But ponder we do. And the next case, as I’ll explain below, “kind of” answers 10 important...more

Pennsylvania Amends Mechanics’ Lien Law To Create Online State Construction Notices Directory

The Pennsylvania Legislature recently passed, and Governor Tom Corbett signed into law, Act 142 amending the Mechanics’ Lien Law of 1963 to create the State Construction Notices Directory. The Directory, which is slated to...more

Subordination Agreements with General Contractors are Enforceable

Lenders know that recording their construction deeds of trust after the commencement of construction is risky because of the possibility of losing priority to mechanic’s liens. A recent case sheds light on a strategy lenders...more

Constitutional Default Interest Rate of 7% Rather Than 10% Default for Breach of Contract, Applies to Prejudgment Interest on a...

Addressing an issue of first impression, the Fourth Appellate District has determined that in a mechanic's lien foreclosure action against an innocent property owner who did not contract with the mechanic's lien claimant, the...more

Bankruptcy by the Developer/Owner: Mechanics Lien Rights May Still Prevail!

The rate of bankruptcies among construction industry participants is higher than some think. The bankruptcy of a developer creates an “automatic stay” under federal law preventing almost all collection activities, including...more

Mechanic’s Lien Reigns Supreme in the Battle of a Project Default? Not for a Waiving General

In what can only be described as a devastating result for a general contractor, the Fourth Appellate District held that a general contractor may prospectively waive the priority of a mechanic’s lien to the owner’s...more

Contractors: Beware the Subordination Clause

Did you know that California is the only state in the country in which mechanics liens are a constitutional right? Tis true. Article XIV of the California Constitution states: Mechanics, persons furnishing...more

Proposed Changes to Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law Would Provide for Internet-Based Directory to Serve as a Standardized...

Pending House Bill 473 seeks to amend the current lien law by creating a centralized construction notices registry in Pennsylvania known as the State Construction Notices Directory (“Directory”), which would provide owners...more

Mechanics Liens — Smart Tools of Construction Industry Professionals, and Bane of Property Owners

In 1791, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison proposed the first mechanics liens legislation in order to promote development in Washington. The Maryland Assembly (which governed Washington at that time) passed the...more

Subcontractors Can Still Perfect Mechanic’s Liens After Prime Contractors File Bankruptcy

One of the most common and effective ways for a subcontractor to secure a payment claim is to file a lien. Assuming any applicable, pre-lien notice requirements are satisfied, an unpaid subcontractor can lien a private...more

Construction Case Law Update - September 2014

FLORIDA STATE CASES - Forum selection clause in construction contract will not be enforced where third party defendant would be forced to testify in two venues. Forum selection clauses in contracts are generally...more

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