Mechanic’s Lien

The term “mechanic’s lien” refers to a lien imposed on a property (e.g., an automobile, a house, etc.) by an individual or entity who works on, or supplies materials for use in, construction or repair of that property in order to secure payment for the work and/or materials.

“A mechanic’s lien has been defined as a claim created by law for the purpose of securing priority of payment of the price or value of work performed and materials furnished in erecting or repairing a building or other structure, and as such attaches to the land as well as buildings and improvements erected thereon.”  In re Louisville Daily News & Enquirer, 20 F. Supp. 465 (W.D. Ky. 1937).

“A mechanic’s lien is a lien or claim upon real estate to secure the payment for work or labor performed, or materials furnished for the construction, erection or improvement of the affected real estate with the permission or consent of the then owner . . . The lien is a creature of the statute, and can be enforced only by the strict compliance with the statute.  A mechanic’s lien recorded against property does not of itself create personal liability on the owner of the property affected by the lien. Rather, an action to enforce a mechanic’s lien is an ‘in rem’ proceeding and not an action ‘in personam’.  An action to enforce a Mechanic’s Lien . . .  must be brought either in the superior court for the county where the land lies or in the district court in the judicial district where the land lies. Venue is determined not by the location of any party but by the location of the affected property.”  National Lumber Co. v. LeFrancois Const. Copr., 1998 Mass. App. Div. 216 (1998).

“A mechanic’s lien is a claim against real property for the value of labor and materials furnished by the claimant in improvement of the property.  The theory and purpose of a mechanic’s lien is to protect persons who have supplied labor or material for the improvement of real property by giving the lienholder security independent of their contractual remedies against the owner of the land.  The principle underlying the mechanic’s lien statute is that a party who materially increases the value of the owner’s property is entitled to look to the improved property as security for the effort.  A mechanic’s lien is purely statutory in nature.”  Winger Contracting Company v. Cargill, Incorporated, 926 N.W. 2d 526 (Iowa 2019).

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