Thursday, July 11, 2013
July 11, 2013
The Wyoming Legislature has recently enacted changes to the Wyoming Lien statute. The most significant changes include an extension to the time period for filing notice of a lien, and an additional section about federal, state and local officials’ or employees’ right to discharge a lien.
Effective July 1, 2013, a lien claimant, in the case of real property, now has thirty (30) days from the date the lien statement is filed to send notice to the last record owner or his agent. This is a significant time extension for filing notice as the prior statute required the lien claimant to send notice within five (5) days of filing. In addition, the statute now includes the following language about the validity of liens: “Failure to send the notice required under this subsection shall not affect the validity of the lien.” WY ST § 29-1-312. The notice of satisfaction timeline under § 29-1-313(a) has also been extended from five (5) to thirty (30) days. WY ST § 29-1-313.
Effective March 15, 2013, a federal, state or local official or employee may discharge a lien under both subsections (b) and (d) of Chapter 29-1-601. Subsection (b) is the general provision that allows any person to discharge a lien against their personal or real property after following the procedural steps within the subsection. The added subsection (d) applies only to federal, state, or local officials or employees and allows them to discharge a lien by recording an affidavit with the county clerk. Once the public official or employee provides notice of the affidavit the lien claimant is obligated to respond within twenty (20) days by petitioning the district court in which the lien was filed and stating why the lien was valid. If the lien claimant does not appear in court or if the lien claimant fails to convince the court that the lien was valid, the courts are authorized to impose penalties and require the lien claimant pay the other party’s reasonable attorney’s fees. WY ST § 29-1-601.
Additionally, the legislature introduced a bill on January 8, 2013 that proposes changes to several provisions of the Wyoming Lien statute that impose monetary penalties. If the bill is enacted into law, it would replace the monetary penalties with class D misdemeanors. The changes would apply to the following sections: 29-1-601, 29-3-108, 29-5-106, 29-7-102(b), and 29-7-207. (2013 Bill Text WY H.B. 39).
The changes enacted in 2010 repealing several sections of the old statute remain in effect.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
July 9, 2013 “Effective July 1, 2013, lien claimants which provided labor for the construction of an improvement will not be entitled to a lien unless it held a valid license or certificate from the Virginia Board of Contractors in the proper class of license for the value of the work performed. The way the statute is written, the claimant must have the license when the work is performed. It will not be sufficient to obtain a license after the work is performed but before the lien is filed.” John S. Morris, III, Esquire (Contributing Author) Beale, Davidson, Etherington & Morris, P.C.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
July 2, 2013 This is a reminder of changes in Iowa’s mechanic’s lien law that went into effect in 2013. (1) New Online Filing System. All mechanic’s liens, pre-lien notices (for residential projects), and other lien-related filings (other than district court filings) must be filed or “posted” on a new, centralized online registry, termed the Mechanic’s Notice and Lien Registry (or MNLR). The MNLR is at www.sos.iowa.gov/mnlr, and the help line for the MNLR is: 888-767-8683. (2) The Two Relevant Categories of Residential Construction Companies. For pre-lien notice purposes (see #3 and #4), you must know whether you are a general contractor or a subcontractor for a project. In short, a “general contractor” is anyone who furnishes labor or materials directly to an owner, and a “subcontractor” is anyone who furnishes labor or materials to a general contractor, owner-builder, or anyone other than an owner (such as another subcontractor). (3) Two Notice Requirements for Residential General Contractors. Pursuant to the new law and administrative rules effective January 2, 2013, in order to preserve the right to later file a lien, all general contractors on residential projects must (1) post a "Commencement of Work" Notice to the MNLR within ten (10) days of commencement of work on each project, and (2) also provide an “owner notice” to the owner, via a construction contract or separate notice, at the outset of the project, as was required under the old law. Below is the new owner notice language to be included in the contract. Persons or companies furnishing labor or materials for the improvement of real property may enforce a lien upon the improved property if they are not paid for their contributions, even if the parties have no direct contractual relationship with the owner. The state construction registry provides a listing of all persons or companies furnishing labor or materials who have posted a lien or who may post a lien upon the improved property. The state construction registry, called Mechanic’s Notice and Lien Registry, can be found at www.sos.iowa.gov/mnlr, and the toll-free telephone number for this state construction registry is 888-767-8683. (4) One Notice Requirement for Residential Subcontractors. All residential subcontractors (including suppliers) working under a general contractor or owner-builder are required to post a “Preliminary Notice” to the MNLR if they want to preserve their lien rights. This notice should be posted as soon as possible, which currently means, as soon as labor or materials are furnished to or for a project. (5) Mechanic’s Liens. General contractors and subcontractors must post their mechanic’s liens on the MNLR within 90 days as of the date of last work to ensure their lien is enforceable to the largest extent possible under the law. To be clear, if one fails to timely post a commencement or preliminary notice for a residential project, such person loses the right to post & enforce a mechanic’s lien for the project. Jodie McDougal, Esquire (Contributing Author) Davis Brown Law Firm