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.
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