We were successful this week in discharging a residential mechanic’s lien that was filed in retaliation against a homeowner who had commenced suite against a non performing contractor.
In order to do so we brought on – by order to show cause – a petition for an order pursuant to New York Lien Law § 19 (6), summarily discharging the notice of
mechanic’s lien. The fatal flaw of the mechanic’s lien was that it was filed more than four months after the last item of work was performed on the property. There certainly wasn’t any legitimate lien at all since the contractor had walked off the job. A take away from this would be not to rush to bring on a suite within the window that a contractor could retaliate with a mechanic’s lien, 4 months in a residential setting, 6 in a commercial setting. If a mechanics lien is facially sufficient, it is extremely difficult to get them removed.
The Court wrote:
Inasmuch as the property subject to the mechanic’s lien is a single-family dwelling,
a four-months limitations period applies (see Lien Law § 10). According to the Notice of
Mechanic’s Lien Law (Notice), work was last performed on December 30, 2020, and
materials were also last furnished on December 30, 2020 (see Notice of Mechanic’s Lien
Law, exhibit “3”, NYSCEF Doc No. 5). The Notice, however, is dated May 10, 2021,
which is more than four months following the date work was last performed. Accordingly,
insofar as the Notice was untimely, the petition is granted, and the lien is discharged in
accordance with Lien Law § 19 (6)