Legal Question in Aviation Law in California

Performed an annual inspection on privately owned aircraft. The owner acknowlages the amount owed but refuses to pay and now avoids all my calls to him. I still have possession of the aircraft and want to file a lien but cant find how long I have to file it or how to go about doing it. First, do I have the right to file a lien and second, where do I start the process. I cant afford an attorney to do this for me so any info you can give me will be helpful. I'm located in southern California.

Asked on 7/22/09, 8:06 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Greg Reigel Reigel Law Firm, Ltd./Aero Legal Services

If you performed work on the aircraft with an estimated or actual cost of $100.00 or more (not hard to do with an aircraft) and assuming no dispute regarding the services performed or the amount charged, then you probably have a right to a mechanic's lien. You have 180 days from completion of the work within which to file your notice of lien with the FAA Registry (CA Prof. Code Sec. 9798.2). Please note that this applies to general aviation aircraft only and does not apply to aircraft operated by an air carrier.

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Answered on 7/23/09, 10:22 am

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