Legal Question in Construction Law in California

I have a bogus mechanic\'s lien on my property, placed by a subcontractor of my GC.\nAttempts to remove it did not go well. The lien is more than 90 days old now.\nThat subcontractor knows the law and threatens to release that lien, if I file a petition to remove it, and file a new mechanic\'s lien and do it every time, until he gets paid for his bogus claim.\n What could be done in that situation? It will cost me around $400 to file a petition every time. Will the court consider that petition of released and re-filed lien? Will I get my attorney\'s fees back if he does that? \nOr do I have to file an injunction? When it could be done? At what stage of this infinite loop?

Asked on 7/30/09, 7:01 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

You can file a lien clearance action, and at the same time as the determination that his lien is voided by delay, the court could issue a ruling that he is not entitled to refile a lien unless he does additional / new work justifying it. Whether you get any of your fees repaid depends upon whether your written agreements have a fee provision. Most legitimate contracts do. \n\nKeep in mind, you are arguing over a lien. It\'s only issue is that you can\'t sell or refi without paying him off or settling the lien in court. Even if you win on the lien clearance. he can still file a lawsuit for the amounts he claims. You then get to defend that. \n\nFeel free to contact me if serious about hiring counsel for this, and getting it resolved once and for all. \n\n

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Answered on 7/30/09, 7:27 pm

The petition to release a lien carries with it a provision for attorney\'s fees up to $2000. First, have a lawyer demand a release within so many days. Second, file the petition with a knowledgeable lawyer. A decent judge will award attorney\'s fees. Get a certified copy of the order awarding attorney\'s fees and forward this to the Contractors State License Board who will suspend the guy\'s license until it\'s paid. Works every time! Second line of defense: Once he files a new lien, file a police report of a false lien. False liens are a felony. People can go to jail for doing this kind of thing.

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Answered on 7/31/09, 11:43 am

It may have expired for lack of prosecution. Contact me directly.

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Answered on 7/31/09, 6:29 pm

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