Legal Question in Construction Law in Washington

contractor stole my money now I have liens

I have filed a suit against him. Can I file a lis penden on his house?

Asked on 4/12/08, 5:49 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Scott Wolfe Jr. Wolfe Law Group, LLC

Re: contractor stole my money now I have liens

Filing a lawsuit against the contractor who has run off with some of your money is your correct remedy, so you are on the right track.

If the contractor(s) have filed liens against your property that you feel are frivolous or without substantiation, you should include this in your suit or bring a separate proceeding to have the liens removed. Liens filed improperly may entitle you to the receipt of attorneys fees and penalties, where the law might otherwise not allow its recovery.

Regarding whether you can file a lis pendens against your contractor's home, the answer is likely "no."

Lis Pendens filings are generally allowed only when the property itself is at the heart of the controversy.

If a contractor sues a homeowner based on work performed at the property, the property is at the heart of the controversy, and it can be subjected to a lis pendens.

The reverse, however, is not as true.

When you sue your contractor, the contractor's home is not at the heart of the controversy. Accordingly, the lis pendens filing is not available to you.

good luck.

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Answered on 4/12/08, 5:54 pm

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