Burr & Forman

09.14.2017   |   Articles / Publications

Burr Alert: Procedure for Perfecting a Mechanic’s Lien Claim in Alabama

I. Introduction
A mechanic’s lien is a construction lien placed on real property which arises in favor of parties who furnish labor or material that is incorporated into the construction of a building or other improvement to land. Mechanic’s liens are creatures of statute, and their purpose is to protect the rights of unpaid contractors, subcontractors, laborers, and material suppliers. This protection is provided by placing a lien against the owner’s property for the amount of the debt owed to the unpaid party. The lien acts as an encumbrance against the owner’s property, and once it is perfected a court can order the sale of the property in order to satisfy the debt owed to the lien claimant. Because mechanic’s liens are creatures of statute, the procedural and notice requirements contained in the statute are strictly enforced, and failure to strictly comply with these requirements will bar the enforcement of any lien against an owner’s property.

At the outset, it should be noted that Alabama law prohibits the enforcement of liens against public property. Therefore, in Alabama, parties can only assert mechanic’s liens against construction projects located on private property. However, Alabama law does require general contractors on public projects to furnish payment and performance bonds. Therefore, a party who has not been paid on a public project has the option of pursuing a bond claim instead of a lien claim. As far as asserting a mechanic’s lien against a private project, Alabama’s lien law contains strict procedural requirements which vary depending upon the status of the party asserting the lien claim. The Alabama Mechanic’s Lien Statute, which provides the procedures necessary to perfect a mechanic’s lien, is codified in Alabama Code § 35-11-210 et. seq.

Download the full article, “Burr Alert: Procedure for Perfecting a Mechanic’s Lien Claim in Alabama” written by David Wanhatalo.

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