Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Foreign Corporations Filing Mechanic's Liens in New York Beware

A foreign corporation that performs work in New York or supplies materials to a construction project within New York may file a mechanic's lien.  However, if the foreign corporation does not have a New York address there is some authority to suggest that the mechanic's lien could be invalidated if the lien does not list the address of the lienor's New York attorney. 

While Lien Law Section 9 does state that a lien can contain the name and address of the lienor's attorney, it is not mandatory.  Case law, however, has interpreted Lien Law Section 9 to require that the lienor list the name and address of its New York attorney if the lienor does not have a New York address. 

Prudent foreign contractors, suppliers and materialmen, to be safe, should retain a New York attorney to prepare and file the mechanic's lien for them and the lawyer will take note to his or her name and address in any mechanic's lien that they file within the State of New York on the foreign corporation's behalf.  While doing so may not be statutorily mandated, given the decisions of certain courts on the issue, it is better to be safe than left with an invalidated mechanic's lien and the cost of hiring an attorney to file the lien for you is likely not significantly different than having a filing service prepare the lien for you. 

Vincent T. Pallaci is a partner at the New York law firm of Kushnick Pallaci, PLLC where his practice focuses primarily on the area of construction law.  He can be reached at (631) 752-7100 or

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