Friday, September 16, 2011

Demanding an Itemized Statement of Mechanic's Lien

It is common for an owner or a general contractor to receive a mechanic's lien from a lower tier subcontractor or supplier and not know exactly what the lien is for.  The New York Lien Law allows the confused party to serve a demand, under Lien Law Section 38, requiring the lienor to provide an "Itemized Statement" of its mechanic's lien.  When serving the demand for an Itemized Statement under Lien Law Section 38 be sure to: 1) identify the name of the party demanding the itemized statement (either the owner or the contractor); 2) identify the date and amount of the mechanic's lien you want itemized; and 3) serve the Section 38 demand by certified mail return receipt requested.  The lienor will have five (5) days to respond to your demand.

A proper Itemized Statement will identify the items of labor and material and the value thereof which make up the mechanic's lien in question.  The Itemized Statement must also set forth the terms of the contract under which the labor and materials were furnished and must be verified by an authorized representative of the lienor.  

When properly used, the Lien Law Section 38 demand for an Itemized Statement is a powerful tool for exploring and challenging a questionable mechanic's lien.  If the lienor fails to respond to the Section 38 demand, the demanding party can file a motion to compel a proper response.  If the lienor again fails to respond to the demand properly, the demanding party can file a motion to discharge the mechanic's lien for failure to properly comply with Lien Law Section 38.  

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

No comments:

Post a Comment