South-Western Legal Studies in Business

Mechanics' Lien Must Be Delivered Within Statutory Notice Period
Description Appeals court held that a mechanics’ lien was to be dismissed because the creditor failed to ensure that the notice of the lien was delivered to the debtor in less than 120 days after work was completed. The clock runs from the end of work until receipt of the lien notice, not when the notice is mailed.
Topic Real and Personal Property
Key Words Mechanics Liens; Notice
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Eischen built custom-made cabinets for the Hildebrandt home. Hildebrandt failed to pay $3,100. Eischen mailed a mechanics’ lien statement to the county recorder on May 24, 2002, where it was recorded. A copy was also sent by certified mail on May 24 to the Hildebrandt residence. The lien statement listed January 25 as the last day work was performed. Hildebrandt received the notice on May 30. The trial court held for Hildebrandt because the lien was untimely, as it was not received within 120 days after the work was finished. Eischen appealed.

Affirmed. Notice was not complete until it was received by the debtor. The statute requires that notices be received within 120 days after work was completed. The statute is to be strictly construed as to delivery of notice in a timely manner. If the debtor refuses to accept delivery of a lien statement, then the date of attempted delivery will control.

Citation Eischen Cabinet Co. v. Hildebrandt, --- N.W.2d --- (2003 WL 22782750, Ct. App., Minn., 2003)

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