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Subcontractors Lien Against Government Barred by Sovereign Immunity
Description Supreme Court reversed lower court order for Army to pay subcontractor, who was not paid by bankrupt prime contractor, on construction project. Waiver of sovereign immunity has not been extended to liens against government property.
Topic Real and Personal Property
Key Words Liens, Sovereign Immunity, Subcontractors
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts A prime contractor to the Army for a construction project, failed to pay a subcontractor for work completed for the Army. When the contractor went bankrupt, the subcontractor sued the Army, asserting an equitable lien on Army funds for the construction project. District court granted the Army summary judgment; Ninth Circuit reversed. Army appealed.
Decision Reversed. Sovereign immunity bars creditors from enforcing liens on government property. Unless waived by Congress, subcontractors and other creditors may not enforce liens on government property or funds to cover losses.
Citation Dept. of the Army v. Blue Fox, Inc., 119 S.Ct. 687 (1999)

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