Mechanic's Liens: Strict Conformance

The need to comply with all of the procedural requirements for establishing mechanic's liens was emphasized in a Colorado Court of Appeals decision, Everitt Lumber Co., Inc. v. Prudential Ins. Co., 660 P.2d 925 (Colo. App. 1983).

The governing Colorado statute requires that at least ten days before the filing of an effective mechanic's lien statement, written notice of the intent to file the statement must be given to both the property owner and principal contractor. Additionally, the statute requires the filing of affidavits verifying that notices of intent had been served according to law. That filing is to accompany the filing of the mechanic's lien itself.

In the cited Everitt Lumber case the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that the failure to file an affidavit certifying that the notice of intent had been served on the principal contractor was fatal. Accordingly, the plumbing subcontractor who had failed to file that affidavit lost its mechanic's lien security.

That strict rule was applied even though the principal contractor involved was aware of the plumbing subcontractor's intent to file a lien statement and of the dollar amount of its claim. However, the Court followed the general rule in Colorado that the steps required by statute to establish a mechanic's lien must be followed and failure will not be excused.

A word to the wise should be sufficient.