Short Answer:  Yes

Long Answer:  People get confused when working with churches, charities, co-ops, charter schools, and other non-profit organizations. Since these entities are not organized to make a profit and operate like a business, and generally serves the public good, people wonder whether the entity is protected against mechanics lien filings.  The answer is simply no.  These entities are treated like any other organization.

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We explored this issue very briefly 2 years ago in The Difference Between Public and Private Projects. Unlike the subject of this post – whether a lien can be filed against a non-profit – the subject of that post was distinguishing between public improvements and private improvements.  Non-profits were mentioned as one type of construction project that causes some confusion in making this determination:

Be very careful when performing work on a private school (i.e. private university) or for a non-profit agency, and even large public corporations. We sometimes think of these types of organizations as “public” agencies, but that does not necessarily render them a “public construction project.” Usually, such a designation is reserved for land and projects owned by the federal or state government.

While some folks many not be confused about the public or private nature of a non-profit organization, they are still sometimes in doubt as to whether such a non-profit can be liened.  Mechanics lien laws may differ from state to state, but nationwide there are no prohibitions against filing a mechanics lien against a non-profit. Non-profits can be liened, sued and adversely pursued like any other organization.

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