We all know lien law can be incredibly confusing. All 50 states have different rules and requirements for preliminary notices, notices of intent, mechanics liens, lien waivers, lien releases and more. These requirements are outlined by each state’s mechanics lien statute, but reading and understanding these statutes is no easy task, even for trained attorneys.
Slogging through that complex legal jargon is tedious, and it’s easy to misinterpret what’s there. To make it even more troublesome, many states’ lien statutes contain tens of thousands of words! No wonder lien law is so complicated.

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I looked at the lien statutes for private projects in all 50 states (and Washington, DC), and here is what I found. Please note that “pages” refers to single-spaced pages with size 12, Times New Roman font.

Total Page Count of All Lien Statutes: 1,171 pages 

That is a heck of a lot of pages to trudge through! Long lien statutes are a particular challenge to construction companies and individuals that work across state lines since every state has a separate, specific statute.

Average Lien Statute Page Count: 23 pages

Think about it – if 23 pages is the average, some of those statutes must be really long.

5 States with the Longest Lien Statutes:

  1. Florida: 65 pages
  2. Utah: 57 pages
  3. New York: 52 pages
  4. Ohio: 45 pages
  5. New Jersey: 44 pages

Even if you just read the statutes for these top 5 states, that would be 263 pages: the length of a substantial book! And when you factor in the complexity of the statutes’ legal writing style, you should probably factor in a few extra minutes for each page.

5 States with the Shortest Lien Statutes:

  1. Alabama: 3 pages
  2. Vermont: 3 pages
  3. New Hampshire: 6 pages
  4. New Mexico: 7 pages
  5. North Dakota: 9 pages

Some of these don’t sound so bad – 3 pages? That seems reasonable. But remember, this isn’t 3 pages of an exciting novel or news story; this is 3 pages of single-spaced, dense legal lingo. And only 2 of 50 states (51 including DC) have statutes that short! Remember – the average is 23 pages.

But Don’t Despair – There’s Good News!

Levelset’s expert construction attorneys have done all the hard work for you. They have read through every single page of every single lien statute (that’s right – all 1,171 pages) in order to make the content easy to digest and understand for everyone in the construction industry.
Levelset has mapped the entire Lien Genome™ and our intuitive web platform places it in the palm of your hand. Never again wonder about hyper-complex rules or costly mistakes – Levelset’s platform tracks all your deadlines automatically and you can send documents with just a few clicks of your mouse.
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There you have it – the states with the most challenging lien law. Your state isn’t one of the top 5? Find the definitive word count rankings for all 50 states in the chart below.

StateLien Statute Word Count
Florida25,810
Utah22,391
New York20,676
Ohio19,292
New Jersey17,395
California17,352
Nevada17,181
Texas15,856
Michigan15,679
Illinois15,286
Washington11,774
Tennessee11,719
Missouri11,697
Arizona10,796
Wisconsin10,605
Massachusetts10,384
Colorado10,213
Louisiana10,029
Nebraska9,839
Connecticut9,517
Oregon9,378
Rhode Island9,040
North Carolina8,892
Virginia8,494
Wyoming8,368
West Virginia8,350
Georgia8,259
Arkansas7,007
South Carolina6,973
Indiana6,424
Alaska6,207
Mississippi6,136
Kentucky5,975
Oklahoma5,975
Delaware5,973
Minnesota5,925
Pennsylvania5,817
South Dakota5,649
Montana5,146
Idaho4,911
Iowa4,758
Maine3,967
Kansas3,902
Washington DC3,803
Hawaii3,528
Maryland3,349
New Dakota3,265
New Mexico2,683
New Hampshire2,323
Vermont1191
Alabama903