Vincent Pallaci gives great words of wisdom and warning to anyone thinking about challenging a New York mechanics lien. Challenging a mechanics lien in New York is a difficult task. This is something the courts have made clear over and over again as we’ve covered on this blog in posts like “Are New York Mechanics Lien Challenges Impossible?” and “New York Court Refuses To Cancel Mechanics Lien When Parties In Dispute.”
I came across a quote from Vincent Pallaci, author of the New York Mechanics Construction Payment Blog, in a post where he was also discussing the In The Matter of Prospect Heights Rising Corp., where he warns folks considering a mechanics lien challenge with the following:
I routinely field calls from owners, contractors and developers that want to challenge mechanic’s liens for what they perceive to be “defects” in the lien. However, these defects almost always go to the argument that something on the lien is “false.” The two most common arguments in this sense are that the lien amount is incorrect or that the last day of work is incorrect. In either event, the proper way to challenge the lien is (usually) not through a Lien Law Section 19(6) petition but, rather, through a Lien Law Section 59 proceeding. Lien Law Section 59 forces the lienor to foreclose within 30 days or face discharge of the lien. This gives the petitioner two lines of attack. Either the lien is not timely foreclosed upon and is discharged or it is foreclosed upon and the petitioner can then raise the “non facial” defects.
You may have a dispute with someone who files a mechanics lien. You may be right. You may ultimately win. None of this, however, means you should file an action to have the mechanics lien removed. You must remember the standard to win these sorts of motions.