An appellate court in New York released an opinion this week dismissing an electric company’s mechanics lien foreclosure lawsuit because the lien claimant failed to renew its “Notice of Pendency.”

The lawsuit itself was filed way back in 2006, but was interrupted for quite some time because of a bankruptcy stay order. Eventually, the mechanics lien claimants cut loose from the bankruptcy proceeding and begin to proceed on the foreclosure action.

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The problem, however, is that more than 3 years passed since the claimant filed a “notice of pendency.” This notice is a requirement in New York, whereby mechanics lien claimants must file a notice stating that a lawsuit is pending that affects title to the property. These notices are effective for three years, and extendable.

In this case, Ampul Electric, Inc. v Village of Port Chester, the mechanics lien claim was correct, the foreclosure action was properly filed, and the notice of pendency was properly filed…it just wasn’t renewed.

Seems like a harsh remedy, but in America, procedural rules can trump justice, fairness and more. That’s why it’s important to avoid mistakes when filing a mechanics lien.