Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>a consultant/ project manager we used for "numbers" on a project and was going to run the project is trying to put a lien on a job for money he says is owed that he did not complete anything for - is there a way to stop this?
a consultant/ project manager we used for "numbers" on a project and was going to run the project is trying to put a lien on a job for money he says is owed that he did not complete anything for - is there a way to stop this?
That's a good question, and I'm sorry to hear you're having issues with your project. First and foremost - while lien rights can be pretty broadly available to those in the construction industry, in order for lien rights to arise, their work must generally contribute to some permanent improvement to the property. Where a claimant has done some work on the project, but that work has not resulted in the permanent improvement of property, lien rights typically won't arise. Though, that doesn't mean some other claim for payment won't be appropriate (like a lawsuit). All of that being said, Nevada provides mechanics lien rights to a broad spectrum of potential lien claimants - including, potentially, those who merely perform consulting work - even where their work is only partially performed. Regarding the actual prevention of a mechanics lien filing - that can be tough to do. Recorder's offices typically won't have the bandwidth or the authority to investigate each claim made, and lien statutes won't typically provide the ability for an owner to block the filing of a mechanics lien. Of course, in the event that a frivolous or excessive mechanics lien is filed, Nevada statute provides a procedure by which a property owner can call for a hearing on the matter. If successful, an owner can have the lien removed and could even recover costs and attorney fees. So, while it might be hard for an owner to procedurally stop a claimant from filing their lien, owners have been successful in warding off inappropriate liens by warning the potential claimant of the penalties for filing improper liens. Of course, when a lien claim is potentially in play, it might be worthwhile to consult with a local construction or real estate attorney - they'll be able to assess the situation and circumstances, then advise on how best to proceed. Finally, here are a few resources that might be valuable: (1) Nevada Lien & Notice FAQs; (2) I Just Received a Notice of Intent to Lien – What Should I Do Now?; (3) A Mechanics Lien Was Filed on My Property – What Do I Do Now?; and (4) Frivolous Mechanics Liens: Intentionally Fraudulent vs. Honest Mistakes.
Matt provided some good information - from a practical standpoint it can be difficult to avoid a lien being filed by a bad actor who wants to go through with the filing even if inappropriate.
However, Nevada does allow an interested party to release all prospective and existing lien rights through posting a surety bond. Nevada § 108.2415(2) states that:
"To obtain the release of all prospective and existing lien rights of lien claimants related to a work of improvement, the principal and a surety must execute and cause to be recorded a surety bond in an amount equal to 1.5 times the amount of the prime contract which must be in the [form of the surety bond set forth in that statute]."
Additionally there are service requirements related to delivering a copy of the surety bond to parties on the project who have provided preliminary notice. If the property owner or other interested party complies with the requirements set forth by this statutory section, "the property described in the surety bond [is released from] from any liens and prospective liens for work, materials or equipment related to the prime contract and the surety bond shall be deemed to replace the property as security for the lien."