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Alabama Deadline for Mechanics Lien

AlabamaLien Deadlines

As a subcontractor hired by by a GC (who was hired by the property owner) labor and equipment was mobilized to a property in Gulf Shores, AL in response to Hurricane recovery in 2020. Equipment was brought on 9/22/2020 and the next day removed, as the GC was fired from the job. We had been advised that we could use our Invoice Date as Last Furnished dates. Due to the complexities of finalizing incurred and other costs during response to catastrophic events, the billing team worked and completed this invoice on 11/30/2020. Under the assumption that Invoice Date could be used as Last Furnished Date, and upon non-payment for services rendered from the GC, we filed a line on 3/30/2021 (4 months after the Invoice/Last Furnished Date). The property owner is disputing the validity of the lien based on the premise that our Last Furnished Date was 9/23/2020 (date the GC was fired from the job and labor and equipment was removed) and not 11/30/2020 (invoice date); and that the deadline for filing the lien has lapsed. Can you please review the information and provide a recommendation as to the validity of the lien, as well on the practice of using Invoice Date as Last Furnished Date? Thank you.

8 replies

Apr 10, 2021

There are a couple of questions that need to be addressed before I could provide you with an adequate answer. 1) what was the nature of the job (public, private, home, or other property) 2) did you file any notices? 3) how much are you currently owed? 4) how much is the GC owed if anything? 5) did you have a written contract with anyone? Give us a call if you would like to discuss it further 504-323-5885.

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Apr 10, 2021

Thank you Mark. The project was privite, the notice of intent to lien was filed right before (a few days) the lien - another deadline issue may exist here, the lien amount is around $10k, we are not privy to what the GC is owed - but do know that they have not been paid by the property owner, we do have a written contract with the GC, and have documentation of the termination by property owner of the GC. 

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Apr 10, 2021

Was it residential or commercial? How long ago was the project terminated?

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Apr 10, 2021

I ask because I believe you may be past the period to file the lien based on the above. There are other claims you can bring, but I am concerned about timing.

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Apr 10, 2021

Mark - it was a private commercial job. As the subcontractor we were hired on 9/20/20 by the GC and mobilized equipment and men to the site arriving 9/22/20 on and then tore down and left on 9/23/20. The billing team then worked on costing and invoicing through 11/30/20. 

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Apr 10, 2021

I think you are more likely to be successful under the Prompt Pay Act than with a lien. I suspect a court will find that the day you last worked is the day that from which you had to file a lien. Considering the over six months since that time, I do not think a lien would be sucessful. Give us a call on Monday and we can detail your options further. 504-323-5885.

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Apr 10, 2021

Mark, here is a folllow-up to better understanding what Last Furnished Date is considering - is it the last date we had materials or labor physically on the property? Or is it the last date an incurred cost related to said materials or labor was provided (e.g. demobilzation for equipment from the site/event or administravite labor to produce the invoice and related packaged support, and would that administrative time have had to have been billed to the project in order to be considered?). Much appreciate your assistance with this matter. 

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Apr 11, 2021

I believe a court will look at the date you left the project as the from which the deadline will run. I do not believe administrative action would be sufficient under most circumstances. 

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