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Can a lien be filed on an as yet unspecified project or against IP such as patents?


I was engaged on an independent contractor basis to be a the CEO of a technology company and develop the basic design and business plans for their first project. I accrued roughly $340,000 in deferred compensation. The sites for that first project will be in AZ, CO or TX. I was terminated without cause in Dec 2017 with the deferred comp unpaid and roughly $1 M in severance payments due. The company has indicated they will attempt to avoid payment of either. I would like to file a lien for the deferred comp (and the severance?) on whatever is their first project or against their 8 patents which I assisted in developing. Is that possible? I did not file a preliminary notice when I started, but I have a solid contract that outlines recourse if they do not pay (but doesn't mention liens). Would that suffice for preliminary notice under AZ law? The company is a NV C Corp with HQ in AZ.

1 reply

Sep 4, 2021

I am sorry for the issues. You need to speak with an Arizona lawsuit attorney to review the contracts, correspondence, and facts and determine your rights and the strategy to get the funds you are due. 

However, you may not file a lien. Only persons who provided labor, professional services, materials, machinery, fixtures, or tools for the construction, alteration, or repair of any building, structure, or improvement to privately owned land is entitled to claim a mechanics’ lien. A.R.S. § 33-981. 

 Essentially, it is for parties such as general contractors or other persons with a direct contractual relationship with the owner, or subcontractors, architects, builders, materialman, or other person working or providing labor or materials under the authority or consent of the agent of the owner. It is not for projects that you discuss. 

Reach out to lawsuit attorneys ASAP. In my almost 25 years of experience, I can say that this matter will almost certainly settle but a lawsuit will be required given the amount at issue and because this is in Superior court. So reach out to lawsuit attorneys today. Our office and others offer free initial consultations. 

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