the lien was extended after a payment was received in February, the contractor continued to receive partial payments up through July then payments stopped and the lien extension expires next week. Can we extend again based on the July payment?
Aug 16, 2018
That's a good question. Idaho is one of very few states that allow for liens to be extended. Unfortunately, § 45-510 of Idaho's mechanics lien statute could be much more clear.
Extending an Idaho mechanics lien
Under that section, a lien claim may remain valid beyond the deadline to file (which is 6 months after the filing date) if payment on acount is made or extension of credit is given - with an expiration date included. Such an extension will only take effect if it is endorsed on the record of the lien, and the lien will be extended 6 months after the date of the extension.
Considering this lien has already been extended, that was likely recap. Regardless, reviewing that section, the statute is silent as to whether more than extension may be made. On one hand, the lien statute does not provide for multiple extensions, but on the other, using more than one extension is not explicitly outlawed.
Luckily, the case law helps clarify things. In Palmer v. Bradford, 86 Idaho 395, 388 P.2d 96 (1964), the Supreme Court of Idaho found that only one extension of the lien period was available to the parties. This decision was reinforced in the more recent Terra-West, Inc. v. Idaho Mut. Trust, LLC, 247 P. 3d 620 in 2010.
Note, of course, that there may be more recent case law on the subject - so to be sure, the best way to clarify Idaho's rules on extending liens will be to consult a local Idaho construction attorney for more clarity on the subject.