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Can I file a lien claim on a job, that I am only supplying camera materials for?

South CarolinaMechanics Lien

We have a client that wants to purchase $18k worth of cameras to install in an existing building – this is not a new-build. We would like to place a lien on the building. The project is a commercial job, we have not provided the cameras, we are the wholesaler providing the camera materials to install the cameras and do not have direct contact with the job.

1 reply

Feb 21, 2018
As a general note, providing materials for (or even installing) cameras would seem to fall into a bit of grey area. In South Carolina, mechanics liens are pretty broadly available. Contractors, subcontractors, laborers, design professionals (architects and engineers), surveyors, and equipment lessors are all entitled to lien rights. Further, South Carolina actually allows security guards to claim mechanics lien protection as a laborer. That is all to say that in South Carolina, it seems the policy is to provide mechanics lien rights pretty generously. At the end of the day, an argument could be made either way - on one hand, materials are being provided that improve and alter the property. On the other hand, security cameras might not traditionally be considered "materials" in the construction of an improvement or an alteration. Thus, whether or not a lien for such work will be proper would ultimately be at the discretion of a judge during a lien enforcement action or challenge against the lien (if it comes to that). It should be noted, though, that the actual filing of a lien will often be possible, even when there's question as to whether the lien will be proper. Of course, a claimant should never file a fraudulent mechanics lien - but a good faith filing will typically not rise to that level. Still, a frivolous lien in South Carolina carries hefty penalties, and the South Carolina lien statute makes no attempt to define what will be considered "frivolous."
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