Can I file a lien for loads of dirt for a project?
Can I lien a project if I am not paid for hauling dirt into a project or for a project specific?
The Texas mechanics lien statute doesn’t explicitly discuss mechanics liens for hauling dirt. However, based on the definition of “materials” and other provisions regarding who’s entitled to lien, there’s a strong argument that supplying dirt to a job site would give rise to lien rights.
Generally, those who provide materials to a Texas project will be entitled to lien. And, under § 53-001(4), the term “material” is defined to include materials “consumed in the direct prosecution of the work, or ordered and delivered for incorporation or consumption.”
Further, mechanics lien rights will be available for those who supply materials for a levee or embankment used for land reclamation. So, it’s not out of the question for a lien filing for earthwork (and supplying materials for earthwork) in Texas. What’s more, those who supply plant material for landscaping are entitled to lien rights, too. While these considerations don’t point directly to the availability of lien rights, it would make sense that supplying dirt might be treated similarly.
Recovery options prior to filing a lien claim
Of course, before pursuing a mechanics lien claim, there are some solid recovery steps that can be taken. For one, sending monthly notices may be required – and those notices can go a long way toward getting paid, all by themselves. Further, sending simple invoice reminders on late invoices can help, too. Sometimes, all that’s needed is a little nudge in the right direction.
Escalating things toward a more formal dispute, without officially pursuing a claim, can help as well. For one, demand letters can help let a customer know you’re serious about getting paid and willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that happens. A good demand letter will usually make specific legal threats and put a deadline on making payment. Further, sending a document like a Notice of Intent to Lien can be powerful, too. As you know – mechanics liens are an extremely strong tool for forcing payment. But, because of that power, the mere threat of a lien claim carries a lot of weight, too. More discussion on that, here: What Is a Notice of Intent to Lien and Should You Send One?
Texas mechanics lien resources
Sometimes, a lien filing will be necessary. For those situations, the following articles should provide valuable insight into the process: