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Can I put Mechanics Lien against City of Kerrville, Texas

TexasRecovery OptionsRight to Lien

We are supplier for my client and delivered all the materials amount of $90,265.52 to City of Kerrville, Texas. I filed Mechanics Lien on the address that was given by my client. But found out the address was wrong and the materials we delivered to is own by the City of Kerrville in Texas. Can I put Mechanics Lien against City of Kerrville? Can I put lien against materials we delivered to City of Kerrville? Can I put lien on my client who hired/order all the materials? Please let me know what I could do to collect my money.

1 reply

Jan 25, 2019
I'm sorry to hear about you going unpaid - much less on a city project. First - let's look at how exactly liens work in the construction context. Then, I'll lay out a few of the potential options for recovery. But it's worth noting - when a substantial sum is owed like the one listed above and where the ability to file a mechanics lien or bond claim is in question, it's often worthwhile to consult a local construction attorney on advice on how to proceed. They'll be able to review the circumstances and documentation then help set out a path for moving forward. Anyway - to mechanics liens. Mechanics liens are available to those who provide construction work and/or materials to private projects. When lien rights arise, the lien will attach directly to the property - liens don't attach to any individual party, and they don't attach to the materials or labor provided to the property. When the underlying project property is owned by a public entity - such as a city - the right to lien the property will very typically not exist. Though, in Texas, filing a lien against the project funds might be possible. Because lien rights won't exist on public projects in order to secure payment, public projects will generally require that a payment bond be posted by the general contractor hired by the public entity. Where a bond is present, a claimant providing labor or materials under the general contractor (or some other sub) will be able to make a claim on that payment bond in order to recover payment. While a payment bond does not give any rights to the project property, the bond essentially serves as a pile of money against which claims can be made. You can learn more about making payment claims on Texas public projects here: (1) Texas Public Project FAQs; and (2) How to Make a Bond Claim on a Texas Public Project. Beyond the bond claim process, there are still other potential ways to recover payment that's owed and unpaid. For one, sending a threat to make a lien claim or bond claim to a nonpaying customer and the property owner can always be effective. This is true regardless of whether either claim is actually available - because lien claims are such a drastic remedy, the mere threat of lien will often put pressure on a customer to make payment (and the owner, upon receipt of a Notice of Intent to Lien or to Make a Bond Claim, can help put pressure on that customer). For more on those threats, the following resources might help: (1) What is a Notice of Intent to Lien?; and (2) Notice of Intent to Make a Bond Claim. Finally, outside of the lien and bond claim processes, a claimant could potentially also recover based on breach of contract, unjust enrichment, the Texas prompt payment laws, or other remedies that might be available. Like lien and bond claims, the mere threat of making a legal claim under one of these theories could be enough to compel payment. For that reason, before taking to the courts, it's generally a good idea to first try and recover based on a demand letter coupled with the threat of legal action - and that can be more effective when coming from an attorney. But, if push comes to shove, litigating the matter is an option, too. Of course, before deciding to proceed with a legal claim, it's a good idea to reach out to a local construction attorney - they will be able to review all documentation and relevant circumstances and decide on how best to proceed.
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