What is the process of filing a lien in CT? Do I go to the town clerk? What documentation do I need? Is there a trial?
That’s a great question, and Levelset has actually written an article on just that: How to File a Mechanics Lien in Connecticut – plus, we’ve got additional content on CT liens and notices (I’ll share those below). Still, let’s address some of the questions above in a little more detail.
In Connecticut, all lien claimants who don’t have a contract with the property owner will need to send a Notice of Intent to Lien prior to actually filing their mechanics lien. This notice will also need to be sent to the original contractor if that contractor filed a Contractor Identification Affidavit with the town clerk, signifying the commencement of the project. But, more broadly – it’s a good idea to send a Notice of Intent to Lien to both the property owner and their general contractor (if applicable), regardless of what’s required. That way, the contractor becomes immediately aware of the payment issue and can begin working to resolve it.
Beyond that – Connecticut doesn’t appear to have a specific form requirement for a mechanics lien itself (though the form for the lien foreclosure does appear to be set by statute). However, Levelset provides a form that a claimant can use for reference when filing their own lien. You can find that form here.
As mentioned in the question above – Connecticut mechanics liens are filed with the town clerk. Additionally, notice of the lien filing, including a true and attested copy of the lien must be served on the property owner once the lien is filed (within 30 days of filing).
As far as whether there’s a trial – a mechanics lien doesn’t automatically initiate a lawsuit. So, no trial is initiated by a mechanics lien filing itself. However, a lawsuit might need to be filed if the lien must be enforced/foreclosed, and an owner or other interested party could potentially file suit to challenge a lien.
Here are some other Connecticut resources that should be really helpful for learning more about Connecticut notice and lien requirements:
(1) Connecticut Lien and Notice Overview, FAQs, and Statutes
(2) Connecticut Mechanics Lien Law: Five Things You Should Know
(3) What is a Notice of Intent to Lien?