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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>for professional services rendered to an owner of a residential property and not paid i placed a lien on the property pursuant to ARS 33-981 a and b the original owners died now the successors in intgerest are suing me pursuant to ARS 33-420 B claiming that the lien wasillegal ie; owner did not execute the lien i am owed 9,900$ they want 5,000$ plus punitive and compensatory damages who is in the right here ? thank you garry klinger

for professional services rendered to an owner of a residential property and not paid i placed a lien on the property pursuant to ARS 33-981 a and b the original owners died now the successors in intgerest are suing me pursuant to ARS 33-420 B claiming that the lien wasillegal ie; owner did not execute the lien i am owed 9,900$ they want 5,000$ plus punitive and compensatory damages who is in the right here ? thank you garry klinger

ArizonaLawsuitRight to Lien

§ 33-981in June of 2015 i and my then business partner found a tenant buyer for a residential property in tucson az. a residential purchase lease and purchase and sales agreement was signed by owners and tenant so the property for all intents and purposes was sold to the tenant buyer pending a close of escrow my partner and i agreed to oversee the property for a stipend of 248.00 a month To accrue and be paid at end of lease term,5yr lease, or a close of escrow whichever occurred first. the owners died june 2017. The mortgage went into default August 2017. I placed a lien on the property March 2018 to protect my compensatory interest per ARS 33-981 A & B. Believing the property had been improved by its sale and other improvements. I continued to oversee the property Sept 2017 to Sept 2018 with the assent, consent and knowledge of the successors in interest, Who failed to bring the mortgage current until Oct 2018 just prior to its being sold at auction Now they are suing me claiming lien is illegal per ARS 33-420 B claiming among other things that the owners had to execute the lien and they did not. No recitation in ARS 33-981 to that.They want 5000$ and other punitive and compensatory damages. I offered to settle for 3500$ pay to me for services rendered They thrice rejected the offer . They fail neglect and refuse to amend the pleading as they are trying to bring my wife into court, also Should recite Garry Klinger/Tim Lomax dba Lionsgate properties LLC as defendants .She has no knowledge and is innocent of the matter. for having been drawn by an attorney the complaint is malicious and vicious in nature and scope ie: i acted with an "evil mind" among other recitations. Respectfully who is in the right here, please. thank you

3 replies

Nov 19, 2018
I'm sorry to hear about your trouble. There's a lot going on here, and as a reminder, I won't be able to provide any advice on how to proceed or definitively state who's right and who's wrong. However, providing some clarifying information could still be helpful here. With that being said, let's look at Arizona's mechanics lien rules, the property owner's claim that the lien was fraudulently filed, and some other details. First, as a general matter, mechanics liens are most appropriate for construction work performed and unpaid. Further, for mechanics lien rights to arise, typically, the property must be permanently improved. That is, the improvement must typically be attached to the property pretty extensively, and mere maintenance work typically does not rise to the level of providing lien rights. Under ARS § 33-981, lien rights are granted to "...every person who labors or furnishes professional services, materials, machinery, fixtures or tools in the construction, alteration or repair of any building, or other structure or improvement..." when the work was performed at the instance of the owner or their agent. While "professional services" may seem like a catch-all, the term is specifically defined under ARS § 33-1007 to mean "architectural practice, engineering practice or land surveying practice ..." Thus, without a deeper look into what "overseeing" property entails, if permanent construction improvements were not made to the property, there's a chance that a mechanics lien is not appropriate. Further, mechanics liens have strict deadlines for enforcing the lien. In Arizona, once a mechanics lien has been filed, the lien must be enforced within 6 months of the time it was filed. After that time, the filed lien will become unenforceable, and the lien can be very likely be removed by the property owner regardless of whether payment is actually made. Regarding claims that a filed lien is invalid because it was not properly filed because the owner did not execute the lien - that's a little perplexing. Mechanics lien rights arise regardless of whether an owner agrees to a lien on their property. Rather, liens arise as a direct result of work performed and unpaid. Of course, in order for lien rights to arise, the work giving rise to a lien must have been approved by the property owner. Finally - regarding maliciously and improperly naming a party to a lawsuit - I'll first admit that the subject is a bit outside of my wheelhouse and beyond the scope of the Construction Legal Center. However, this article may be helpful: Wrongful Institution of Civil Proceedings Under Arizona Law. Further, considering the dispute has gotten this far and a lawsuit has been filed, it'd be a very good idea to consult a local construction or real estate attorney for advice on the matter. They'll be able to look at all of the relevant documentation and other information and advise you on how best to move forward. Further, for non-construction legal questions like this, avvo.com can be really helpful. That site has lawyers available from all different specialties, and they may be better able to answer questions relating to litigation.
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Apr 24, 2021
You are wrong garry and you probably acted in a malicious manner if you are quoting case law unrelated to the matter. You never were bright.
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Apr 26, 2021
I have a lot of doubts as to whether your lien is valid. Arizona does not allow anyone to lien a property just because they provided a service that improved the value. The person must have provided labor or materials to the property or provided certain professional services by statute, all under the appropriate license. Moreover, there are certain timeframes within which the lien must be recorded an foreclosed otherwise it is invalid. If the property is owner occupied residential, then a written contract with the owner is required. Based on your description of the facts, a lot of the components necessary for a valid mechanic's lien are missing. You need to contact a lawyer to find out if there are any defenses to the claims asserted and if there are not, or if the defenses are not worth paying a lawyer to assert them, then just pay the fines and move on.
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