Incorrect Address

WashingtonMechanics LienPreliminary Notice

I asked a similar question earlier, but I don't think my question was very clear. We are an aggregate and ready mix supplier. A customer placed an order with us but provided the wrong address. We delivered to one address (the actual property that received and used the material) then sent a preliminary for a different address. The properties are very close. We believe the customer did this to prevent us from properly establishing lien rights. It does not appear the customer owns the correct property, but is the general contractor. What are our lien rights under these circumstances?

1 reply

Nov 27, 2017
This is a pretty complex issue you're facing, and unfortunately, your ability to file and enforce a lien will likely be left to the discretion of the court. Assuming it is now too late to send notice, your best bet may be to consult a local attorney and create a plan to move forward. There is always inherent risk involved in filing a lien you know to be flawed, and filing a lien where notice is faulty could create issues. However, if you file the lien and this issue is raised, it's hard to imagine that a court would not consider the fact that you were given incorrect information when making a determination (especially if there is reason to believe the misinformation was given intentionally). That, and additional penalties could come into play if the court determines that the contractor has acted fraudulently. What's more, if an owner challenges a lien as frivolous, a hearing is held to determine the validity of the lien under §60.04.081 of Washington's lien statute. During that time, a claimant is afforded the opportunity to appear before the court and explain the situation. However, failing to justify a lien filing that has been challenged as frivolous is expensive - a losing claimant must pay the owner's costs and attorney fees.
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