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Sheriff was not able to serve lien papers - person never home

South CarolinaMechanics Lien

My question is this: we have a lien against a client that did not pay for work completed. I filled out and filed the paperwork, and, the sheriff went to serve him the paperwork. Letter received from sheriff states that he went to the house twice, once left a card and the other time no one was there. So, what is the best next action to take?

1 reply

Sep 14, 2017
South Carolina has relatively strict service requirements, in that a mechanics lien must be personally served. The lien must be served "upon the owner or, in the event the owner cannot be found, upon the person in possession" of the property.

In the situation above, it appears that nobody was at the property when service was attempted. In such a situation, South Carolina holds as follows: "in the event neither the owner nor the person in possession can be located after diligent search, and this fact is verified by affidavit of the sheriff or his deputy, the lien may be preserved by filing" the verified affidavit of the sheriff that service could not be effected with the lien with the register/clerk.
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