Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>We had zlien file a mechanic's lien in Florida however the 1st day worked was recorded as 1/17/10 instead of 10/01/17. The last day work was correctly recorded as 10/13/17. The attorney for the customer is asking us to remove the lien due to the error on the 1st day worked. Is our lien still a valid lien even with the error on the 1st day worked?
We had zlien file a mechanic's lien in Florida however the 1st day worked was recorded as 1/17/10 instead of 10/01/17. The last day work was correctly recorded as 10/13/17. The attorney for the customer is asking us to remove the lien due to the error on the 1st day worked. Is our lien still a valid lien even with the error on the 1st day worked?
We are a contractor- restoration that worked in Florida after the hurricane hit.
Mar 19, 2018
This is a good question - especially considering the fact that lien laws are known for being pretty strict regarding details. In Florida, the lien statute sheds some light on what happens when certain information is omitted or when there are errors in a mechanics lien claim. Under § 713.08(4)(a) of the Florida mechanics lien statute, "The omission of any of the foregoing details or errors in such claim of lien shall not, within the discretion of the trial court, prevent the enforcement of such lien as against one who has not been adversely affected by such omission or error." Thus, it would appear that minor errors - especially ones that would be very obvious upon inspection - won't automatically invalidate a lien claim. Rather, the matter would be up to the trial court if the lien were eventually enforced. In a situation where work obviously occurred after a specific, significant, and easily determined event, hopefully a court would note how obvious the incorrect date would be. Further, as § 713.31(2)(b) of the Florida mechanics lien statute provides, "a minor mistake or error in a claim of lien, or a good faith dispute as to the amount due does not constitute a willful exaggeration that operates to defeat an otherwise valid lien." Of course, litigation can be unpredictable, so if it comes down to it, seeking the advice of a local attorney on the matter would be wise. It's also worth noting that owners often automatically attack a lien claim as fraudulent or invalid once a filing occurs. We've written more on that topic here: My Lien Was Challenged — What Do I Do? Of course, there's a difference between fraud and honest mistakes. Intentionally or willfully exaggerating a lien or lying about timeframes on a project could certainly create a situation where a lien would be considered fraudulent. However, an honest mistake like accidentally entering a date in the incorrect order, would not seem to rise to the level of a fraudulent lien. Take a look at Fraudulent Liens vs. Honest Mistakes for more on this topic.