what can I include in my mechanics lien against a radio tower that I performed 3 weeks of work on.

7 months ago

I was let go from my company while working in Alabama, 14 hours from my home in Ohio. The very small radio tower company I work for did not furnish any money for fuel, my personal vehicle(which I drove), or funds for food, etc. Prior to leaving Ohio, I was supposed to receive $200.00 per diem, which would cover food and drink. I was let go from the company on 1/2/19 and told to return to Ohio on no money. I am still on the town where the job site is because I intend on filing a mechanics lien for unpaid balance, what they owe me for the 3 weeks of work prior to returning this time. I have all the necessary documentation to validate that I worked, what was performed and also the times of which this was completed. I would like to include the cost of my hotel to stay in Alabama so I can file the Lien Monday morning, 1/6/19. I am sending the intent to Lien document to the tower owner today and have left numerous messages at his radio station informing him of the situation. I have not been paid by my company in over a month, went christmas with no money and I have a 5 year old daughter. Please let me know if you have any insight. I am trying to include the cost for my working, my hotel, my per diem ($200) and the cost of fuel I used to get down here and will use to return home. I have all receipts for fuel, food, hotel, etc.

thanks,

Jesse

Senior Legal Associate Levelset
437 reviews

Slow payment and nonpayment create massive problems for those who work in the construction industry, and, luckily, there are some recovery tools that can help to resolve these payment issues.

However, it’s important to be careful with the costs that are included in a mechanics lien claim. Generally, mechanics liens are available to the extent that work was done at a property but went unpaid. So, work done on-site will quite typically give rise to valid lien rights. However, including transportation costs, lodging, per diem, etc. could get a little dicier, even if those amounts are validly owed under contract. And, pursuing or negotiating those amounts separately might be the best way to ensure the lien is safe from allegations that it’s been overstated.

On top of that, it’s probably also worth noting that radio towers, like cell towers, can present some unique challenges for mechanics lien claimants: Cellular Towers Can Present Unique Situations Regarding Mechanics Liens.

Leveraging mechanics lien rights can lead to payment, even in situations where rights aren’t cut and dry

With all of the above being said, mechanics liens are still an incredibly powerful tool. And, even in a situation where there’s an argument as to what’s viable and what’s not in a lien claim, mechanics liens can force payment.

Assuming you’ve filed this lien by now, I think this resource might provide some additional value for actually getting paid after the claim is filed: The 4 Steps to Take After Filing a Mechanics Lien.

Other recovery tools outside of the lien process

It’s also worth exploring some other recovery tools that might be helpful here, too. For one, payment is a key term to any contract, so if this was contract work – making a breach of contract claim could be fruitful. Additionally, if this work was being done as an employee, then making a wage and hour claim may make sense, too. Plus, sending a demand letter can help to leverage these claims into payment without actually proceeding to litigation.

If there’s a serious amount of payment outstanding, it may well be a good idea to reach out to an employment attorney or construction attorney to see what recovery tools might make sense in your situation. Additionally, if the claim is for $6,000 or less, then making a claim in Alabama small claims court.

I hope this information has been helpful! No one deserves to go unpaid for the work they do.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is not legal advice and should not be construed as such. Rather, this content is provided for informational purposes. Do not act on this information as if it is advice. Further, this post does not create any attorney-client relationship. If you do need legal advice, seek the help of a local attorney.
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