As regular readers of Construction Law Musings are well aware, I like to discuss mechanic’s liens. Whether it is their picky nature, the way court’s treat them or the soon to take effect changes in the form, mechanic’s liens are a topic near and dear to my heart as a construction attorney.
This past month the Fairfax Circuit Court took on the intersection of mechanic’s lien priority under Virginia Code section 43-21 (the lien priority statute) and what constitute necessary parties that must be named in any enforcement suit. In Marines Plumbing, LLC v. Durbin, et al., the Court discussed an all too typical scenario. Marines Plumbing performed repair work on the defendants’ property and the defendants did not pay for the work. Marines Plumbing recorded a memorandum of lien and subsequently sued to enforce that lien. In filing its suit, Marines Plumbing failed to name the trustees and lender on a deed of trust securing the loan on the property. Needless to say, the Defendants moved to dismiss the action for failure to name necessary parties (lender and trustees).