As a Virginia construction attorney representing those in the construction industry, mechanic’s liens are near and dear to my heart. The enforcement of mechanic’s lien rights in Virginia is a two-step process. The first step is the recording of a properly-timed memorandum of lien that includes all of the statutorily required information. The second step is a suit to enforce that memorandum of lien filed in Circuit Court. A recent case out of Norfolk, VA examined the first of these steps.
In Central Radio Co. v. Warwick Builders, et al., and as Count III of a three-count Complaint, the Plaintiff, Central Radio Co., alleged that the Defendant, Warwick Builders, recorded a memorandum of lien that Warwick knew to be without merit and therefore committed an abuse of process. However, Warwick did not file any Circuit Court suit to enforce that lien. Central Radio Co. essentially alleged that the filing of the memorandum by itself constituted an attempt to extort payment and therefore was an abuse of process.