Connecticut Judicial BranchLaw LibrariesCopyright 2000-2021, Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut. All rights reserved.2021 Edition2017 EditionMechanics’ Liens in ConnecticutA Guide to Resources in the Law LibraryTable of ContentsIntroduction . 3Section 1: Basic Requirements for Mechanic’s Liens in Connecticut . 4Table 1: Rights of Subcontractor – Mechanic’s Liens . 11Section 2: Mechanic’s Lien Certificate . 14Table 2: Mechanic’s Lien Certificate . 19Section 3: Notice and Service Requirements . 20Table 3: Service of Notice on Owner or Original Contractor . 24Section 4: Discharge or Reduction of Mechanic’s Lien . 26Figure 1: Application for Discharge or Reduction of Mechanic's Lien . 31Section 5: Waiver of a Mechanic’s Lien . 32Section 6: Dissolution of a Mechanic’s Lien by Substitution of Bond . 36Section 7: Foreclosure of Mechanic’s Lien . 40Glossary of Terms . 47Prepared by Connecticut Judicial Branch, Superior Court Operations,Judge Support Services, Law Library Services Unitlawlibrarians@jud.ct.govMechanics’ Liens - 1
These guides are provided with the understanding that they represent only abeginning to research. It is the responsibility of the person doing legal research tocome to his or her own conclusions about the authoritativeness, reliability, validity,and currency of any resource cited in this research guide.View our other research guides athttps://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/selfguides.htmThis guide links to advance release opinions on the Connecticut Judicial Branch websiteand to case law hosted on Google Scholar and Harvard’s Case Law Access Project.The online versions are for informational purposes only.References to online legal research databases refer to in-library use of thesedatabases. Remote access is not available.Connecticut Judicial Branch Website Policies and anics’ Liens - 2
IntroductionA Guide to Resources in the Law Library “In Connecticut, a mechanic’s lien is a creature of statute and establishes a rightof action where none existed at common law.” Dreambuilders Construction, Inc. v.Diamond, 121 Conn. App. 554, 558, 997 A.2d 553 (2010). “Our Supreme Court has noted that ‘the important purpose of mechanic's lienstatutes [is] to provide an inexpensive and simple method for material suppliersand contractors to secure the value of the services or materials that they haveadded to the property [which is subject to the mechanic's lien].’ Red RoosterConstruction Co. v. River Associates, Inc., 224 Conn. 563, 573, 620 A.2d 118(1993).” Astoria Federal Mortgage Corp. v. Genesis Ltd. Partnership, 167 Conn.App. 183, 199, 143 A.3d 1121 (2016). “Materialman's and mechanic's lien statutes award an interest in real property toworkers who have contributed their labor, and to suppliers who have furnishedmaterial, for the improvement of real property. Since neither the labor nor thematerial can be reclaimed once it has become a part of the realty, this is the onlymethod by which workmen or small businessmen who have contributed to theimprovement of property may be given a remedy against a property owner whohas defaulted on his promise to pay for the labor and the materials.” Connecticutv. Doehr, 501 U.S. 1, 28, 111 S.Ct. 2105, 115 L.ed.2d 1 (1991). “A mechanic's lien, unlike a mortgage, is ‘not an agreement or contract betweenparties but rather a lien upon real estate which the plaintiff seeks to take by forceof law and eventually to foreclose.’ City Iron Works, Inc. v. Frank Badstuebner PostNo. 2090, 22 Conn. Sup. 230, 231, 167 A.2d 462 (1960).” First Constitution Bankv. Harbor Village Ltd. Partnership, 230 Conn. 807, 821, 646 A.2d 812 (1994). “A ‘mechanic’ is normally envisioned as a skilled worker who brings about a resultby the use of tools, machines or equipment.” Nickel Mine Brook Assoc. v. JosephE. Sakal, P.C., 217 Conn. 361, 368, 585 A.2d 1210 (1991). “ under well established precedent, [t]he purpose of the [mechanic's lien] statuteis to give a contractor security for labor and material. If the materials are notfurnished, and the work is not done, in the construction, raising, removal orrepairs of a building, there can be no lien.” (Citations omitted.) Stone v.Rosenfield, 141 Conn. 188, 191–92, 104 A.2d 545 (1954).” FCM Group, Inc. v.Miller, 300 Conn. 774, 806, 17 A.3d 40 (2011). (Internal quotation marks omitted.) “Any mechanic's lien may be foreclosed in the same manner as a mortgage.”Conn. Gen. Stat. § 49-33(i) (2021). “ because a mechanic's lien foreclosure action is an equitable proceeding; RussoRoofing, Inc. v. Rottman, 86 Conn.App. 767, 776, 863 A.2d 713 (2005); a court,in its equitable powers, must look to substance over form, may consider equitableprinciples even though they may not have been specifically pleaded, and ‘mayconsider all relevant circumstances to ensure that complete justice is done.’McKeever v. Fiore, 78 Conn.App. 783, 788, 829 A.2d 846 (2003).” Astoria FederalMortgage Corp. v. Genesis Ltd. Partnership, 167 Conn. App. 183, 199, 143 A.3d1121 (2016).Mechanics’ Liens - 3
Section 1: Basic Requirements for Mechanic’sLiens in ConnecticutA Guide to Resources in the Law LibrarySCOPE:Bibliographic resources relating to the basic requirements for filing amechanic’s lien in Connecticut.DEFINITIONS: “A mechanic's lien is a creature of statute and gives a right of actionwhich did not exist at common law.” Diamond National Corporationv. Dwelle, 164 Conn. 540, 543, 325 A.2d 259 (1973). Who May File: “If any person has a claim for more than ten dollarsfor materials furnished or services rendered in the construction,raising, removal or repairs of any building or any of itsappurtenances or in the improvement of any lot or in the sitedevelopment or subdivision of any plot of land . . . .” Conn. Gen.Stat. § 49-33(a) (2021). “The word ‘material’ as used in sections 49-33 to 49-43, inclusive,shall include construction equipment and machinery that is rentedor leased for use (1) in the prosecution of work provided for in thecontract within the meaning of sections 49-33 to 49-43, inclusive,or (2) in the construction, raising or removal of any building orimprovement of any lot or in the site development or subdivision ofany plot of land within the meaning of sections 49-33 to 49-39,inclusive.” Conn. Gen. Stat. § 49-42(c) (2021). (Emphasis added.) Required: “the claim is by virtue of an agreement with or byconsent of the owner of the land upon which the building is beingerected or has been erected or has been moved, or by consent ofthe owner of the lot being improved or by consent of the owner ofthe plot of land being improved or subdivided, or of some personhaving authority from or rightfully acting for the owner in procuringthe labor or materials, the building, with the land on which it standsor the lot or in the event that the materials were furnished orservices were rendered in the site development or subdivision ofany plot of land, then the plot of land, is subject to the payment ofthe claim.” Conn. Gen. Stat. § 49-33(a) (2021). (Emphasis added.) Claim: “is a lien on the land, building and appurtenances or lot orin the event that the materials were furnished or services wererendered in the site development or subdivision of any plot of land,then on the plot of land . . . .” Conn. Gen. Stat. § 49-33(b) (2021).(Emphasis added.) Where to File: “A mechanic’s lien is not valid unless the personperforming the services or furnishing the materials . . . lodges withthe town clerk of the town in which the building, lot or plot of landis situated a certificate in writing, which shall be recorded by thetown clerk with deeds of land and serves a true and attestedMechanics’ Liens - 4
copy of the certificate upon the owner in the same manner as isprovided for service of the notice in section 49-35” Conn. Gen. Stat.§ 49-34 (2021).STATUTES: Precedence: “the claim takes precedence over any otherencumbrance originating after the commencement of the services,or the furnishing of any such materials, subject to apportionment asprovided in section 49-36.” Conn. Gen. Stat. § 49-33(b) (2021). Subcontractor: “A mechanic’s lien shall not attach to any suchbuilding or its appurtenances or to the land on which the samestands or to any lot or to any plot of land, in favor of anysubcontractor to a greater extent in the whole than the amountwhich the owner has agreed to pay to any person through whomthe subcontractor claims subject to the provisions of section 49-36.”Conn. Gen. Stat. § 49-33(e) (2021). Conn. Gen. Stat. (2021).Chapter 847. Mortgages and liens§ 49-33. Mechanic’s lien. Precedence. Rights ofsubcontractors.§ 49-34. Certificate of lien to be recorded and notice givento owner. Filing Mechanic’s Liens, Daniel Duffy, Principal Analyst, ConnecticutGeneral Assembly, Office of Legislative Research Report, 2006-R0063 (January 20, 2006).“You asked for the requirements for filing mechanic’s liens inConnecticut, New York, and Rhode Island.” Florida’s Law on Mechanic’s Liens, Daniel Duffy, Principal Analyst,Connecticut General Assembly, Office of Legislative ResearchReport, 2004-R-0912 (December 13, 2004).“You asked if Florida’s construction lien law requires contractorsto perfect a lien on each job.” Mechanic’s Lien-Subcontractors, George Coppolo, Chief Attorney,Connecticut General Assembly, Office of Legislative ResearchReport, 98-R-0280 (October 2, 2003).“You asked for a summary of the mechanic’s lien law.” Connecticut And California Mechanic’s Lien Statutes, Helga Niesz,Principal Analyst, Connecticut General Assembly, Office ofLegislative Research Report, 97-R-0628 (May 2, 1997).“You asked for a comparison of Connecticut and Californiamechanic’s lien statutes.” Library of Connecticut Civil Complaints for Business Litigation, byYou can visit yourlocal law library orsearch the mostrecent statutes andpublic acts on theConnecticut GeneralAssembly website toconfirm that you areusing the most upto-date statutes.You can visit yourlocal law library orLEGISLATIVE:search the mostrecent statutes andOffice of Legislativepublic acts on theResearchreportsConnecticutGeneralsummarizeand toAssembly websiteanalyzethe youlaw areinconfirm thateffecton mostthe dateofusing theup-toeachreport’sdate statutes.publication. Currentlaw may be differentfrom what isdiscussed in thereports.Office of LegislativeResearch reportssummarize andanalyze the law ineffect on the date ofeach report’spublication. Currentlaw may be differentfrom what isdiscussed in thereports.FORMS:Mechanics’ Liens - 5
Diane W. Whitney et al., Connecticut Law Tribune, 2010.Volume I: Construction LitigationForm 4-010: Notice of intent to file mechanic’s lienForm 4-011: Certificate of mechanic’s lienCASES:Once you haveidentified usefulcases, it is importantto update the casesbefore you rely onthem. Updating caselaw means checkingto see if the casesare still good law.You can contact yourlocal law librarian tolearn about the toolsavailable to you toupdate cases.Once you haveidentified usefulcases, it is importantto update the casesbefore you rely onthem. Updating caselaw means checkingto see if the cases arestill good law. You cancontact your local lawlibrarian to learnabout the toolsavailable to you toupdate cases. Library of Connecticut Collection Law Forms, by Robert M. Singer,Connecticut Law Tribune, 2015.Form 1-008: Mechanic’s Lien Certificate 3A Connecticut Practice Series, Connecticut Civil Practice Forms, 4thed., by Joel M. Kaye et al., Thomson West, 2004, with 2020-2021supplement (also available on Westlaw).Form S-152: Release of Mechanic’s Lien 1A Connecticut Legal Forms, by Douglass B. Wright, Atlantic LawBook Co., 1983.Chapter 9. Liens§ 901.1 Mechanic’s liens Connecticut Lawyers’ Deskbook: Forms Index, 2d ed., by Dennis P.Anderson, Denis R. Caron & Geoffrey K. Milne, Connecticut BarAssociation, 2000.Chapter XIII: Mechanics’ LiensCertificate of mechanic’s lienNotice of intent to file a mechanic’s lien Astoria Federal Mortgage Corporation v. Genesis LimitedPartnership et al., 167 Conn. App. 183, 143 A.3d 1121 (2016). “We address the defendant’s claim that the court erred in grantingthe plaintiff’s motion to dismiss because it improperly concludedthat the defendant lacked standing as a result of its failure torecord, prior to filing its cross claim [to foreclose the mechanic’slien], the assignment of the mechanic’s lien.” (p. 191)“Neither this court nor our Supreme Court, however, hasdetermined whether principles of assignment and recordationoverride these fundamental standing requirements for a party toforeclose a mechanic’s lien. In order to guide our inquiry in thisregard, we seek guidance from certain provisions of the mechanic’slien statute, specifically, subsection (i) of § 49-33, as well as caselaw pertaining to the foreclosure of mortgages.” (p. 200)“ our Supreme Court noted that reliance on mortgage law to assessa particular aspect of the law governing mechanic’s liens isappropriate, ‘particularly when similar guiding policies are in play.’First Constitution Bank v. Harbor Village Ltd. Partnership, 230 Conn.807 at 820, 646 A.2d 812 (1994). In this vein, we think that theprinciple that the mortgage follows the note, or the debt, can beanalogized to mechanic’s liens for purposes of foreclosure standing.Specifically, on the basis of our reading of the plain language of §§47-10, 49-17, and 49-33(i), we conclude that the failure of anassignee of a mechanic’s lien to record an otherwise validMechanics’ Liens - 6
Once you haveidentified usefulcases, it is importantto update the casesbefore you rely onthem. Updating caselaw means checkingto see if the casesare still good law.You can contact yourlocal law librarian tolearn about the toolsavailable to you toupdate cases.Once you haveidentified usefulcases, it is importantto update the casesbefore you rely onthem. Updating caselaw means checkingto see if the cases arestill good law. You cancontact your local lawlibrarian to learnabout the toolsavailable to you toupdate cases.assignment of the lien does not deprive the assignee of the lien ofstanding to commence a foreclosure action.” (p. 203-204) Milone & Macbroom, Inc. v. Winchester Estates, LLC et al., SuperiorCourt, Judicial District of Litchfield, No. CV11-6004987-S (May 24,2016) (62 Conn. L. Rptr. 382) (2016 WL 3202664). “Tissa [adefendant] argues that there are no genuine issues of material factand it is entitled to [summary] judgment as a matter of lawbecause the plaintiff’s alleged mechanic’s lien is invalid becauseHighland Ridge was not the owner or holder of equitable interest inthe property at the time that the plaintiff commenced work and theowner did not consent to the property being subject to a mechanic’slien.” Absolute Plumbing and Heating, LLC v. Edelman, 146 Conn. App.383, 394, 77 A. 3d 889 (2013). “Assuming without deciding thatthe defendant is correct in his assertion that the underlying contractdoes not meet the requirements of [the act], we do not agree thatthis is a bar to the plaintiff's right to recover against him under themechanic's lien statute. The defendant has provided no authority tosupport his proposition that when a general contractor's lien isunenforceable for a lack of compliance with the act, thesubcontractor's lien also is unenforceable.” Absolute Plumbing and Heating, LLC v. Edelman, 146 Conn. App.383, 395-396, 77 A. 3d 889 (2013). “ we have determined thatthe court properly accepted the referee's finding of the modifiedcontract price, it follows that, at the time the contract wasterminated, there was unpaid contract debt of approximately 100,000. Because the court properly determined that there wasunpaid contract debt, a lienable fund exists from which the plaintiffscan satisfy their claims. While Schott is barred from collecting thisdebt due to its failure to comply with the act, the plaintiffs are notsimilarly constrained.” E and M Custom Homes, LLC v. Negron, 140 Conn. App. 92, 106,59 A. 3d 262 (2013). “the evidence supports the court's findingthat the construction budget represented the value of materialsfurnished and services rendered under the mechanic's lien. Theplaintiff completed the work under the first four stages of thebudget and received payment for those stages. As noted previously,Thomas never alerted the lender that it would cost more than 191,000 to construct the house, nor did he know how the extramoney would be used in the construction. Accordingly, the courtproperly concluded that the value of the plaintiff's materialsfurnished and services rendered should be based on theconstruction budget.” Ceci Bros., Inc. v. Five Twenty-One Corp., 51 Conn. App. 773, 792,724 A.2d 541 (1999). “We conclude that the [landscaping] servicesperformed by the plaintiff, pursuant to the maintenance agreement,which was a status quo agreement, were not lienable under § 4933.”Mechanics’ Liens - 7
Thompson And Peck, Inc. v. Division Drywall, Inc., 241 Conn. 370,371-372, 696 A.2d 326 (1997) “The sole issue in this appeal iswhether unpaid insurance premiums owed by a subcontractor are"materials" or "services" under the mechanic's lien statute, GeneralStatutes § 49-33. We conclude that because such premiums havenot enhanced the property in some physical manner, laid thegroundwork for the physical enhancement of the property, orplayed an essential part in the scheme of physical improvement ofthe property, they are not lienable under § 49-33.” Nickel Mine Brook Assoc. v. Joseph E. Sakal, P.C., 217 Conn. 361,369, 585 A.2d 1210 (1991). “There is no reference in the legislativehistory to attorneys, nor is there any evidence that the legislatureintended to expand the scope of the mechanic's lien statute toinclude any type of legal services.” Seaman v. Climate Control Corporation, 181 Conn. 592, 595-596,436 A.2d 271 (1980). “. . . it is well to put into context therelationships between owners, contractors and subcontractors underour mechanic's lien law. Those who provide services or materials inconnection with the construction of a building are entitled to claim alien on the land that they have improved if they fall into one of twocategories. Lienors are protected if they have a claim either (1) byvirtue of an agreement with or the consent of the owner of the land,or (2) by the consent of some person having authority from orrightfully acting for such owner in procuring labor or materials.General Statutes § 49-33.” Battistelli v. Jacobson, 13 Conn. Supp. 196, 199 (1944). “Because alandlord knows of, and consents to, repairs being made, on leasedpremises owned by him, under a contract with his lessee, he doesnot thereby forfeit any rights as lessor and owner of the leasedpremises, nor does he thereby consent to a pledge of his propertyfor a default of the lessee, if he was not a party to the contract.” Peck v. Brush, 90 Conn. 651, 654, 98 A. 561 (1916). “. . . it is notnecessary that the materials shall be furnished under an expresscontract, but it is enough if they are furnished with the consent ofthe owner of the land, so that there is an implied contract by him topay for them.”WEST KEYNUMBERS: Mechanics’ LienI. Nature, grounds, and subject matter in general, # 1-21II. Right to lien, # 22-115(5)DIGESTS: ALR Digest: Mechanics’ LienINDICES: ALR: Mechanics’ LienENCYCLOPEDIAS: 53 Am Jur 2d Mechanics’ Liens, Thomson West, 2017 (Also availableon Westlaw).§§ 1-29. IntroductionMechanics’ Liens - 8
§§ 30-46. Property, estates, or interests subject to lien§§ 47-177. Right to lien 56 CJS Mechanics’ Lien, Thomson West, 2018 (Also available onWestlaw).§§ 1-14. In general§§ 15-101. Right to lien§§ 15-24. Nature of improvement§§ 25-35. Services rendered and materials furnished, andamount of claim§§ 36-77. Contract with, or consent of, owner§§ 78-86. Persons entitled to lien§§ 87-101. Contractors’ workers and material suppliers;subcontractors 46 ALR 5th 1, Landlord’s Liability to Third Party for RepairsAuthorized By Tenant, by Elaine Marie Tomko (1997). Also availableon Westlaw. 31 ALR 5th 664, Architect’s Services as Within Mechanics’ LienStatute, by Kimberly C. Simmons (1995). Also available onWestlaw. 20 ALR 4th 1268, Vacation and Sick Pay and Other Fringe BenefitsAs Within Mechanic’s Lien Statute, by Wanda Ellen Wakefield(1983). Also available on Westlaw. 74 ALR 3d 330, Enforceability of Mechanic’s Lien Attached toLeasehold Estate Against Landlord’s Fee, by Maurice T. Brunner(1976). Also available on Westlaw. 68 ALR 3d 1300, Enforceability of Single Mechanic’s Lien UponSeveral Parcels Against Less Than the Entire Property Liened, byJ.R. Kemper (1976). Also available on Westlaw. 52 ALR 3d 797, Abandonment of Construction or of Contract AsAffecting Time For Filing Mechanic’s Liens Or Time For Giving NoticeTo Owner, by Maurice T. Brunner (1973). Also available onWestlaw. 81 ALR 6th 363, Subjection of Municipal Property, or AllegedMunicipal Property, to Mechanics’ Liens, by George L. Blum (2013).Also available on Westlaw. 51 ALR 3d 1087, Labor in Examination, Repair, Or Servicing ofFixtures, Machinery, Or Attachments In Building, As Supporting AMechanics’ Lien, Or As Extending Time For Filing Such A Lien, byMaurice T. Brunner (1973). Also available on Westlaw. 3 ALR 3d 573, Charge for Use of Machinery, Tools, Or AppliancesUsed In Construction As Basis For Mechanic’s Lien, by R. Y. Liang,(1965). Also available on Westlaw.Mechanics’ Liens - 9
TEXTS &TREATISES:Each of our lawlibraries own theConnecticut treatisescited. You cancontact us or visitour catalog todetermine which ofour law libraries ownthe other treatisescited or to search formore treatises.References to onlinedatabases refer toin-library use ofthese databases.Remote access is notavailable. 53 Am Jur Trials 367, Litigating Construction Liens, Thomson West,(2017). Also available on Westlaw.§§ 30-46. Property subject to construction liens§§ 59-86. Persons entitled to construction liens A Practical Guide to Residential Real Estate Transactions andForeclosures in Connecticut, by Christian R. Hoheb, editor, MCLEPress, 2012, with 2018 supplement.§ 4.15 Mechanic’s Liens 13 Connecticut Practice Series, Connecticut Construction Law, byDavid E. Rosengren, Thomson West, 2005, with 2020-2021supplement (also available on Westlaw).Chapter 6. Mechanic’s Liens§ 6:1. General provisions§ 6:2. Persons entitled to lien§ 6:3. Property subject to mechanic’s liens§ 6:4. Items covered under mechanic’s liens§ 6:12. Effect of arbitration 1 Connecticut Foreclosures: An Attorney’s Manual of Practice andProcedure, 11th ed., by Denis R. Caron and Geoffrey K. Milne,Connecticut Law Tribune, 2020.Chapter 15. Mechanic’s Liens§ 15-1. Special concerns Connecticut Lawyer’s Deskbook: A Reference Manual, 3rd ed.,LawFirst Publishing, 2008.Chapter 16. Mechanics’ LiensBasic principlesWhat is a mechanic’s lien (p. 388)Who is entitled to file a mechanic’s lien? (p. 389)What type of property may be subject to a mechanic’slien (p. 389-390)LAW REVIEWS:Public access to lawreview databases isavailable on-site ateach of our lawlibraries. R. Bradley Morris, Mechanic’s Liens: To Lien or Not to Lien, That Isthe Question, 21 Conn. Law. 24 (2010). Laurence Levine, Due Process of Law in Pre-Judgment AttachmentAnd The Filing Of Mechanics’ Liens, 50 Connecticut Bar Journal 335(1976). Charles M. Lyman, Note, Mechanic’s Lien—Priority Over UnrecordedPurchase-Money Mortgage—Gruss V. Miskinis, 130 Conn. 367(1943). 18 Connecticut Bar Journal 28 (1944).Mechanics’ Liens - 10
Table 1: Rights of Subcontractor – Mechanic’s LiensRights of SubcontractorStatutesConn. Gen. Stat.§ 49-33(f) (2021)You can visit yourlocal law library orsearch the mostrecent statutes andpublic acts on theConnecticut GeneralAssembly website toconfirm that you areusing the most upto-date statutes.“Any such subcontractor shall be subrogated to the rights ofthe person through whom the subcontractor claims, exceptthat the subcontractor shall have a mechanic’s lien or right toclaim a mechanic’s lien in the event of any default by thatperson subject to the provisions of sections 49-34, 49-35 and49-36, provided the total of such lien or liens shall not attachto any building or its appurtenances, or to the land on whichthe same stands or to any lot or to any plot of land, to agreater amount in the whole than the amount by which thecontract price between the owner and the person throughwhom the subcontractor claims exceeds the reasonable cost,either estimated or actual, as the case may be, ofsatisfactory completion of the contract plus any damagesresulting from such default for which that person might beheld liable to the owner and all bona fide payments, asdefined in section 49-36, made by the owner before receivingnotice of such lien or liens.”CasesSemac ElectricCompany, Inc. v.Skanska USABuilding, Inc.,Superior Court,Judicial District ofHartford, No. CV156076107-S (May17, 2017) (2017WL 2539015).“Prior to filing this lawsuit, the subcontractor Semac placed amechanic’s lien on the land records against the Stamfordhospital property. The contractor Skanska says the lien iswildly inflated and cost it business with the hospital. Afterfiling suit, Semac wrote a letter to it’s own sub-contractorstelling them it had filed suit, that it had filed a mechanic’s lienand so should they.”W. G. Glenney Co.v. Bianco, 27 Conn.App. 199, 201, 604A.2d 1345 (1992).“Under Connecticut law, a subcontractor's right to enforce amechanic's lien against a property owner is based on thedoctrine of subrogation . . . . The theory of subrogationallows the plaintiff to recover only to the extent the generalcontractor could recover from the defendants.”Seaman v. ClimateControlCorporation, 181Conn. 592, 593,436 A.2d 271(1980).The sole issue on this appeal is whether a second tiersubcontractor has a right to a mechanic's lien against theowner's property when the owner owes money to the generalcontractor, but the first tier subcontractor has been fully paidby the general contractor.Mechanics’ Liens - 11
Avery v. Smith, 96Conn. 223, 225,113 A. 313 (1921).“It is well settled that under our mechanic's lien law asubcontractor's right of lien depends upon the existence ofsuch a right in the original contractor, whether perfected byhim or not . . . .”Waterbury Lumber& Coal Co. v.Coogan, 73 Conn.519, 521, 48 A.204 (1901).“Statutory liens on real estate for improvements put uponthem otherwise than by contract with the owner, are of twoclasses. These may be imposed in favor of a subcontractorbecause he is equitably entitled to a lien that would otherwiseattach in favor of the contractor; or, under certaincircumstances, they may be imposed on the ground that theimprovements have so enhanced the value of the estate thatit would be inequitable to allow the owner to be enriched atthe expense of him by whom they were made.”LegislativeOffice of LegislativeResearch reportssummarize andanalyze the law ineffect on the date ofeach report’spublication. Currentlaw may be differentfrom what isdiscussed in thereports.Mechanic’s Lien-Subcontractors, George Coppolo, ChiefAttorney, Connecticut General Assembly, Office of LegislativeResearch Report, 98-R-0280 (October 2, 2003).Encyclopedias 24 ALR 4th 963, Right of Subcontractor’s Subcontractor orMaterialman, or of Materialman’s Materialman, ToMechanic’s Lien, by James McLoughlin (1983). Alsoavailable on Westlaw. 75 ALR 3d 505, Release or Waiver of Mechanic’s Lien byGeneral Contractor as Affecting Rights of Subcontractor orMaterialman, by Maurice T. Brunner (1977). Also availableon Westlaw. 69 ALR 3d 1342, Effect of Bankruptcy of PrincipalContractor Upon Mechanic’s Lien of Subcontractor,Laborer or Materialman as Against Owner of Property, byJ.R. Kemper (1976). Also available on Westlaw. 62 ALR 3d 288, Building and Construction Contracts:Right of Subcontractor Who Has Dealt Only with PrimaryContractor to Recover Against Property Owner in QuasiContract, by J.R. Kemper (1975). Also available onWestlaw.Mechanics’ Liens - 12
TreatisesYou can contact usor visit our catalogto determine whichof our law librariesown the treatisescited.References to onlinedatabases refer toin-library use ofthese databases. 13 Connecticut Practice Series, Connecticut ConstructionLaw, by David E. Rosengren, Thomson West, 2005, with2020-2021 supplement (also available on Westlaw).Chapter 6. Mechanic’s Liens§ 6:2. Persons entitled to lien Connecticut Lawyer’s Deskbook: A Reference Manual, 3rded., LawFirst Publishing, 2008.Chapter 16. Mechanics’ LiensBasic principlesWho is entitled to file a mechanic’s lien? (p.389)How is a mechanic’s lien challenged? (p. 393)1. SubrogationMechanics’ Liens - 13
Section 2: Mechanic’s Lien CertificateA Guide to Resources in the Law LibrarySCOPE:Bibliographic resources relating to obtaining or perfecting a mechanic’slien in Connecticut.DEFINITIONS: Mechanic’s Lien Certificate: “A mechanic’s lien is not valid unlessthe person performing the services or furnishing the materials (1)within ninety days after he has ceased to do so, lodges with thetown clerk of the town in which the building, lot or plot of land issituated a certificate in writing, which shall be recorded by the townclerk with deeds of land, (A) describing the premises, the amountclaimed as a lien thereon, the name or names of the person againstwhom the lien is being filed and the d
Section 1: Basic Requirements for Mechanic's Liens in Connecticut A Guide to Resources in the Law Library SCOPE: Bibliographic resources relating to the basic requirements for filing a mechanic's lien in Connecticut. DEFINITIONS: "A mechanic's lien is a creature of statute and gives a right of action which did not exist at common law."
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