Dictionary of Law

mechanic's lien :: legal definition

Mechanic's lien - n. the right of a craftsman, laborer, supplier, architect or other person who has worked upon improvements or delivered materials to a particular parcel of real estate (either as an employee of the owner or as a sub-contractor to a general contractor) to place a lien on that real property for the value of the services and/or materials if not paid. Numerous other technical laws surround mechanic's liens, including requirements of prompt written notice to the owner of the property (even before the general contractor has been tardy in making payment), limits on the amount collectable in some states, and various time limitations to enforce the lien. Ultimate, last-resort enforcement of the mechanic's lien is accomplished by filing a lawsuit to foreclose the lien and have the property sold in order to be paid. Property owners should make sure that their general contractors pay their employees or subcontractors to avoid a mechanic's lien, since the owner could be forced to pay the debts of a general contractor even though the owner has already paid the contractor. If the worker or supplier does not sue to enforce the mechanic's lien, he/she may still sue for the debt.

See also: lien and Related Law Terms ↓

Related Law Terms

abstract of judgment :: n. a written summary of a judgment which states ho ... aying the debt. See also: levy lien
abstract of title :: n. the written report on a title search which show ... e also: chain of title title report
after-acquired property :: n. 1) personal or real property acquired by a debt ... lso: bankruptcy secured transaction
agency :: n. the relationship of a person (called the agent) ... ondeat superior scope of employment
appearance :: n. the act of a party or an attorney showing up in ... neral appearance special appearance
appurtenant :: adj. pertaining to something that attaches. In rea ... t. See also: easement real property
assess :: v. to set a value on property, usually for the pur ... e place upon sale of real property.
assume :: v. to take over the liability for a debt on a prom ... he assumption. See also: assumption
attractive nuisance doctrine :: n. a legal doctrine which makes a person negligent ... ch make negligence harder to prove.
bankruptcy :: n. a federal system of statutes and courts which p ... y proceedings trustee in bankruptcy
chain of title :: n. the succession of title ownership to real prope ... title conveyance foreclosure title
claim :: 1) v. to make a demand for money, for property, or ... the government, it is lawsuit time.
collateral :: 1) n. property pledged to secure a loan or debt, u ... ral to the Colorado divorce action.
color of title :: n. the appearance of having title to personal or r ... rty based on this "color of title."
common area :: n. in condominium and some cooperative housing pro ... tage of total store space occupied.
condemn :: v. 1) for a public agency to determine that a buil ... condemnation action eminent domain
condition subsequent :: n. 1) in a contract, a happening which terminates ... Dad Fauntleroy. See also: condition
condominium :: n. title to a unit of real property which, in real ... ium projects. See also: common area
contractor :: n. 1) a person or entity that enters into a contra ... actor mechanic's lien subcontractor
convey :: v. to transfer title (official ownership) to real ... ion conveyance deed grantee grantor
conveyance :: n. a generic term for any written document which t ... r Recorder of Deeds. See also: deed
covenant :: 1) n. a promise in a written contract or a deed of ... o compete deed restrictive covenant
covenants, conditions and restrictions :: n. commonly called "CC and Rs," these are written ... ctive purchaser. See also: covenant
deed :: 1) n. the written document which transfers title ( ... veyance deed of trust warranty deed
demise :: 1) v. an old-fashioned expression meaning to lease ... r life. 3) n. death. 4) n. failure.
devise :: 1) v. an old-fashioned word for giving real proper ... so: bequest gift legacy remise will
devisee :: n. a person who receives a gift of real property b ... will. See also: beneficiary legatee
easement :: n. the right to use the real property of another f ... rstandings at the time of creation.
eminent domain :: n. the power of a governmental entity (federal, st ... ngs. See also: condemn condemnation
encumbrance :: (incumbrance)n. a general term for any claim or li ... and must be paid for at some point.
equitable lien :: n. a lien on property imposed by a court in order ... lso: constructive trust equity lien
escrow :: 1) n. a form of account held by an "escrow agent" ... w the deal." See also: escrow agent
exchange :: 1) v. to trade or barter property, goods and/or se ... ins tax. See also: delayed exchange
execution :: n. 1) the act of getting an officer of the court t ... so: death penalty writ of execution
foreclosure :: n. the system by which a party who has loaned mone ... ced sale mortgage notice of default
free and clear :: adj. referring to the ownership of real property u ... the title has no claim against it.
general appearance :: n. an attorney's representation of a client in cou ... case. See also: special appearance
general partner :: n. 1) usually one of the owners and operators of a ... ted partnership partner partnership
grant deed :: n. the document which transfers title to real prop ... rant grantee grantor quitclaim deed
guarantee :: 1) v. to pledge or agree to be responsible for ano ... as some defect. See also: guarantor
in personam :: adj. (in purr-soh-nam) from Latin for "directed to ... here. See also: in rem jurisdiction
independent contractor :: n. a person or business which performs services fo ... ue independence. See also: employee
indispensable party :: n. a person or entity which must be included in a ... tion to join Olivia as a defendant.
insurance :: n. a contract (insurance policy) in which the insu ... t clause Workers' Compensation Acts
interest :: n. 1) any and all, partial or total right to prope ... nal property real property standing
invitee :: n. a person who comes onto another's property, pre ... ail employees. See also: negligence
just compensation :: n. 1) in general a fair and reasonable amount of m ... ation make one whole quantum meruit
laches :: n. the legal doctrine that a legal right or claim ... , breach of contract, fraud, etc.).
land :: n. real property, real estate (and all that grows ... See also: real estate real property
lease :: 1) n. a written agreement in which the owner of pr ... triple net lease unlawful detainer
leasehold :: n. the real estate which is the subject of a lease ... sehold. See also: condominium lease
legatee :: n. a person or organization receiving a gift of an ... eficiary devise devisee legacy will
leverage :: 1) n. the use of borrowed money to purchase real e ... e been created by risky leveraging.
liability :: n. one of the most significant words in the field ... bility joint tortfeasors negligence
libel :: 1) n. to publish in print (including pictures), wr ... libel per se public figure slander
lien :: n. any official claim or charge against property o ... ord's lien mechanic's lien mortgage
life estate :: n. the right to use or occupy real property for on ... hter, Sadie, will own the property.
limited partnership :: n. a special type of partnership which is very com ... mited liability partner partnership
lis pendens :: (lease pen-dense) n. Latin for "a suit pending," a ... ob can be penalized by court order.
marketable title :: n. the title to real property which has no encumbr ... e. See also: contract real property
mortgage :: n. a document in which the owner pledges his/her/i ... losure notice of default trust deed
negligence :: n. failure to exercise the care toward others whic ... gence per se res ipsa loquitur tort
no fault insurance :: n: a type of automobile insurance required of car ... ling lawsuits. See also: negligence
nominal party :: n. a defendant or a plaintiff included in a lawsui ... ed. See also: necessary party party
non-conforming use :: n. the existing use (residential, commercial, agri ... eneral plan grandfathered in zoning
notice :: n. 1) information, usually in writing in all legal ... Thirty-day notice three-day notice
option :: n. a right to purchase property or require another ... ng or upon expiration of the lease.
ostensible agent :: n. a person who has been given the appearance of b ... rent authority ostensible authority
partner :: n. 1) one of the co-owners and investors in a "par ... ner limited partnership partnership
partnership :: n. a business enterprise entered into for profit w ... partnership partner silent partner
perfect :: : (with stress on the second syllable) v. 1) to co ... perfect. See also: mechanic's lien
personalty :: n. movable assets (things, including animals) whic ... lso: personal effects real property
possessory interest :: n. in real estate, the intent and right of a perso ... o: possess possession real property
possibility of a reverter :: n. the potential that the title to a real property ... further issue. See also: reversion
power of attorney :: n. a written document signed by a person giving an ... y, as in a real estate transaction.
product liability :: n. the responsibility of manufacturers, distributo ... e known. See also: warrant warranty
promissory note :: n. a written promise by a person (variously called ... lso: interest obligee obligor usury
property :: n. anything that is owned by a person or entity. P ... rty real property separate property
property tax :: n. an annual governmental tax on real property or ... are made. See also: ad valorem tax
prospectus :: n. a detailed statement by a corporation required ... rporation limited partnership stock
real estate :: n. land, improvements and buildings thereon, inclu ... the future. See also: real property
real estate investment trust :: n. nicknamed REIT, a real estate investment organi ... its upon sale-if there is a profit.
real property :: n. 1) all land, structures, firmly attached and in ... onal property real estate reversion
reconveyance :: n. in those states which use deeds of trust as a m ... conveyance. See also: deed of trust
remainder :: n. in real property law, the interest in real prop ... ed reversion title vested remainder
restraint on alienation :: n. an attempt in a deed or will to prevent the sal ... enant rule against perpetuities use
restrictive covenant :: n. 1) an agreement included in a deed to real prop ... o: covenant that runs with the land
resulting trust :: n. a trust implied by law (as determined by a cour ... See also: constructive trust trust
reversion :: n. in real property, the return to the grantor or ... lled "reverter." See also: reverter
savings and loan :: n. a banking and lending institution, chartered ei ... vings into the home finance market.
servant :: n. an employee of an employer, technically one who ... ndent contractor master and servant
silent partner :: n. a non-legal term for an investor who puts money ... partner limited partnership partner
statute of limitations :: n. a law which sets the maximum period which one c ... ies. See also: demurrer laches toll
straw man :: n. 1) a person to whom title to property or a busi ... a trail will mislead hunting dogs).
subcontractor :: n. a person or business which has a contract (as a ... ependent contractor mechanic's lien
subject to :: adj. referring to the acquisition of title to real ... : assumption deed of trust mortgage
subrogation :: n. assuming the legal rights of a person for whom ... also: negligence subrogee subrogor
title :: n. 1) ownership of real property or personal prope ... ink slip real property title search
title insurance :: n. a policy issued by an insurance company guarant ... : chain of title title title search
title report :: n. the written analysis of the status of title to ... lso: abstract title title insurance
trespass :: n. entering another person's property without perm ... for an illegal purpose is a crime.
undivided interest :: n. title to real property held by two or more pers ... y by the entirety tenancy in common
unlawful detainer :: n. 1) keeping possession of real property without ... Thirty-day notice three-day notice
use :: n. the right to enjoy the benefits of real propert ... ay it is only of academic interest.

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Other Law Terms - M

M. O. :: n. slang for modus operandi, the way or pattern in ... her crime. See also: modus operandi
magistrate :: n. 1) a generic term for any judge of a court, or ... ce of the peace preliminary hearing
Magna Carta :: n. Latin for "Great Charter," it was a document de ... s. It is also spelled Magna Charta.
mail box rule :: n. in contract law, making a written offer or acce ... nse in hand when the time runs out.
maim :: v. to inflict a serious bodily injury, including m ... to a prison term. See also: mayhem
majority :: n. 1) the age when a person can exercise all norma ... t. See also: child infancy minority
make :: v. 1) to create something. 2) to sign a check, pro ... xchange check maker promissory note
make one whole :: v. to pay or award damages sufficient to put the p ... fault of another. See also: damages
maker :: n. 1) the person who signs a check or promissory n ... : check payee payor promissory note
malfeasance :: n. intentionally doing something either legally or ... sponsibility. See also: misfeasance
malice :: n. a conscious, intentional wrongdoing either of a ... cution murder public figure slander
malice aforethought :: n. 1) the conscious intent to cause death or great ... : first degree murder malice murder
malicious prosecution :: n. filing a lawsuit with the intention of creating ... vor of the victim. See also: malice
malpractice :: n. An act or continuing conduct of a professional ... eed. See also: errors and omissions
malum in se :: (mal-uhm in say) adv. Latin referring to an act th ... hibitum. See also: malum prohibitum
malum prohibitum :: (mal-uhm prohibit-uhm) adj. Latin meaning "wrong d ... lso: malum in se white collar crime
mandamus :: (man-dame-us) n. Latin for "we order," a writ (mor ... mandamus. See also: writ of mandate
mandate :: n. 1) any mandatory order or requirement under sta ... See also: mandamus writ of mandate
mandatory :: adj., adv. absolutely demanded or required. ... v. absolutely demanded or required.
mandatory joinder :: n. the required inclusion of a party in a lawsuit ... sues in the case. See also: joinder