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Mississippi Lien Law Signed, Now in Force

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed State Senate Bill 2622 into law last Friday, extending the lien rights that used to only belong to parties with a direct contract with the owner to subcontractors and materials suppliers operating in Mississippi as well.

Prior to the bill's enactment, Mississippi was the only state remaining in the union that did not have a lien law statute that applied to subcontractors. SB 2622 remedied that, however, and put an end to the state construction industry's woes that followed in the wake of the Mississippi Supreme Court's decision last fall to declare the state's stop notice statute unconstitutional, thereby revoking one of the only payment protections previously available to Mississippi subcontractors and materials suppliers.


Arkansas—Contract Required for Lien Enforceability

April 11, 2014

A decision out of the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas serves as an important reminder to officially bind contracts when dealing with GCs, subcontractors and owners. In Spencer Ondrisek and Seth Calagna v. Bernie Lazar Hoffman aka Tony Alamo (Ondrisek v. Hoffman), Judge Barry Bryant threw out the mechanic's liens of five people almost on the sole basis that they did not provide evidence of a formal contract with the defendant. "Without evidence of a contract, these individuals have no enforceable mechanic's lien...even if there was an 'understanding,' such an indefinite agreement would be unenforceable," his ruling stated.


Oklahoma Registry Pre-Lien Statute

April 10, 2014

A state bill is expected to drop in Oklahoma this month that could set up a registration system for contractors and suppliers and call for drastic changes to the pre-lien notice statutes in the state, according to Paula Black, credit manager with Dolese Brothers Co., and James Vogt, Esq., managing partner at Reynolds, Ridings, Vogt & McCart PLLC.

Black, a member of NACM MidAmerica, said the coming proposal in its earliest form was an attempt to change lien laws to be more favorable to general contractors (GCs). At present, suppliers have 75 days from last delivery to file a lien, which GCs believe is a long time for them to be exposed. GCs also oppose Oklahoma's rare "double jeopardy" status, where subcontractors or suppliers can put a lien on the owner or the GC if money paid to either doesn't make it downstream, said Black.


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