by: Patrick A. Randolph, Jr.
Professor of Law
UMKC School of Law
Here are some mechanic's lien cases with universal points to make. That they all are from Indiana is coincidental. I am sure that Hoosiers pay (or don't pay) their contractors with the same regularity as residents of other states.
MECHANICS LIENS; AMOUNT: The quality of labor performed and materials used in performing services should be considered in determing the amount of a mechanics lien where a property owner is contending that the inferior nature of the labor and materials warrant reduction in the amount of the lien below the contract price. Korellis Roofing, Inc. v. Stolman, 645 N.E.2d 29 (Ind.App. 5 Dist. 1995).
MECHANICS LIENS; LABOR: A real estate developer who provides supervisory services at aconstruction site, but not actual labor, is not entitled to a mechanics lien. Premier Investments v. Suites of America, 644 N.E.2d 124 (Ind. 1994). In reaching its decision, the court paid particular attention to the fact that the developer was also an equity participant in the deal.
MECHANICS LIENS; MATERIALS SUPPLIERS: The supplier of fuel used to power the equipment of a contractor at a construction site is not entitled to a mechanics lien because it provides neither "materials" nor "labor." P & P Oil Service Co., Inc. V. Bethlehem Steel Corporation, 643, N.E. 2d 9 (Ind.App. 4 Dist. 1994). Claimant had argued that the machines were themselves labor saving devices and thus should be treated as "labor."
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