Daily Development for
Wednesday, July 2, 1997

by: Patrick A. Randolph, Jr.
Professor of Law
UMKC School of Law

MECHANICS' LIENS; PUBLIC LANDS: Although claimant cannot assert mechanics' lien against public property, if lien was perfected and attached prior to dedication and acceptance by city, city's ownership is subject to claimant's lien.

Brannan Sand & Gravel Co., Inc. v. F.D.I.C., 928 P.2d 1337 (Colo. Ct. App. 1996).

Plaintiff supplied labor and materials for installation of the curbs and gutters and paving of streets in a subdivision to be annexed to the city. When the subdivision's developer failed to pay plaintiff and filed bankruptcy, plaintiff filed a mechanic's lien against property of the subdivision and sought to foreclose.

The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the city on the grounds that the mechanics' lien statute was inapplicable to public property, and plaintiff appealed.

On appeal: held: Reversed: The Colorado Court of Appeals held that if the lien had been filed and perfected prior to the developer's dedication of the property to the city and the city's acceptance, it would be valid as against the city, and the city's ownership of the property would be subject to plaintiff's lien and loss in the foreclosure sale.

Because the trial court had not addressed the issue of whether plaintiff had perfected his lien or its priority, remand was proper.

Comment: Not much of an issue, but a useful point to tuck into the precedent file.

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