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Houston Harbaugh Blog

Supreme Court Reverses Holding Requiring Complaint on Mechanic's Lien Be Filed at Separate Term and Number

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In July 2013, a three judge panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court dismissed a claimant's Complaint on a mechanic's lien that was filed at the same docket number at the actual previously filed Mechanics' Lien. In that opinion, the Superior Court held that: "where one files a mechanic's lien claim and then files a complaint in the same proceeding, an action does not commence. See Terra Technical Services, LLC. v. River Station Land L.P., 82 A. 3d 1084 (Pa. Super. 2013, previously reported on here.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court disagrees, and this fall, that Court held that a claimant filing a complaint to enforce a previously filed mechanics' lien claim need not docket such complaint under a term and number separate from that which had been assigned to the mechanics' lien claim itself. http://caselaw.findlaw.com/pa-supreme-court/1714464.html#sthash.EoqHEvrJ.dpuf

Justice Steven wrote the lead opinion which was joined by Justice Baer. Justice Eakin issues a concurring opinion and Chief Justice Saylor also issued a concurring opinion joined by Justice Todd.

Regardless of the basis asserted by the various opinions, practitioners can now be confident that regardless of whether they file actions to enforce mechanic's liens under the existing docket number or under a new docket number, any judgment obtained on that action will be valid.

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