Mechanic's Liens are used to encumber the title to an owner's property when a contractor, materials supplier, or other laborer such as a subcontractor has not been paid for labor, materials, or equipment provided. In Delaware, this is accomplished by filing a Statement of Lien Claim.
Under 25 DEL. LAWS, C. 27, 2712(a), every person entitled to the benefits conferred by the mechanic's lien act and desiring to avail himself or herself of the lien provided for by state law, shall, within the time specified in this chapter, file a statement of claim, which may also serve as a complaint when so denominated, in the office of the Prothonotary of the Superior Court in and for the county wherein such structure is situated.
In addition to meeting local standards for content and format, the complaint and/or statement of claim shall set forth: (1) The name of the plaintiff or claimant; (2) The name of the owner or reputed owner of the structure; (3) The name of the contractor and whether the contract of the plaintiff-claimant was made with the owner or with the contractor; (4) The amount due; (5) The starting date for the work or materials; (6) The date the claimant's role on the project was finished; (7) The location of the structure with such description as may be sufficient to identify the same; (8) That the labor was done or the materials were furnished or the construction management services were provided on the credit of the structure; (9) The amount of plaintiff's claim (which must be in excess of $25.00) and that neither this amount nor any part thereof has been paid to plaintiff; and (10) The amount which plaintiff claims to be due him on each structure. 25 DEL. LAWS, C. 27, 2712(b).
The complaint and/or statement of claim must include the affidavit of the plaintiff-claimant that the facts therein are true and correct. 25 DEL. LAWS, C. 27, 2712(c).
Timely filing must take place within 180 days of any of the following: (1) the date of purported completion of all the work called for by the contract as provided by the contract if such date has been agreed to in the contract itself; (2) The date when the statute of limitations commences to run in relation to the particular phase or segment of work performed pursuant to the contract, to which phase or segment of work the statement of claim relates, where such date for such phase or segment has been specifically provided for in the contract itself; (3) the date when the statute of limitations commences to run in relation to the contract itself where such date has been specifically provided for in the contract itself; (4) the date when payment of 90% of the contract price, including the value of any work done pursuant to contract modifications or change orders, has been received by the contractor; (5) the date when the contractor submits that contractor's own final invoice to the owner; (6) with respect to a structure for which a certificate of occupancy must be issued, the date when such certificate is issued; (7) the date when the structure has been accepted, as provided in the contract, by the owner; (8) the date when the engineer or architect retained by the owner issues a certificate of completion; or (9) the date when permanent financing for the structure is completed. 25 DEL. LAWS, C. 27, 2711(a)(2).
All other persons embraced and entitled to avail themselves of the liens herein provided shall file a statement of their respective claims within 120 days from the date from the completion of the labor performed or from the last delivery of materials furnished by them respectively. 25 DEL. LAWS, C. 27, 2711(b). A statement of claim on behalf of such person shall be deemed timely if it is filed within 120 days of either of the following: (1) The date final payment, including all retainage, is due; or (2) The date final payment is made to the contractor who has contracted directly with the owner; and with whom such person has a contract, express or implied, for the furnishing of labor or materials, or both, in connection with the project. Id.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Please speak with a licensed attorney with any questions about Delaware mechanic's lien law or for assistance with filing a claim of lien.
Deeds.com Delaware Notice of Mechanics Lien Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Monday August 3, 2020
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