Enforcing a Mechanic's Lien in Maryland with Judicial Proceedings
Once a lien is placed on a property, the lien is only good as long as it can be enforced. Enforcement on a mechanic's lien is accomplished by foreclosing on the lien through judicial proceedings. At this point, it is highly recommended to use an attorney in any action to enforce the lien.
The right to enforce any lien established expires at the end of one year from the day on which the petition to establish the lien was first filed. Md. Real Prop. Code section 9-109. During this time, the claimant may file a petition (a complaint) in the lien proceedings to enforce the lien or execute on any bond given to obtain a release of the land and building from the lien. Id. If such petition is filed within the one year period, the right to a lien or the lien, or any bond given to obtain a release of lien, shall remain in full force and effect until the conclusion of the enforcement proceedings and thereafter only in accordance with the decree entered in the case. Id.
The requirements for filing the lien complaint are governed under the Maryland Rules of Civil Procedure (MRCP). Therefore, best practices would involve using an attorney familiar with these rules in drafting the petition. You must use an attorney if you are not filing the Complaint yourself, as anyone signing on your behalf must be licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. Even if you are not a licensed attorney, you will still be held to the standards of one and expected to know the applicable rules and statutes.
If you are filing on your own behalf, be careful that everything included in the complaint is accurate to the best of your knowledge. Do not exaggerate or pad any amounts. Attach documentation to show amounts due, work completed to date, and any cost overruns. Under the MRCP, you could be liable for damages or sanctioned by the court for any false or frivolous filing.
This article is provided for informational purposes only. If you have any questions about filing suit to enforce a lien in Maryland, please consult an attorney.
Deeds.com Maryland Mechanics Lien Complaint Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Tuesday March 19, 2019
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