While the courts in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey extended case filing deadlines as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, neither they nor the Pennsylvania and New Jersey legislatures have extended the deadline to file mechanic’s lien claims. Accordingly, if you are a contractor or subcontractor performing work in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, you must be aware of mechanic’s lien deadlines to ensure your rights are protected. In Pennsylvania, a mechanic’s lien claim must be filed within six months after the last day of performing contract work on the project – i.e., the last day of providing labor and/or materials as required by the contract. Additionally, a subcontractor must serve a formal written notice of their intention to file a mechanic’s lien claim to the owner of the property at least 30 days prior to filing the lien. Therefore, subcontractors must serve their formal notice of intent to file a mechanic’s lien claim within five months after the date of last contracted work on a project. In New Jersey, a construction lien on a commercial project must be filed within only 90 days after the day of performing contract work on the project.
While many businesses are still currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pennsylvania and New Jersey courts are open for business, albeit some may be in a more virtual capacity than prior to the pandemic. For this reason, it is essential that you file your mechanic’s lien prior to the deadline so you can ensure it is accepted by the clerk timely. Electronic filing is recommended, as delays are more likely within the clerk’s office if you file by mail. There are no extensions to the filing of lien claim. If your lien claim is not marked by the clerk as filed by the filing deadline, you will lose your lien rights.
For more information on filing mechanic’s lien claims, feel free to email or call the author, Kathryn Pettit, Esquire, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 484-531-1706.
ABOUT KATHRYN PETTIT
Kathryn E. Pettit, a counsel in the firm’s suburban Philadelphia office, focuses her practice on construction law. Before becoming an attorney, Ms. Pettit received her Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering from Syracuse University. She brings her technical background and perspective to the representation of her clients.
Ms. Pettit has counseled and represented owners, construction managers, contractors, subcontractors, and design professionals in all phases of construction projects. She has experience representing clients in disputes arising from a wide array of construction projects, including both private and public. She has litigated numerous construction claims, from the owner, contractor, and design professional’s perspectives, in state and federal court, as well as arbitrations. Ms. Pettit also has extensive experience representing homeowners in suits against the builders of their properties due to building envelope defects, including stucco defects.
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