Supreme Court Affirms Court of Appeals Holding that Status Report Could Constitute Last Date of Work for Mechanics’ Lien Claim

The Supreme Court recently affirmed the Court of Appeals February 2013 decision in Ramey Kemp v. Richmond Hills holding that a status report prepared by a traffic engineering firm was performed pursuant to the firm’s original contract with the developer and therefore was “work” for the purposes of calculating the last date of “work” for lien purposes.  The firm had contracted in 2005 to perform traffic engineering services for a development but the project stalled out in 2009 and the DOT actually voided the permits for the project in January of 2009, shutting the project down.  Over a year later in February 2010, the developer asked the traffic engineering firm for a status report on the project for purposes of marketing the development.  The firm prepared the status report, filed a lien on the project followed by a lien lawsuit.  The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the traffic engineering firm.  The Court of Appeals affirmed finding that since the developer requested the report and the report was a requirement of the original contract, it was considered to be substantive “work” for purposes of calculating the 120 time period.  The Court of Appeals reached this conclusion even though the DOT had voided all the permits for the project in January of 2009, more than a year prior to the report in February of 2010 and the original contract for the work was entered into in 2005, five years before the status report and eventual lien filing.

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