TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Lynn Pointer on Dec 23, 2013

The General Assembly has once again undertaken to “tweak” Tennessee’s lien law as found at T.C.A. § 66-11-101.  Amendment No. 1 to House Bill 1243 (HA 0324) passed the House on April 10, 2013.  The aim of this legislation is to clarify and streamline the process of filing suit to enforce a Mechanic’s and Materialmen’s Lien.  Specifically, the goal is to limit the number of parties that fit within the definition of an “owner” that must be made parties to a lien enforcement suit.  The language in this House Bill provides that the lienor need only serve process on those persons whose interests the lienor seeks to attach and sell.  In other words, it is only necessary in a lien enforcement suit to sue those owners, whose interests the lienor is trying to impair.  For example, the owner of an easement would not have to be named as a party in a lien enforcement suit, if there is no intent to impair their easement interest.

The Construction Law Section supports the aim of this legislation, but is not entirely comfortable with the bill passed by the House.  Therefore, the Construction Law Section is proposing that a revised version be introduced in the Senate, where it is hoped that it will eventually be passed and then adopted by the House.  If you want to review the proposed Senate Bill and/or would like to weigh in on this discussion, please contact Jerry M. Martin, at jerrymartinlaw@aol.com, or (865) 777-2700.  Please do not be shy about offering your input.  Jerry would appreciate all the help that he can receive. Jerry has been appointed by Section Chair, Beth Stengel to be the Section’s legislative liaison. If there is other legislation that you would like the Section to review, please contact Jerry.