Mechanic’s Lien Deadlines


In Minnesota, there are several important mechanic’s lien deadlines that must be followed in order to properly claim and enforce a mechanic’s lien. These deadlines are set forth in the state’s lien statutes, and they vary depending on the specific circumstances of the lien claim. Here are some key deadlines to keep in mind:

Pre-Lien Notice Deadline

Deadline to serve a pre-lien notice: Not all contractors are required to give a pre-lien notice. Whether a pre-lien notice is required depends on the type of property and type of project, among other factors. However, where a pre-lien notice is required, a contractor must give it as part of its contract with the owner, or if there is no written contract, deliver it personally or by certified mail within 10 days after agreeing to do the work. Subcontractors must give a pre-lien notice within 45 days of starting work.

Deadline to serve and file a mechanic’s lien

Deadline to file lien statement: A lien statement must be filed with the county recorder or registrar of titles within 120 days after the last day of providing labor, skill, or materials to the property.

Deadline to serve lien statement: A copy of the lien statement must be served on the property owner and any other interested parties, such as mortgage holders or other lien claimants, within 120 days after the last day of providing labor, skill, or materials to the property.

It is important to start counting from the last genuine item of contribution, meaning the last item of material or labor that genuinely advanced the project. Courts have invalidated mechanic’s liens based on the “screen door doctrine.” The “screen door doctrine” says that items of labor or material which are nominal or insignificant in amount and furnished for the sole purpose of extending the time for filing a lien are not considered in determining the filing deadline. See W.B. Martin Lumber Co. v. Noss, 99 N.W.2d 65 (Minn. 1959).

Deadline to foreclose Mechanic’s Lien

If the lien claimant wants to enforce the lien, they must commence a lawsuit within one year after the last day of providing labor, skill, or materials to the property.

It’s important to note that failure to comply with any of these deadlines may result in the loss of the lien claimant’s rights to enforce the lien. Therefore, it’s critical to carefully track and meet all applicable deadlines when pursuing a mechanic’s lien in Minnesota.

Contact a Minnesota mechanic’s lien lawyer with questions

The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Each situation is unique and the application of Minnesota law depends on the specific circumstances of each case.