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Carolina Holdings Midwest, LLC v. Copouls

April 01, 2003

CAROLINA HOLDINGS MIDWEST, LLC, A DELAWARE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, D/B/A INTER-STATE LUMBER, RESPONDENT,
v.
JAMES A. COPOULS, ET AL., APPELLANTS, CITIZENS STATE BANK OF WAVERLY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS, SCHERER BROS. LUMBER CO., RESPONDENT, FLARE HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING, RESPONDENT, AND SCHERER BROS. LUMBER CO., DEFENDANT AND THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFF,
v.
ROBB GASS, INDIVIDUALLY, THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANT, AND CAROLINA HOLDINGS MIDWEST, LLC, A DELAWARE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, D/B/A INTER-STATE LUMBER, PLAINTIFF AND THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFF,
v.
LITTFIN LUMBER COMPANY, D/B/A LITTFIN, THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANT, AND ROBB GASS CONSTRUCTION, INC., DEFENDANT AND SECOND THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFF,
v.
BRITT J. AND MICHELE WILLIS, D/B/A DESIGN CLASSICS CUSTOM HOME DESIGNERS, ET AL., SECOND THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANTS.



Hennepin County District Court File No. LN004861

Considered and decided by Harten, Presiding Judge, Peterson, Judge, and Halbrooks, Judge.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. When property owners have acknowledged receipt of pre-lien notices sent in good faith to their current residence by certified mail and signed for by a mail carrier, the fact that the owners did not personally sign for the pre-lien notices does not void the liens.

2. When mechanic's lien creditors send copies of lien statements by certified mail to the work site address given by the property owners as their address, the fact that the mailed copies are not accepted at that address does not void the liens.

3. Minn. Stat. §á514.03 (2000) does not limit the amount of mechanics' liens to the reasonable value of the property.

4. When mechanic's lien creditors have not consented to property owners' demolition of the real property that secures the liens, the creditors are entitled to a personal judgment against the property owners for lien amounts not satisfied by the foreclosure sale.

5. When mechanic's lien creditors have not consented to property owners' demolition of the real property that secures mechanics' liens and the amounts of the liens are not satisfied by the foreclosure sale, the creditors are entitled to attach the owners' personal property.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Harten, Judge

Affirmed

OPINION

Respondents, subcontractors, filed mechanics' liens on appellants' property. Appellants challenge the district court's determinations that service of both pre-lien notices and lien statements was adequate, that Minn. Stat. §á514.03 (2000) does not limit the amounts of the liens, that respondents are entitled to a personal judgment against appellants for the amount of the liens not satisfied by the foreclosure sale, and that respondents are entitled to an order for attachment. Because we see no error of law in these determinations, we affirm.

FACTS

Appellants James and Barbara Copouls contracted for a house to be built for $485,079. Respondents Scherer Bros. Lumber Co. (Scherer), Flare Heating & Air Conditioning (Flare), and Carolina Holdings Midwest, d/b/a Inter-State Lumber (Inter-State), are subcontractors who provided materials and labor for appellants' house.

Scherer and Flare sent pre-lien notices by certified mail to the Copouls' residence, where they were signed for by a mail carrier, who then put them with the rest of appellants' mail inside their mailbox. Appellants do not deny that they received the notices.

Respondents filed mechanics' lien statements and, using a lien service company, sent copies of the statements to the work site address by certified mail. Appellants had previously given the work site address as their address on the mortgage papers and directed their bank to send notices to that address. Nevertheless, the lien statements were not accepted at the work site address and were returned to respondents. When respondents sought to foreclose the liens, appellants moved the district court to dismiss the liens on ...


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