The North Carolina General Assembly authorized a new study committee to examine a very narrow issue within the Lien Law. On January 21, the study committee met at 10:00 a.m. in Room 415 of the Legislative Office Building to discuss possible changes to how liens apply to improvements made to leased space.
The issue came to the attention of legislators through an opinion issued in 2011 by the North Carolina Court of Appeals (Pete Wall Plumbing Co., Inc. v. Sandra Anderson Builders, Inc.) where a lien claimant’s rights were terminated by operation of the terms of the lease and where the lien law offered no avenue for judicial relief.
Lawyers familiar with the issue understand that there is not likely to be an easy fix. Subcontractors and suppliers need to pay attention to the activities in the legislature as the understood purpose for this study is for the legislature to insure that it honors its constitutional mandate to provide an adequate lien for laborers and materialmen.
More to come . . .
– Nan E. Hannah