TITLE 25

Property

Mortgages and Other Liens

CHAPTER 27. MECHANICS' LIENS

Subchapter III. Enforcement Before Justice of the Peace


Any person having performed any labor to any amount less than $100 in or for the erection, alteration or repair of any structure or bridge, in pursuance of any contract, expressed or implied, with the owner or reputed owner of such structure or bridge or with any contractor who has contracted for the erection, alteration or repair of any structure or bridge, or any part thereof, may obtain a lien upon such structure or bridge and upon the ground upon which the same may be situated or erected in the manner provided in this subchapter.

16 Del. Laws, c. 145; 19 Del. Laws, c. 263; Code 1915, § 2850; Code 1935, § 3331; 25 Del. C. 1953, § 2731.;

No person having done or performed any labor in or about the erection, alteration or repair of any structure or bridge shall be allowed to file any statement of that person's claim before a justice of the peace until after the expiration of 20 days from the time of the last labor done or performed by that person, but, in order to avail himself or herself of the benefits of this subchapter, the person shall file that person's claim within 10 days after the expiration of the 20 days aforesaid. Any person entitled to the benefits of this subchapter shall file that person's claim under oath, within the time above specified, with any justice of the peace of the county wherein such structure or bridge is situated.

16 Del. Laws, c. 145; 19 Del. Laws, c. 263; Code 1915, § 2850; Code 1935, § 3331; 25 Del. C. 1953, § 2732; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The statement of claim shall set forth the names of the party claimant, the owner or reputed owner of the structure or bridge, the contractor and the kind of labor done and whether the contract was with the owner or the owner's agent or with the contractor, the sum claimed to be due, the time when the labor was commenced and finished, the location of such structure or bridge, the ground upon which the same is situated, and a description sufficient to identify the same.

16 Del. Laws, c. 145; 19 Del. Laws, c. 263; Code 1915, § 2850; Code 1935, § 3331; 25 Del. C. 1953, § 2733; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Immediately upon the filing of any claim under this subchapter, the justice of the peace with whom the claim is filed shall issue a summons, as in other civil cases, to the owner and contractor, directed to any constable of the county. The time for the defendant's appearance shall not be more than 3 days from the date of the summons, and not more than 2 adjournments shall be had and then only from day to day. If the defendant fails to appear at the time appointed or if after a hearing the justice is satisfied of the correctness of the claim, the justice shall give judgment as in other cases and, upon the payment of cost and a demand for the transcript, he shall furnish such transcript.

16 Del. Laws, c. 145; 19 Del. Laws, c. 263; 19 Del. Laws, c. 264; Code 1915, § 2850; Code 1935, § 3331; 25 Del. C. 1953, § 2734; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The transcript and judgment may be entered in the Superior Court of the county in which the structure is situated and, when so entered, if within 2 days from the date of the judgment, shall become a lien on such structure or bridge and upon the ground upon which the same is erected and shall relate back to the day when the labor was commenced and shall take priority accordingly. Any and all transcripts taken and entered in the Superior Court under this subchapter shall contain a description of the property upon which it is to become a lien and shall conform to the description set forth in the plaintiff's statement. All costs and charges shall follow the judgment and shall be the same as are authorized by law in civil cases before justices of the peace. Every contractor, when so required, shall give ample security to the owner of any structure being altered, erected or repaired by him to save such owner harmless from the provisions of this subchapter.

16 Del. Laws, c. 145; 19 Del. Laws, c. 263; Code 1915, § 2850; Code 1935, § 3331; 25 Del. C. 1953, § 2735; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The execution of every judgment entered in the Superior Court upon transcript under the provisions of this subchapter shall be by writ of levari facias in the following form:

"..................... County, ss.:

The State of Delaware.

To the Sheriff of said County, Greeting:

We command you that without any other writ from us, of the following described building and lot of ground, to wit (describing the same according to the record) in your bailiwick, you cause to be levied as well a certain debt of............., which............. lately before one of the justices of the peace for the County aforesaid recovered against............. to be levied of the said building and lot of ground, as also the interest thereon from the............. day of............. A.D.............., and also the sum of............. for the costs which accrued thereon according to the form and effect of an Act of the General Assembly in such cases made and provided, and have you there the moneys before our Judges at............., at our Superior Court in and for the County of............., there to be held on the............. day of............. next, to render unto the said............. for his debt, interest and costs aforesaid and have you then there this writ."

Witness (as in similar writs).

16 Del. Laws, c. 145; 25 Del. Laws, c. 237; Code 1915, § 2851; Code 1935, § 3332; 25 Del. C. 1953, § 2736; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Transferred to § 2729 of this title, effective July 17, 1990, by 67 Del. Laws, c. 373.