Construction liens are tools that can be used during a construction project to ensure payment for work that has been completed but has not been paid. A wide range of parties involved in construction projects can file construction liens, such as general contractors, materials suppliers, and even architects involved in the construction project. When a party has completed work on a construction project or has fulfilled their end of the contract but has not been paid, filing a construction lien places a lien on the property until they have been paid for their work. Once the party has been paid, the lien will need to be discharged. How do you discharge a construction lien in New Jersey? Our New Jersey construction lien attorneys can provide you with more information.
What is a Construction Lien in New Jersey?
In order to understand how to discharge a construction lien in NJ, it is important to understand what a construction lien is and how it works. According to the Cornell Legal Information Institute (LII), construction liens are also commonly known as mechanic’s liens, laborer’s liens, and artisan’s liens. All of these terms refer to “a type of lien that gives contractors a security interest in the property until they have been paid for their work on that property.” Each state has its own law for construction liens and the process for discharging them. New Jersey
Who Must File to Discharge a Construction Lien?
Who is responsible for filing the certificate to discharge the construction lien claim of record? Under New Jersey law, the claimant (or a party representing the claimant) is required to file. The steps to discharge a construction lien must occur after the claim has been paid or has been otherwise settled. Here is what the statute says:
“When a lien claim has been filed and the claim has been paid, satisfied, or settled by the parties or forfeited by the claimant, the claimant or claimant’s successor in interest or attorney shall, within 30 days of payment, satisfaction or settlement, or within 7 days of demand by any interested party, file with the county clerk a certificate, duly acknowledged or proved, directing the county clerk to discharge the lien claim of record.”
What is the Process for Discharging a Construction Lien in NJ?
The process for discharging a construction lien in New Jersey begins with the filing of a certificate to discharge the lien claim of record. As New Jersey law makes clear, the certificate must be filed with the county clerk, and it must contain all of the following information:
- Date of filing of the construction lien claim;
- Recording book and page information of the construction lien;
- Name of the owner or owners of the property named in the construction lien claim;
- Location of the property identified in the construction lien claim, including specific details about the street address, municipality, and any lot or block numbers;
- Name of the person or entity for whom the construction work, services, equipment, or materials were provided; and
- Claimant’s signature and printed or typed name.
In addition to this information contained in the certificate, the certificate typically must be notarized, and it must be in English. Once the certificate is filed, the construction lien can be discharged.
What Happens if I Do Not Take Steps to Discharge a Construction Lien?
When a construction lien claim has been paid, satisfied, settled, or forfeited, the claimant must file the certificate to discharge the construction lien claim of record, as we noted above. However, if the claimant does not take steps to have the construction lien discharged, then the construction lien can be discharged by court order. According to New Jersey law:
“If the claimant shall fail or refuse to file this certificate . . . a judge of the Superior Court may, upon good cause being shown, and absent receipt of written objections and grounds for same, order the lien claim discharged on the return date of the order to show cause.” Then, the original notice of lien claim will have information to show that it was discharged by court order.
Contact a New Jersey Construction Lien Lawyer
If you have any questions about discharging construction liens, or you have more general questions about construction liens in New Jersey, you should seek advice from an attorney who can assist you. At Snellings Law LLC, we have years of experience serving clients who need assistance with construction liens, and one of our experienced construction lien lawyers in New Jersey can speak with you today. Contact Snellings Law LLC to learn more about our services and how we can help you.