Owner consent required for mechanic’s lien

Sky Materials Corp. v Frog Hollow Indus., Inc.

Decided: 2/11/15 at App. Div. 2nd Dept.

The Appellate Court affirmed the lower court’s decision, dismissing plaintiff’s action to foreclose on three mechanics’ liens and to recover damages for breach of contract and unjust enrichment.  The Court explained that the purpose of Lien Law §3 is to “protect those who have directly expended labor and materials to improve real property at the direction of the owner.”  However, the owner of that property must consent to the improvements by some “affirmative act or course of conduct establishing confirmation.”

Here, defendants established their prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by demonstrating that the work allegedly performed by plaintiff was not done by defendant’s request nor consent.  The defendant’s further established their entitlement to judgment as a matter of law dismissing the cause of action alleging breach of contract and unjust enrichment by demonstrating that no written or oral contract existed between the parties and that they did not derive any benefit from the plaintiff’s alleged work.  In opposition, the plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact on any of the causes of actions.  Therefore, the lower court’s decision to grant the defendant’s motion for summary judgment was affirmed.

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