2006 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B
By: Representative Guice
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 85-7-141, 85-7-131 AND 85-7-133, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT IF A CONSTRUCTION LIEN HAS BEEN FILED AND NO SUIT TO ENFORCE THE LIEN HAS BEEN COMMENCED WITHIN TWELVE MONTHS OF FILING THE LIEN, THEN THE LIEN SHALL BE CANCELLED BY OPERATION OF LAW; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 85-7-141, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
85-7-141. (1) Any person entitled to and desiring to have the benefit of a lien under Sections 85-7-131 through 85-7-157 shall commence a suit to enforce the lien in the circuit court of the county in which the property or some part thereof is situated, if the principal of his demand exceeds Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00), within twelve (12) months next after the time when the money due and claimed by the suit became due and payable, and not after. The suit shall be commenced by petition, describing with reasonable certainty the property upon which the lien is averred to exist, * * * setting out the nature of the contract and indebtedness and the amount thereof. Notice of any suit filed in the appropriate circuit court to enforce a lien under this section shall be transmitted to the chancery clerk of the county in which property subject to the lien is located. The plaintiff shall file therewith in all cases, except where the whole work or materials, or both, were furnished in pursuance of a written contract for an aggregate price, a bill of particulars exhibiting the amount and kind of labor performed, and of materials furnished, and the prices at which and times when the same were performed and furnished. Such suits shall be docketed and conducted as other suits in said court, and may be tried at the first term.
(2) If a lien has been filed under Sections 85-7-131 through 85-7-157 and no suit to enforce the lien has been commenced within twelve (12) months of filing the lien, then the lien shall be cancelled by operation of law. The chancery clerk of the county in which the property subject to the lien is located shall cancel the lien from the land records of the county when twelve (12) months have expired from the date that the money allegedly due and claimed by the lien became due and payable, unless the clerk has received a notice that a suit has been filed in the appropriate circuit court to enforce a lien under subsection (1) of this section.
SECTION 2. Section 85-7-131, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
85-7-131. Every house, building, water well or structure of any kind, and any fixed machinery, gearing or other fixture that may or may not be used or connected therewith, railroad embankment, erected, constructed, altered or repaired, and every subdivision of property or subdivided property which required services, designs or construction in designing or laying out of streets or subdividing or construction of streets, sewerage, water or other utilities to be furnished by the said subdivision or by the various owners or holders or creators of said subdivision or subdivided property or individual lot or lots in connection therewith, whether inside of a municipality or outside thereof, shall be liable for the debt contracted and owing, for labor done or materials furnished, or architectural engineers' and surveyors' or contractors' service rendered about the erection, construction, alteration or repairs thereof; and debt for such services or construction shall be a lien thereon. The architects, engineers, surveyors, laborers, and materialmen and/or contractors who rendered services and constructed the improvements shall have a lien therefor. Further, as to oil and gas wells, the operator thereof shall have such a lien upon the interest of each nonoperator owner of an interest in the mineral leasehold estate for such nonoperator's proportionate part of such labor, material and services rendered by the operator or for the operator's account in behalf of each nonoperator in the drilling, completion, recompletion, reworking or other operations of such oil and gas well. If such house, building, structure, or fixture be in a city, town or village, the lien shall extend to and cover the entire lot of land on which it stands and the entire curtilage thereto belonging; or, if not in a city, town or village, the lien shall extend to and cover one (1) acre of land on which the same may stand, if there be so much, to be selected by the holder of the lien. If the structure be a water well, the lien shall extend only to all pumps, pipes, equipment therein and all water well appurtenances. If the structure be an oil or gas well, the lien shall extend to the nonoperator's interest in the mineral estate and the fixtures and equipment in the producing unit assigned such well by the state oil and gas board. If the structure be a railroad or railroad embankment, the lien shall extend to and cover the entire roadbed and right-of-way, depots and other buildings used or connected therewith. If the services of the architect, surveyor, engineer, laborers, materialmen or of the contractors shall be upon the whole subdivision, the lien shall extend to and cover the entire subdivision; but if a part only of the land is subdivided and laborers', materialmen's, architects', surveyors' or engineers' services are required and contractors are employed, then the lien shall extend to only that portion of said property upon which the services were required or upon which or in connection with which the work was done or the materials were furnished.
Such lien shall take effect as to purchasers or encumbrancers for a valuable consideration without notice thereof, only from the time of commencing suit to enforce the lien, or from the time of filing the contract under which the lien arose, or notice thereof, in the office of the clerk of the chancery court, as hereinafter stated, and the lien shall have no effect if it has been cancelled in accordance with the provisions of Section 85-7-141(2). Delivery of material to the job is prima facie evidence of its use therein, and use of water from a water well is prima facie evidence of acceptability of well. In the case of oil and gas wells, such lien shall take effect as to purchasers or encumbrancers for a valuable consideration without notice thereof, only from the time of filing notice of such lien as provided by Section 85-7-133.
SECTION 3. Section 85-7-133, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
85-7-133. Each of the several chancery clerks of this state shall provide in his office, as a part of the land records of his county, a record entitled "Notice of Construction Liens and of Lien Cancellations" wherein:
(a) Notices under Section 85-7-131 shall be filed and recorded, and such liens, as provided hereunder, shall not take effect unless and until some notation thereof shall be filed and recorded in said record showing a description of the property involved, the name of the lienor or lienors, the date of filing, if and where suit is filed, and if and where contract is filed or recorded;
(b) A record shall be maintained of liens that have been cancelled under Section 85-7-141 because no suit to enforce the lien has been commenced within twelve (12) months of filing the lien. The chancery clerk of the county in which the property subject to the lien is located shall cancel the lien from the land records of the county when twelve (12) months have expired from the date that the money allegedly due and claimed by the lien became due and payable, unless the clerk has received a notice that a suit has been filed in the appropriate circuit court to enforce a lien under subsection (1) of Section 85-7-141.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.