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Statutes Text

Article - Real Property




§9–106.

    (a)    (1)    When a petition to establish a mechanic’s lien is filed, the court shall review the pleadings and documents on file and may require the petitioner to supplement or explain any of the matters therein set forth. If the court determines that the lien should attach, it shall pass an order that directs the owner to show cause within 15 days from the date of service on the owner of a copy of the order, together with copies of the pleadings and documents on file, why a lien upon the land or building and for the amount described in the petition should not attach. Additionally, the order shall inform the owner that:

            (i)    He may appear at the time stated in the order and present evidence in his behalf or may file a counteraffidavit at or before that time; and

            (ii)    If he fails to appear and present evidence or file a counteraffidavit, the facts in the affidavit supporting the petitioner’s claim shall be deemed admitted and a lien may attach to the land or buildings described in the petition.

        (2)    If the owner desires to controvert any statement of fact contained in the affidavit supporting the petitioner’s claim, he must file an affidavit in support of his answer showing cause. The failure to file such opposing affidavit shall constitute an admission for the purposes of the proceedings of all statements of fact in the affidavit supporting the petitioner’s claim, but shall not constitute an admission that such petition or affidavit in support thereof is legally sufficient.

        (3)    An answer showing cause why a lien should not be established in the amount claimed shall be set down for hearing at the earliest possible time.

    (b)    (1)    If the pleadings, affidavits and admissions on file, and the evidence, if any, show that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the lien should attach as a matter of law, then a final order shall be entered establishing the lien for want of any cause shown to the contrary. Further, if it appears that there is no genuine dispute as to any portion of the lien claim, then the validity of that portion shall be established and the action shall proceed only on the disputed amount of the lien claim.

        (2)    If the pleadings, affidavits and admissions on file and the evidence, if any, show that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the petitioner failed to establish his right to a lien as a matter of law, then a final order shall be entered denying the lien for cause shown.

        (3)    If the court determines from the pleadings, affidavits and admissions on file, and the evidence, if any, that the lien should not attach, or should not attach in the amount claimed, as a matter of law, by any final order, but that there is probable cause to believe the petitioner is entitled to a lien, the court shall enter an interlocutory order which:

            (i)    Establishes the lien;

            (ii)    Describes the boundaries of the land and the buildings to which the lien attaches;

            (iii)    States the amount of the claim for which probable cause is found;

            (iv)    Specifies the amount of a bond that the owner may file to have the land and building released from the lien;

            (v)    May require the claimant to file a bond in an amount that the court believes sufficient for damages, including reasonable attorney’s fees; and

            (vi)    Assigns a date for the trial of all the matters at issue in the action, which shall be within a period of six months. The owner or any other person interested in the property, however, may, at any time, move to have the lien established by the interlocutory order modified or dissolved.

    (c)    The amount of and the surety on any bond shall be determined and approved pursuant to the Maryland Rules except as set forth in this subtitle. The petitioner, or any other person interested in the property, however, if not satisfied with the sufficiency of a surety or with the amount of any bond given, may, at any time before entry of a final decree, apply to the court for an order requiring an additional bond, and upon notice to the other parties involved, the court may order the giving of such additional bond as it may deem proper. In lieu of filing bond, any party may deposit money in an amount equal to the amount of the bond which would otherwise be required, pursuant to the Maryland Rules.

    (d)    Until a final order is entered either establishing or denying the lien, the action shall proceed to trial on all matters at issue, as in the case of any other proceedings in equity.