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Montana Construction Lien Law: Notice of Lien Claim

In Montana contractors are required to file liens within 90 days after furnishing their last service or material.  When the lien claim is filed in Montana you are required to certify to the county clerk that a copy of the lien has been served on the owner.  The format for the certification is similar to a certificate of service which is attached to pleadings filed with the court.

Additionally, Montana lien statements must be verified.  The Montana Supreme Court requires the verification be complete and unequivocal.  For example, in one case where the lien stated that is was correct to the “best of the person’s knowledge” the court concluded that that statement was not sufficiently strong and invalidated the lien.  Climate Control Company v. Bergsieker Refrigeration, (1982)

The ninety day deadline cannot be extended by minor or trivial work which is done simply to extend the period for filing a lien.  However, relatively small items of work which are part of the actual scope of the contract and which provide value to the property will extend the time period for filing a lien.  In Frank L. Pirtz Construction v. Hardin Town Pump, a subcontractor returned to the property at the owners request more than six months after his last work to relay carpet, which was valued at $500.00 and since the work was valuable to the owner and performed at the owners request, the court concluded that the ninety day lien deadline ran from completion of relaying the carpet, not the work which had been done six months previously.

For more information on Montana construction lien law see:

Montana Notice of Right to Claim Lien

Montana Lien Law: Lien Priority

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