The Appellate Group

Zion Village Resort LLC v. Pro Curb USA LLC

Zion Village Resort LLC v. Pro Curb USA LLC, 2020 UT App 167 (Harris, J.)

Liens and Attorney Fees

Two contractors worked for a development. The contractors both filed preliminary notices of construction liens on the development, and after the contractors finished performing work and believed they had not been paid, they recorded several construction liens against the development. The development petitioned to nullify the liens, and the district court nullified all the liens because the contractors did not file adequate preliminary notices. The district court awarded attorney fees to the development. One contractor filed post-trial motions, and the district court denied those motions. The Utah Court of Appeals reversed in part and affirmed in part, holding:

  1. A preliminary notice that must be filed to obtain a construction lien needs to contain the name, address, telephone number, and email address of the person providing the construction work. The lien statute does not require that the information be set forth in any particular order or in any particular line. And in deciding whether the preliminary notice statutory framework has been substantially followed, courts examine the preliminary notice itself and not the registry. Because the preliminary notice here contained all the statutory information—though the information appeared on different lines on the notice paperwork—the district court erred when it determined that a contractor did not file a valid preliminary notice.  
  2. When litigating a petition to nullify a lien, a district court must examine whether a contractor has filed a preliminary notice and the contents of that notice.
  3. One contractor did not file a timely notice of appeal after the district court decided its Utah R. Civ. P. 60(b) motion, so the court of appeals does not have jurisdiction to consider the issues raised in the rule 60(b) motion.
  4. The district court abused its discretion when it awarded, as part of the attorney fees and costs award, the cost of making certified copies.

Read the full court opinion