Posted by:  Tom Christensen

The Illinois Appellate Court recently held a mechanics lien invalid based upon non-compliance with the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act, despite the fact that the non-compliance was strictly technical and caused no prejudice to the property owner. In Cityline Construction v. Roberts, the plaintiff was a builder who sought to foreclose a mechanics lien against property upon which the plaintiff had performed fire-restoration services. The plaintiff submitted pay applications but failed to submit a sworn contractors statement as required by Section 5 of the Act and failed to comply with requests to do so. When the defendants sought summary judgment in the plaintiff’s lien foreclosure suit, the plaintiff argued that non-compliance with section 5, which requires a sworn statement identifying all subcontractors and the amounts to be paid with them, was inconsequential, because plaintiff had in fact paid all of its subcontractors. The trial court rejected this argument and held the lien invalid, and the appellate court affirmed. The court observed long-standing principles that require strict compliance with the Mechanics Lien Act, and held that even technical non-compliance, which had no negative consequence for the owner, invalidated the lien.