Friday, August 31, 2012

Minnesota Permits Service of a Lien By an Officer of a Lienor's Company

The Minnesota Supreme Court recently ruled that an officer of a party may personally serve a mechanics’ lien statement. In Eclipse Architectural Group v. Lam, 814 N.W.2d 692 (Minn. 2012), the officer of a Minnesota mechanics’ lien claimant personally served a mechanics’ lien statement on the owner of the property. The property owner claimed that the lien should be invalidated because a rule of civil procedure prohibits a party or officer of a party from serving “a summons or other process.” The purpose of the rule is to require a disinterested person, typically a sheriff or private process server, to effectuate service. Because a disinterested person did not serve the mechanics’ lien statement, the property owner claimed that the lien should be invalidated. The Minnesota Supreme Court rejected this argument, holding that a mechanics’ lien statement is not a “summons or other process.” As a result, a party or an officer of a party may serve a mechanics’ lien statement.

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