Matter of Flushing Acquisition Holdings v. Donative Concrete
Justice David Schmidt
Property owner Flushing Acquisition Holdings moved to discharge a mechanic's lien filed by Donative Concrete against the property. Donative was hired to perform work on the multi-unit condominium buildings. Payment disputes led Donative to file a mechanic's lien alleging $111,957 as the unpaid amount from a total contract price of over $1 million. Flushing acknowledged a good faith dispute over the money, but claimed the lien was needlessly broad as it barred the sale of millions of dollars of condo units. It requested the clerk release the lien except as to one unit, claiming its appraised value was $460,000, thus Donative would not be prejudiced by constraining the lien to that one unit. The court ruled it had no inherent power to vacate or discharge a mechanic's lien except as authorized under Lien Law §19(6) where a lien was facially defective. It found Flushing did not assert the lien was facially defective, noting it argued equity required partially discharging the lien as its impact was disproportionate to the amount in dispute. Yet, the court ruled the requested relief exceeded the court's purview, and could not be granted, but noted Flushing could discharge the lien by executing a bond for 110 percent of the lien amount.