Kiritsis & Associates


The New York legal definition of mechanic's lien.

Jul 30, 2021

Kiritsis Law Group 212 922 0005

By John Kiritsis, Esq., CPA, MBA, MS, JD, LL.M


Before getting into what is a mechanic's lien, one may want to start off, in understanding what a mechanic's lien is NOT.  A mechanic's lien is NOT a real property mortgage.


A mechanic’s lien asserts a financial interest and secures priority of payment, for the cost or the value of the work performed and materials used in building, modifying, and/or repairing a building or other structure. A lien is placed as an attachment to the land, as well as, building and improvements situated thereon. A mechanic’s lien does not require judicial approval prior to filing it. Mechanic’s liens developed through statute and were not originally included in common law. Strong public policy considerations are often perceived as the key rationales, behind the bulk of mechanic lien laws in New York State.


After reviewing hundred of New York and New Jersey construction contracts , by far and away, one of the more common mistakes made with regards to preparing a construction contract, is lack of fundamental understanding of the laws surrounding mechanic's liens, as well as, failure to appreciate their possible legal effect on real property and projects.


The views expressed by this author is not legally binding nor reflective of the author per se, the author's firm, the author's employers, the author's employees or any individual and/or organization.


Sources and potentially useful references:

New York State Constitution

U.S. Constitution

New York State Bar Association

New York City Bar Association

New York State Court of Appeals

New York Court of Claims

New York Appellate Division Court

New York Appellate Term Court

New York Supreme Court

New York Real Property Law

Warren's NY Real Property Law

NYS Lien Laws

Section 43 New York State Lien Law



New York General Obligations Law

New York City Department of Finance

Lien Law Section 3

Lien Law Section 5

New York State Appellate Departments

Lien Law Section 2.03

Real Property Law Section 339

Lien Law Section 9 (NYS)

Lien Law Section 10 (NYS)

Section 11 of New York Lien Law

Lien Law Sections 34, 39 & 59

Robert P Frink v Dudley Bierau et al, 212 NYS2d 869

Section 13 of New York Lien Law

Leonard Engineering, Inc. v. Zephyr Petroleum Corporation, 522 NYS 2d 900

Section 22 New York Affidavit Form

Monroe Sav. Bank v. First Nat'l Bank 50 App Div2d 314 -- 4th Dept 1976

Nanuet Nat'l Bank v. Ackerson Terrace, Inc. 417 N.Y. S. 2d 901

HNC Realty Co. V. Golan Heights Developers, 360 NYS2d 954

Aspro Mechanical Contracting, Inc. v. Fleet Bank, N.A. (Circa 2004)

Byrd Underground, LLC v. Anguar, LLC (332 P3d 273 Nev Adv Op 62)

Kiritsis Law Group


Our law firm provides comprehensive legal service solutions in the practice area of

construction law.  Below is a partial list of services that our law firm may be able to

assist you with regards to your construction law needs:


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ADR provision in construction contracts

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Breach of contract provisions in construction contracts

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Commercial General Liability Insurance Coverage Provisions in Construction Contracts

Completion Date clauses in NYC construction contracts

Contract price provisions in NYC construction contracts

Down payment construction contract provisions and clauses

Overview of New York City construction contracts

Payment to Contractors clauses in construction project contract agreements 

Sign & Stamp; Date provisions in construction contracts

The dos and don’ts regarding the signing instructions of a construction contract

Right to cancel provision in construction contracts

Warranties provisions in construction contracts

Workers compensation insurance coverage provisions regarding construction contracts

under New York Laws

Construction contract clauses regarding work product ownership

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