General provisions




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TITLE 29

Liens
CHAPTER 1

GENERAL PROVISIONS
ARTICLE 1

GENERAL PROVISIONS


291101.  Repealed by Laws 2010, Ch. 92, § 3.
291102.  Repealed by Laws 2010, Ch. 92, § 3.
291103.  Short title.
W.S. 291103 through 2910106 shall be known and may be cited as the "Revised Wyoming Statutory Lien Act".
291104.  Other lien statutes and legal processes not affected by this act.
(a)  Unless other statutes relating to liens specifically provide that the procedures specified in chapter 1, 2, 9 or 10 of this act apply, this act is supplemental to and does not supersede any other lien statutes contained in chapters 3 through 8 of this act nor other lien statutes nor other statutes relating in any way to liens currently existing related to other types of property or other subject matters.
(b)  Nothing in this act shall affect or abridge:
(i)  A right of setoff;
(ii)  The right to file legal action based on equitable principles, including unjust enrichment, quantum meruit and other equitable doctrines; or
(iii)  The right to enforce a lien otherwise created by contract.
ARTICLE 2

CONSTRUCTION


291201.  Definitions; agency relationships presumed.
(a)  Except as otherwise provided, as used in this act:
(i)  "Contractor" means:
(A)  A person employed by and contracting with an owner to improve an owner's property including:
(I)  An architect;
(II)  A professional engineer; and
(III)  A surveyor.
(ii)  "Furnish" includes selling or renting;
(iii)  "Improve or improvement" means:
(A)  Demolition, erection, alteration or repair of any property for its permanent benefit;
(B)  Any work performed or material furnished for the permanent change of any real property; and
(C)  Materials manufactured pursuant to contract.
(iv)  "Lien claimant" means any person who claims a lien under this act pursuant to a contract for improvement of property entered into by an owner of the property;
(v)  "Owner" means:
(A)  With respect to construction liens: any person with a legal or equitable interest in the property to be changed, altered or improved, for whose use or benefit any improvement shall be made or any materials furnished;
(B)  With respect to mines, quarries, oil, gas or other wells: a person holding any interest in the legal or equitable title, or both, to any leasehold for oil or gas purposes and purchasers under executory contract, receivers and trustees;
(C)  With respect to ditches, canals and reservoirs: a person holding any interest in the legal or equitable title to any ditch, canal or reservoir including rightsofway, water permits, ditch rights and related easements of any type or kind. "Owner" includes purchasers under executory contract, receivers and trustees.
(vi)  "Subcontractor" means a person, other than a contractor performing work for a contractor or subcontractor under contract;
(vii)  "Work" shall be as requested, authorized or ratified under contract.
(viii)  "Material" means:
(A)  Component parts incorporated into the project;
(B)  Equipment and machinery, whether or not incorporated into the project; and
(C)  Fuel and lubricants consumed in a project.
(ix)  "Materialman" means a person other than a contractor who furnishes material to, but does not perform work for, an owner, a contractor or subcontractor under contract;
(x)  "Property" means real property, personal property, or both;
(xi)  "Real property" means all interests in real property, including but not limited to, the fee estate, leasehold interests, easements and rights of way;
(xii)  "Send" or "sent" means, in connection with any writing or written notice, to deposit in the mail or deliver for transmission by any other usual means of communication with postage or cost of transmission provided for and properly addressed and, in the case of an instrument to an address specified thereon or otherwise agreed, or if no address is specified, to any address reasonable under the circumstances. The foregoing method of delivery includes delivery by any commercial carrier that requests and maintains a receipt for delivery of written documents and also includes an electronic record as set forth in the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act if the sender and recipient have previously communicated by electronic means. In the event any writing is transmitted by mail with the United States postal service, such writing shall be mailed by first class mail, by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by mail delivery requiring a receipt for delivery. The time a writing is deemed to have been sent is the time at which the writing is deposited in the mail or delivered for transmission by any other means and, in the case of an electronic record, the time of sending is as specified in W.S. 4021115;
(xiii)  "Written" or "writing" means printing, typewriting or any other intentional reduction to tangible form, including an electronic record created, generated, sent, communicated, received or restored by electronic means;
(xiv)  "This act" means W.S. 291103 through 2910106.
(b)  Only the following agency relationships are presumed in this act:
(i)  If any spouse enters into a contract for the performance of any work or the furnishing of any materials for the benefit of the property of the other spouse for which a lien is provided by this act, the spouse contracting for the work shall be presumed to be the agent of the spouse owning the property;
(ii)  Between joint tenants;
(iii)  Among tenants in common; and
(iv)  An employee is an agent of his employer.
ARTICLE 3

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE


291301.  Repealed by Laws 2010, Ch. 92, § 3.
291302.  Repealed by Laws 2010, Ch. 92, § 3.
291303.  Repealed by Laws 2010, Ch. 92, § 3.
291304.  Repealed by Laws 2010, Ch. 92, § 3.
291305.  Repealed by Laws 2010, Ch. 92, § 3.
291306.  Repealed by Laws 2010, Ch. 92, § 3.
291307.  Repealed by Laws 2010, Ch. 92, § 3.
291308.  Repealed by Laws 2010, Ch. 92, § 3.
291309.  Repealed by Laws 2010, Ch. 92, § 3.
291310.  Repealed by Laws 2010, Ch. 92, § 3.
291311.  Repealed by Laws 2010, Ch. 92, § 3.
291312.  Lien statement to be filed; contents; notice; fee.
(a)  In order to have a perfected lien pursuant to this act, a lien claimant shall file with the county clerk a lien statement verifying the accuracy of the lien and the allegations set forth in the lien statement, sworn to and acknowledged by the lien claimant or his authorized representative before a notarial officer. The county clerk shall record and index the lien statement by date, names of claimant and property owner, and legal description of the property.
(b)  The lien statement shall contain as appropriate the following information:
(i)  The name and address of the lien claimant;
(ii)  The amount claimed to be due and owing;
(iii)  The name and address of the record owner against whose property the lien is filed;
(iv)  An itemized list setting forth and describing materials delivered or work performed;
(v)  The name of the person whom the lien claimant alleges is contractually responsible to pay the debt secured by the lien;
(vi)  The date when labor was last performed or services were last rendered or the date of substantial completion of the project;
(vii)  The legal description of the property where the materials were furnished or upon which the work was performed; and
(viii)  A copy of the contract, if available, or a summary of the lien claimant's contract together with a statement of the location where a copy of the contract, if written, can be obtained.
(c)  Notice shall be sent by the lien claimant to the last record owner or his agent in the case of a real property lien within thirty (30) days after the lien statement is filed. The notice shall be in substantially the same format and contain the same information as the form of notice specified in W.S. 2910103. The notice forms shall be made available and may be obtained at the county clerk's office of each county. Failure to send the notice required under this subsection shall not affect the validity of the lien.
(d)  As a fee for recording a lien statement, the county clerk shall collect from the lien claimant the same fee as provided by W.S. 183402(a)(xvi)(P). An irregularity in the lien statement may provide a valid defense for a party defending against the lien. The county clerk shall nevertheless file a lien statement at the date and time received by the county clerk, regardless of any irregularity, illegible language or other reason.
(e)  The recording fee under this section may be assessed as costs in any action to foreclose the lien.
(f)  The lien statement shall be in substantially the same format and contain the same information as the form specified in W.S. 2910104. The lien statement forms shall be made available and may be obtained at the county clerk's office of each county.
291313.  Notice of satisfaction to be filed.
(a)  Whenever any debt which is secured by a lien pursuant to this act is paid and satisfied, the lien claimant shall file notice of satisfaction of the lien in the office of the county clerk of any county in which the lien is filed and the lien claimant shall send the record owner a copy of the notice of satisfaction within thirty (30) days. The county clerk shall record and index the notice of satisfaction of the lien. The notice of satisfaction shall be acknowledged, but may be signed by the lien claimant or the attorney for the lien claimant.
(b)  The notice of satisfaction shall be in substantially the same format and contain the same information as the notice of satisfaction form in W.S. 2910106. The notice of satisfaction forms shall be made available and may be obtained at the county clerk's office of each county.
291314.  Liability for failure to file a notice of satisfaction.
In addition to any actual damages, any lien claimant refusing or neglecting to file the notice of satisfaction as provided in W.S. 291313 within thirty (30) days after payment, and after having received by certified or registered mail a request in writing to file the notice of satisfaction, is liable for damages of not less than one-tenth of one percent (.10%) of the original principal amount of the debt per day from the date the lien claimant receives the written request to file a notice of satisfaction, until the lien claimant files a notice of satisfaction. The damages authorized by this section shall not exceed one hundred dollars ($100.00) per day.
ARTICLE 4

ACTIONS TO FORECLOSE LIENS


291401.  Jurisdiction of circuit and district court; Rules of Civil Procedure applicable in foreclosure action; attorney fees.
(a)  All actions to foreclose a lien perfected under this act are quasi in rem proceedings and shall be commenced by filing a complaint in either the district court or, when required under W.S. 59128(a)(vi), in the circuit court, in any county in which the property subject to the lien is located.
(b)  In any action to foreclose a lien the Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure shall govern.
(c)  In the event an action is filed to foreclose a lien pursuant to this act, the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover from the nonprevailing party all costs and expenses reasonably associated with the action, including but not limited to reasonable attorney fees.
(d)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a lien claimant to enforce his lien under this article if another method of enforcement is available under this act.
291402.  Priority of liens.
(a)  Except as provided in this section, the liens provided by this act shall be on an equal footing without reference to the date of the filing of the lien statement.
(b)  Any lien perfected in compliance with this act attaches to the real property, fixtures, materials, machinery or supplies furnished and improvements made in preference to any subsequent lien, security interest or mortgage under any other provision of law which has been perfected upon real or personal property, including a leasehold interest, against which the lien is claimed.
(c)  Any lien, security interest or mortgage which has been perfected upon real or personal property or upon a leasehold interest prior to the commencement of any construction work or repair of the premises or property, except as provided by chapter 7 of this act, or W.S. 298102 relating to liens for the production of farm products under contracts executed, entered into, renewed or substantively amended on or after July 1, 2001, shall have priority.
(d)  Where a sale is ordered by the court on foreclosure of any lien provided by this act and the proceeds from the sale are insufficient to discharge in full all of the liens, the proceeds shall be prorated among the several lien claimants according to the amounts of their respective claims.
291403.  Work or materials furnished considered done under same contract; exceptions.
All work performed or materials furnished by a lien claimant shall be considered as having been done under the same contract unless more than one hundred eighty (180) days elapse from the date of the performance of any work or the furnishing of any materials and the date when work or materials are next performed or furnished by the lien claimant.
291404.  Notice of foreclosure to prior perfected lienholders; effect of failure to notify.
The holder of any prior perfected lien upon the real property is entitled to notice in suits to foreclose the lien. A foreclosure proceeding shall not be rendered invalid by failure to give the notice required by this section.
291405.  Remedies not exclusive.
The remedies provided by this act are not exclusive.
291406.  Filing and recording fees.
The county clerk shall be paid the same fees as provided by W.S. 183402 for recording all papers under this act.
291407.  Consent to jurisdiction and venue.
By contracting to perform work or furnish materials on a project located in Wyoming, each contractor, subcontractor and materialman who asserts a lien submits to the laws of Wyoming and the jurisdiction of the district and circuit courts in the county in which the project is situated with respect to all lien claims, regardless of whether the lien claimant is a resident of Wyoming and regardless of whether the contract contains a contrary choice of law or venue provision. Venue for any mediation or arbitration of lien claims shall be proper only in the county in which the project is located, unless the parties agree otherwise.
ARTICLE 5

SUBSTITUTE SECURITY FOR LIENS


291501.  Substitute security to satisfy lien; filing and effect thereof; action upon security.
(a)  Any lien created pursuant to this act filed against any real or personal property is satisfied if the owner of the property, contractor or subcontractor has deposited with the court having jurisdiction over the lien claim a corporate surety bond, letter of credit, cash or cash equivalent of established value approved by the court having jurisdiction over the lien claim in the county where the lien was filed in an amount equal to one and one-half (1½) times the amount of the lien.
(b)  The security shall guarantee that if the lien claimant is finally adjudged to be entitled to recover upon the lien, the principal or his sureties, jointly and severally, in the case of a bond, or the issuer of a letter of credit shall pay the lien claimant the amount of the judgment for at least the amount for which the lien was filed plus costs and attorneys' fees.
(c)  The security may be deposited any time prior to entry of a final judgment in an action to foreclose the lien.
(d)  The security shall be deposited with the clerk of the court having jurisdiction over the lien claim in the county where the lien was filed.
(e)  Upon depositing the security and entry of an order of the court accepting the security, the lien against the property shall be forthwith discharged and released in full, and the security deposited pursuant to this section shall be substituted. The clerk of court shall issue a notice of satisfaction of lien which the owner or lien claimant may file in the office of the county clerk where the lien was filed which shall show that the lien has been satisfied.
(f)  A lien claimant whose lien has been satisfied by the substitution of the security pursuant to subsection (e) of this section may bring an action upon the security. The action shall be commenced in the court in which the security was deposited under subsection (d) of this section.
ARTICLE 6

FALSE OR FRIVOLOUS LIENS


291601.  False or frivolous liens; damages; penalties.
(a)  Any claim of lien against a federal, state or local official or employee based on the performance or nonperformance of that official's or employee's duties shall be invalid unless accompanied by a specific order from a court of competent jurisdiction authorizing the filing of the lien or unless a specific statute authorizes the filing of the lien. A federal, state or local official or employee may discharge a lien under subsection (b) or (d) of this section.
(b)  Any person whose real or personal property is subject to a recorded claim of lien who believes the claim of lien is invalid under subsection (a) of this section, was forged, or that the lien claimant knew at the time of filing that the lien was groundless, contained a material misstatement or false claim, may petition the court having jurisdiction over the lien of the county in which the claim of lien has been recorded for the relief provided in this subsection. The petition shall state the grounds upon which relief is requested, and shall be supported by the affidavit of the petitioner or his attorney setting forth a concise statement of the facts upon which the motion is based. The clerk of court shall assign a case number to the petition and obtain from the petitioner a filing fee of thirty-five dollars ($35.00). Upon the filing of the petition the following shall apply:
(i)  The court may enter its order, which may be granted ex parte, directing the lien claimant to appear before the court at a time no earlier than six (6) nor later than fifteen (15) days following the date of service of the petition, and order the lien claimant to show cause, if any, why the relief provided in this subsection should not be granted;
(ii)  The order shall clearly state that if the lien claimant fails to appear at the time and place noted, the claim of lien shall be stricken and released, and that the lien claimant shall be ordered to pay damages of at least one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or actual damages, whichever is greater, and the costs incurred by the petitioner, including reasonable attorneys' fees;
(iii)  The order and petition shall be served upon the lien claimant by personal service, or, where the court determines that service by mail or other comparable method of delivery is likely to give actual notice, the court may order that service be made by mailing or delivering copies of the petition and order to the lien claimant at his last known address or any other address determined by the court to be appropriate. Two (2) copies shall be sent, one (1) by ordinary first class mail and the other by a form of mail or other delivery method requiring a signed receipt showing when and to whom it was delivered. The envelopes shall bear the return address of the sender;
(iv)  If, following a hearing on the matter the court determines that the claim of lien is invalid under subsection (a) of this section, was forged or that the lien claimant knew at the time of filing that the lien was groundless or contained a material misstatement or false claim, the court shall issue an order striking and releasing the claim of lien and awarding damages of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or actual damages, whichever is greater, costs and reasonable attorneys' fees to the petitioner to be paid by the lien claimant;
(v)  If the court determines that the claim of lien is valid, the court shall issue an order so stating and shall award costs and reasonable attorneys' fees to the lien claimant to be paid by the petitioner.
(c)  Any person who offers to have recorded or filed a forged or groundless lien in violation of this section with the intent to threaten, harass or intimidate a public official or employee in the performance or nonperformance of his official duties is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, or both.
(d)  Any federal, state or local official or employee whose real or personal property is subject to a recorded claim of lien who believes the claim of lien is invalid under subsection (a) of this section may record an affidavit as affiant with the county clerk stating that the claim of lien has been filed against him in his individual capacity for the performance or nonperformance of actions in his capacity as a government official or employee. The person alleging the claim of lien was filed in violation of subsection (a) of this section shall provide notice of the filing of the affidavit to the lien claimant at the address provided on the lien statement pursuant to W.S. 291312(b) by first class mail. Upon the filing of the affidavit, the lien claimant shall have twenty (20) days to file a petition in the district court for the county in which the lien statement was filed stating that the claim of lien is valid under the laws of the United States or of the state of Wyoming. If the lien claimant fails to file the petition within the time specified, the affiant may present a copy of the affidavit to the district court clerk for the county in which the lien statement was filed showing the date it was recorded and the district court clerk shall issue a certification that no petition has been filed in response to the affidavit. Upon recording of a certification issued under this subsection with the county clerk, the lien shall be null and void and of no further force or effect. Upon the filing of the petition by the lien claimant the following shall apply:
(i)  The court may enter its order directing the lien claimant to appear before the court at a time no earlier than six (6) nor later than fifteen (15) days following the date of service of the petition, and order the lien claimant to show cause, if any, why the relief provided in this subsection should not be granted;
(ii)  The order shall clearly state that if the lien claimant fails to appear at the time and place noted, the claim of lien shall be stricken and released, and that the lien claimant shall be ordered to pay damages of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or actual damages, whichever is greater, and the costs incurred by the petitioner, including reasonable attorneys' fees;
(iii)  If, following a hearing on the matter the court determines that the claim of lien is invalid under subsection (a) of this section the court shall issue an order striking and releasing the claim of lien and awarding damages of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or actual damages, whichever is greater, costs and reasonable attorneys' fees to the petitioner to be paid by the lien claimant;
(iv)  If the court determines that the claim of lien is valid, the court shall issue an order so stating and shall award costs and reasonable attorneys' fees to the lien claimant to be paid by the affiant.
CHAPTER 2

CONTRACTORS OR MATERIALMEN


292101.  Persons entitled to liens; extent of lien on realty; exceptions.
(a)  Every contractor, subcontractor or materialman performing any work on or furnishing any materials for any building or any improvement upon real property shall have for his work done or plans or materials furnished a lien upon the building or improvements, and upon the real property of the owner on which they are situated to the extent of one (1) acre. If the improvements cover more than one (1) acre the lien shall extend to all the additional real property covered thereby.
(b)  To have a lien the work or materials shall be furnished under a contract.
(c)  Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section if the real property subject to a lien is located in any city, town or subdivision the lien shall extend to the entire lot upon which the building or improvement is located.
(d)  A cooperative utility, as defined by W.S. 1720140(a)(i), shall have a lien for the materials or services provided to a member. The lien shall attach to the real property of the member at the location where the materials or services were provided, if the amount due to the utility:
(i)  Is greater than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00); and
(ii)  Has been unpaid for more than ninety (90) days.
(e)  The lien under this section shall extend to the owner's real property and easements to the extent necessary to provide legal access by a roadway for ingress and egress to the building, improvements or real property subject to the lien, not to exceed forty (40) feet in width to the nearest easement, public road or highway.
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