Q: I am filing a suit against a paving contractor for work he did on my driveway.
He did not live up to the terms on the contract and refuses to fix the inferior job he did. I am filing a suit in small claims court for $14,985.00. His business address is his home address but the tax records show the property in his wife's name only. How would I go about putting a lien on the property? Can I file against her as owner of the business since she lives there at the business address? Could I file against him as an employee doing business under "Boss Paving and parking lot service" since there is no evidence that he owns the business. The paving co. is located in Haddock, Ga. in Jones county. The county seat is in Gray, Ga.,4 miles west of Haddock.
A: Generally, you cannot simply place a lien on someone's property unless you are allowed to do so by state statute (i.e. by state law). A common state law that allows contractors to place a lien on their customers' property is the applicable state mechanics' lien law. That law generally allows someone that improves property to place a lien for payment on the respective property. In your case, you did not improve the contractor's property, so that law would not be beneficial to you. As there's likely no other state law available to you, it's likely you could not place a lien on the contractor's property without winning your case in court first and getting a judgment. You should confirm that you can recover a $14,985 judgment in state small claims court prior to proceeding (some states have limits on the amount you can recover). You should consider consulting a local attorney to assist you with your claims against the contractor.
Cory D. Raines agrees with this answer
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