Facts: Petitioner Athletic Field, Inc. entered into an oral contract with respondent Terry Williams to perform building preparation work on Williams’ property. When Williams subsequently terminated the contract and told Athletic Field to leave the property without paying Athletic Field in full, Athletic Field arranged for LienData U.S.A., Inc. to file a mechanic’s lien on its behalf. Williams petitioned the Superior Court for Pierce County to remove the lien, asserting that the claim of lien was invalid insofar as it was not signed by Athletic Field or its attorney and did not include an acknowledgement that LienData U.S.A. was its representative. The superior court ordered the lien removed, ruling that it did not comply with the requirements of Washington Revised Code §60.04.091. Upon appeal, the Washington Court of Appeals affirmed the superior court’s decision. Athletic Field appealed this decision to the Supreme Court of Washington.
Question(s): Does §60.04.091 require that a claim of lien that uses its sample form language also include a certificate of acknowledgement?
Conclusion: Justice Fairhurst’s opinion for the Court reversed the Washington Court of Appeals, concluding that the language of §60.04.091 is ambiguous with regard to whether a claim of lien that uses its sample form language is also required to include a certificate of acknowledgement. Thus, applying the doctrine of liberal construction, the Court held that Athletic Field’s claim of lien was valid.
Petitioner: Athletic Field, Inc.
(Counsel: Kirk Richard Wines and John L. O’Brien)
Respondent: Terry Williams
(Counsel: Klaus Otto Snyder, Kelly J. Faust Sovar, Richard E. Spoonemore, Joseph Emil Shickich, Jr., and George Ernest Frasier)
Argument: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 10:00am
[Source: TVW, http://tvw.org]
Audio: Washington Supreme Court
Decided: Thursday, September 15th, 2011
Prevailing Party: Athletic Field, Inc. (Petitioner)
Court: Madsen2 Court (2011-)
Note: We post only slip opinion(s) as published at the time of the decision. Please consult Washington Reports printed volumes for the opinion(s) in their final form. Each opinion should appear next to the Justice who authored it.