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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 8, 2019 03:59 PM
From: Senator Judith L. Schwank
To: All Senate members
Subject: Mechanics Lien Protection
I will offer legislation shortly to clarify that owners of land subject to easements may not have mechanics’ liens placed on their properties for work exclusively done on behalf of the easement holders.

The proliferation of pipeline construction as a result of shale gas extraction and processing has impacted much of the Commonwealth, even far from the gas fields. Last year, property owners in my district and elsewhere in the state were shocked to receive legal notifications of prospective financial responsibility for pipeline construction simply because it crossed their land. Home owners and even a school district were informed that mechanics liens amounting to millions of dollars would be placed by an out-of-state subcontractor that had not been paid by the contractor. The payment dispute apparently was resolved without liens being filed, but the potential for private and public property owners to have liens slapped on them when they are not parties to pipeline, or other construction, or to face the legal threat and expense of contesting such actions, still exists.

My legislation would amend the Mechanics Lien law to make clear that no property owner, including residential property owners, school districts, and public and private entities, would be subject to a mechanic’s lien because of work on improvements in which they have no ownership or contractual interest.

I hope you will join in this important legislation.

Introduced as SB365