Contractors Score Victory In Lien Priority Disputes


The Court of Appeals’ opinion in Weitz Co., LLC v. Heth, 314 P.3d 569, 674 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 29 (App. 2013), which is the subject of this post from January 8, 2014, was vacated by the Arizona Supreme Court on August 26, 2014.   As such, the case below is no longer good law.  I will be drafting a post on the Supreme Court’s opinion in the near future. 

As experienced contractors and material suppliers know, actions to foreclose upon mechanic’s liens can involve lien priority disputes with lenders.  Contractors and suppliers recently scored a significant victory in connection with these disputes in Weitz Co., LLC v. Heth, 314 P.3d 569, 674 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 29 (App. 2013) which struck down the doctrine of equitable subrogation in the context of mechanic’s liens.  Simply put, equitable subrogation “enables a later-filed lienholder to leap-frog over an intervening lienholder.”  It had previously been used in Arizona to allow subsequent lenders who supplied funds to pay off a primary lien to jump intervening mechanic’s liens and be substituted into the position of the primary lienholder. read more

Contractors Are Special When It Comes to Arizona’s Prompt Payment Act

file0001463258229The Arizona Court of Appeals recently addressed the scope of Arizona’s Prompt Payment Act in RSP Architects, Ltd. v. Five Star Development Resort Communities, LLC, 306 P.3d 93, 232 Ariz. 436 (App. 2013).   Specifically, the court was tasked with determining whether an architect performing an architectural services contract was a “contractor” entitled to protection under the Act.   Consistent with the ordinary definitions of “architect” and “contractor,” the court ultimately held that the Act does not apply to architectural service contracts.  But the case was not as straightforward as one might have expected. read more