Ohio Mechanic’s Lien Claimants Can Recover Legal Fees

Kegler Brown Construction Law Newsletter

Those perfecting mechanic’s liens on Ohio construction projects are often frustrated by the costs of doing so. Many do not appreciate that Ohio has a statute – R.C. 1311.16 – that provides in relevant part:

“When judgment is rendered…the court may allow reasonable attorney’s fees to be paid out of the fund realized for lien claimants.”

Ohio courts have cited R.C. 1311.16 and awarded legal fees to lien claimants who prevail ( Ramos v. Rodak [June 12, 1997], 1997 WL 321466, unreported). Also, a fairly recent case (where we served as counsel) awarded six-figure legal fees when the lien claimant prevailed on the mechanic’s lien release bond (Mid-Ohio Mechanical v. Eisenmann Corp., 2009-Ohio-5804).

In the Mid-Ohio case, we recovered 100% of our legal fees incurred in a highly contested and protracted six-year legal dispute surrounding our client’s mechanic’s lien, and the mechanic’s lien release bond was utilized to “bond off” the lien.

Lien claimants should utilize this legal tool when forced to litigate mechanic’s liens.