Be Careful: The Holidays Can Affect Your Mechanic Lien Filing Deadline

holidays and lien deadlines

I got a call over the weekend from a client who needed to file a Florida mechanics lien, but the 90th day from when his company last furnished labor and materials was on the previous day – a Friday.  The recorders office was closed on that day in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, and so he wondered whether the lien was due before the holiday (on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving), or after the holiday (on the Monday after Thanksgiving).

The question is a tough one, and one that is important to consider now that we’re in the middle of the holiday season. Recorders will have strange holidays between now and the new year, and there’s no real rhyme or reason to the days these recorders decide to close. While there are some state-wide holidays, recorders oftentimes have a “flex” holiday schedule, which means they get a few days each year to designate as a holiday. So while a recorder in one county may be closed, the recorder in the county just a few miles away may be open.

I actually didn’t know the answer to my client’s question (it’s different in every state, and I don’t always know the rules off the top of my head), and so I referred him to to pose his question to the community of Florida attorneys there.   The answer came in very quickly, as answers always do on Avvo, and here it is:  Deadlines that end on holidays get extended to the next court day in Florida.  I later found this procedure rule (Rule 1.090) which explains the rule.

Just because Florida calculates its mechanic lien deadlines this way does not guarantee your state will.  Each state is different, and some states require filings before weekends and holidays.

While mechanic lien rules in a state may have its own time computation rules, they usually follow the state’s general procedural rule for time computation.  If you’re looking for the rule in your state, a good place to start is by doing a Google search for the state’s civil procedure rules on time computation.

Or, of course, you can use our revolutionary LienPilot software, which calculates your lien and notice deadlines for you…and, you guessed it, already has this little nuance programmed in.

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  • Rob Pitkin

    Scott, good discussion. I am always concerned when offices start taking off days that are not actually “holidays.” For example, this year our office will be closing early on Dec. 23, closing on Dec. 26 (Monday) due to Christmas falling on a Sunday, and then taking off Dec. 27 (Tuesday) because we started taking off an extra day for Christmas several years ago. However, because Dec. 27 is not technically a holiday for purposes of the court system, we need to make sure we monitor snail mail, voice mail, faxes and e-mail on that day, just in case something comes in that needs our immediate attention!

  • Scott Wolfe Jr

    I want to comment on this post because I came across a great article by the Cobb Law Group over on their Georgia Construction & Lien Law Blog, which underscored that Georgia is one of those states that will NOT extend the lien deadline for holidays. Many states do, allowing folks to file a lien on the next ‘non-holiday’ if the deadline falls on a holiday or weekend. Not so in Georgia. Holidays do not extend the lien deadline in Georgia.

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