I recently published a blog considering the bifurcated deadline for filing a mechanic’s lien in North Dakota. This post will take a very brief look at how that deadline relates to the deadline by which an action to enforce the lien must be initiated. Generally, in North Dakota, an action to enforce a mechanic’s lien must be initiated within 3 years from the date on which the lien was recorded. This time period may be dramatically shortened, however, if the property owner serves a written demand on the lien claimant. In that instance, the lien claimant must initiate the foreclosure proceeding within 30 days form receipt of of the written demand.
When a written demand is not received from the property owner, the generic 3-year period applies. Since, as my previous post noted, a mechanic’s lien in North Dakota may be filed up to 3 years after the first furnishing of labor or materials, it is possible that an action to enforce a mechanic’s lien may be initiated 6 years (or longer) after the beginning of the project. I note “or longer” because, as previously discussed, the three year period in which a lien must be filed may be counted from the first furnishing of labor and/or materials by the lien claimant, not the first furnishing of labor and/or materials by any party.
Either way, however, the 3-year period from the filing of the lien to the deadline for enforcement is fairly long, and property owners should be aware that just because the work on the project has stopped, it may be some time before an action to enforce a mechanic’s lien is initiated.