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Friday, February 26, 2010

2A:44A-14. Claimant's failure to bring action; forfeiture, liability

2A:44A-14. Claimant's failure to bring action; forfeiture, liability
14. a. A claimant filing a lien claim shall forfeit all rights to enforce the lien, and shall immediately discharge the lien of record, if the claimant fails to bring an action in the Superior Court, in the county in which the real property is situated, to establish the lien claim:

(1) Within one year of the date of the last provision of work, services, material or equipment, payment for which the lien claim was filed; or

(2) Within 30 days following receipt of written notice, by personal service or certified mail, return receipt requested, from the owner requiring the claimant to commence an action to establish the lien claim.

b. Any lien claimant who forfeits a lien pursuant to subsection a. of this section and fails to discharge that lien of record in accordance with section 30 of this act, shall be liable for all court costs, and reasonable legal expenses, including attorneys' fees, incurred by the owner, the contractor, or subcontractor, or any combination, in defending or causing the discharge of the lien claim. The court may, in addition, enter judgment against the claimant for damages to any of the parties adversely affected by the lien claim.

c. Whenever any claimant shall commence an action in the Superior Court of New Jersey to enforce a lien claim as provided by this act, the claimant shall cause a Notice of Lis Pendens to be filed in the office of the county clerk or register pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.2A:15-6 et seq.

d. Any disputes arising out of the improvement which is the subject of a lien claim but which are unrelated to any action to enforce a lien claim may be brought in a separate action.

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