Colorado Mechanics Liens – spurious lien or document

Posted by: Oct 25, 2013By Brian Stutheit

A lien is a right which a creditor has in or over specific property of his debtor, as security for the debt or charge or for performance of some act.  Law Dictionary:

A mortgage is a lien.  Other common liens in Colorado include mechanics liens.  A mechanics lien is like a mortgage on property to secure payment for construction work or materials.  To file a lien, the party claiming the lien, (the lien claimant), must file a lien statement in the office of the county clerk and county recorder.

Colorado has a process for dealing with illegitimate liens on an expedited basis.  Rule 105.1 in the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure.   was adopted by Colorado’s Supreme Court effective January, 1998.  The Rule also allows people who have a wrongful lis pendens on their property to have it removed.

In 1997, the Colorado General Assembly adopted a statute dealing with the subject of wrongful liens.

By statute, “Spurious document” means any document that is forged or groundless, contains a material misstatement or false claim, or is otherwise patently invalid.   “Spurious lien” means a purported lien or claim of lien that:

(a)  Is not provided for by a specific Colorado or federal statute;

(b)  Is not created, suffered, assumed, or agreed to by the owner of the property; or

(c)  Is not imposed by order, judgment, or decree of a state court or a federal court.

Both Rule 105.1 and the spurious document statute were reactions to a time when anti-government activists were purposely and deliberately causing harm to government employees by liening their property.  These destructive behaviors still occur occasionally, but the law now has fairly quick methods to remove wrongful liens and require the person who filed the spurious document to pay attorney fees for getting the document removed from the public record.