Current Status Introducing Body:
SenateBill Number: 371Ratification Number: 423Act Number: 368Primary Sponsor: SetzlerType of Legislation: GBSubject: Mechanics liensDate Bill Passed both Bodies: Apr 29, 1992Computer Document Number: 371Governor's Action: SDate of Governor's Action: May 15, 1992Introduced Date: Jan 08, 1991Date of Last Amendment: Apr 08, 1992Last History Body: ------Last History Date: May 15, 1992Last History Type: Act No. 368Scope of Legislation: StatewideAll Sponsors: SetzlerType of Legislation: General Bill
Bill Body Date Action Description CMN ---- ------ ------------ ------------------------------ --- 371 ------ May 15, 1992 Act No. 368 371 ------ May 15, 1992 Signed by Governor 371 ------ May 13, 1992 Ratified R 423 371 Senate Apr 29, 1992 Concurred in House amendment, enrolled for ratification 371 House Apr 09, 1992 Read third time, returned to Senate with amendment 371 House Apr 08, 1992 Amended, read second time 371 House Mar 25, 1992 Objection withdrawn by Representative 371 House Mar 19, 1992 Objection withdrawn by Representative 371 House Mar 19, 1992 Objection withdrawn by Representative 371 House Mar 04, 1992 Objection by Representative 371 House Mar 04, 1992 Reconsidered vote whereby Bill was Rejected 371 House Mar 03, 1992 The Bill was rejected 371 House Mar 03, 1992 Objection by Representative 371 House Mar 03, 1992 Amended 371 House Feb 26, 1992 Debate adjourned until Tuesday, March 3, 1992 371 House Feb 25, 1992 Debate adjourned until Wednesday, February 26, 1992 371 House Feb 20, 1992 Debate adjourned until Tuesday, February 25, 1992 371 House Feb 19, 1992 Committee Report: Favorable 26 with amendment 371 House Jun 05, 1991 Committed to Committee 26 371 House Jun 05, 1991 Objection by Representative 371 House Jun 04, 1991 Debate interrupted 371 House Jun 04, 1991 Amended 371 House May 30, 1991 Debate adjourned until Tuesday, June 4 371 House May 28, 1991 Objection withdrawn by Representative 371 House May 28, 1991 Objection withdrawn by Representative 371 House May 23, 1991 Objection by Representative 371 House May 22, 1991 Debate adjourned until Thursday, May 23 371 House May 16, 1991 Recalled from Committee 25 371 House Mar 28, 1991 Introduced, read first time, 25 referred to Committee 371 Senate Mar 27, 1991 Read third time, sent to House 371 Senate Mar 26, 1991 Read second time, notice of general amendments 371 Senate Mar 13, 1991 Amended 371 Senate Mar 12, 1991 Committee Report: Favorable 12 with amendment 371 Senate Jan 08, 1991 Introduced and read first 12 time, referred to Committee 371 Senate Dec 10, 1990 Prefiled, referred to 12 CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
(A368, R423, S371)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 29-5-20, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO MECHANICS LIENS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT OF LIENS FILED BY A SUB-SUBCONTRACTOR OR SUPPLIER MAY NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT DUE EXCEPT UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS, TO PROVIDE THAT IN NO EVENT SHALL THE TOTAL AGGREGATE AMOUNT OF LIENS EXCEED THE AMOUNT DUE BY THE OWNER, AND TO PROVIDE EXCEPTIONS; TO AMEND SECTION 29-5-60, RELATING TO MECHANICS LIENS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT IN THE EVENT THE AMOUNT DUE A SUBCONTRACTOR BY A CONTRACTOR IS INSUFFICIENT TO PAY ALL THE LIENORS OF THAT SUBCONTRACTOR, ALL JUST LIENS MUST BE PRORATED BY THE CONTRACTOR AMONG THE SUB-SUBCONTRACTORS AND SUPPLIERS TO THAT SUBCONTRACTOR; AND TO AMEND THE 1976 CODE BY ADDING SECTION 29-5-23 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT ANY PERSON ENTERING INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH AN OWNER FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF REAL PROPERTY MUST FILE A NOTICE OF PROJECT COMMENCEMENT, TO PROVIDE FOR THE CONTENTS OF THIS NOTICE OF PROJECT COMMENCEMENT, AND TO PROVIDE THAT FAILURE TO FILE SUCH A NOTICE SHALL RENDER CERTAIN OF THE ABOVE PROVISIONS INAPPLICABLE.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Liens of sub-subcontractors and suppliers
SECTION 1. Section 29-5-20 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 29-5-20. (A) Every laborer, mechanic, subcontractor, or person furnishing material for the improvement of real estate when the improvement has been authorized by the owner has a lien thereon, subject to existing liens of which he has actual or constructive notice, to the value of the labor or material so furnished, including the costs of the action and a reasonable attorney's fee which must be determined by the court in which the action is brought but only if the party seeking to enforce the lien prevails. If the party defending against the lien prevails, the defending party must be awarded costs of the action and a reasonable attorney's fee as determined by the court. The fee and the court costs may not exceed the amount of the lien. The lien may be enforced as herein provided.
(B) In no event shall the aggregate amount of any liens filed by a sub-subcontractor or supplier exceed the amount due by the contractor to the subcontractor to whom the sub-subcontractor or supplier has supplied labor, material, or services unless the sub-subcontractor or supplier has provided notice of intent to lien by certified or registered mail to the contractor. Such notice of intent to lien shall include:
(1) the name of the sub-subcontractor or supplier who claims payment;
(2) the name of the person with whom the claimant contracted or by whom he was employed;
(3) a description of the labor, services, or materials furnished and the contract price or value thereof. Materials specially fabricated by a person other than the one giving notice and the contract price or value thereof shall be separately stated in the notice;
(4) a description of the project where labor, services, or materials were used sufficient for identification;
(5) the date when the first and the last item of labor or service or materials was actually furnished or scheduled to be furnished; and
(6) the amount claimed to be due, if any.
After receiving such notice, no payment by the contractor to the subcontractor will lessen the amount recoverable by the person so giving notice. However, in no event shall the total aggregate amount of liens on the improvement exceed the amount due by the owner.
(C) Not less than fifteen days before the first term of court at which the trial is set, either party may file and serve on the other party an offer of settlement, and within ten days thereafter the party served may respond by filing and serving his offer of settlement. The offer shall state that it is made under this section and specify the amount, exclusive of interest and costs, which the party serving the offer is willing to agree constitutes a settlement of the lien. The offer supersedes any offer previously made under this section by the same party.
An offer of settlement is considered rejected unless an acceptance in writing is filed and served on the party making the offer five days before the commencement of the term.
If the offer is rejected, it may not be referred to for any purpose at the trial, but may be considered solely for the purpose of awarding costs and litigation expenses under this section.
If a written offer of settlement is made by both parties, the party whose offer is closer to the verdict reached is considered the prevailing party in the action. If the difference between both offers and the verdict is equal, neither party is considered to be the prevailing party for purposes of determining the award of costs and attorney's fees. If the plaintiff makes no written offer of settlement, the amount prayed for in his complaint is considered to be his final offer of settlement for purposes of this section.
If the defendant makes no written offer of settlement, his offer of settlement is considered to be zero.
(D) Subsection (B) does not apply to individual laborers when the amount of their lien is less than two thousand dollars."
Proration of liens of sub-subcontractors and suppliers
SECTION 2. Section 29-5-60 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 29-5-60. (A) In the event the amount due the contractor by the owner is insufficient to pay all the lienors acquiring liens as herein provided it is the duty of the owner to prorate among all just claims the amount due the contractor.
(B) In the event the amount due a subcontractor by the contractor is insufficient to pay all the lienors acquiring liens under Section 29-5-20 as a result of supplying labor, materials, or services to that subcontractor, all just liens must be prorated by the contractor among sub-subcontractors and suppliers to that subcontractor."
Notice of project commencement
SECTION 3. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 29-5-23. Any person entering into a direct agreement with, or with the consent of, an owner for the improvement of real property may file with the Clerk of Court or Register of Mesne Conveyances in the county or counties where the real property is situate a Notice of Project Commencement. The Notice of Project Commencement shall contain the following information:
(1) the name and address of the person filing the Notice of Commencement;
(2) the name and address of the owner or developer;
(3) a general description of the improvement; and
(4) the location of the project.
The notice must be filed within fifteen days of the commencement of work and must be accompanied by a filing fee of fifteen dollars to be deposited in that county's general fund. The name and address of the contractor must be posted at the job site. A location notice also must be posted at the job site. The location notice must contain the following statement: `The contractor on the project has filed a Notice of Project Commencement at the County Courthouse. Sub-subcontractors and suppliers to subcontractors shall comply with Section 29-5-20 when filing liens in connection with this project.' The failure to file a Notice of Project Commencement shall render the provisions of Sections 29-5-20(B) and 29-5-60(B) inapplicable. The filing of a Notice of Project Commencement shall not constitute a cloud, lien, or encumbrance upon, or defect to, the title of the real property described in the notice, nor shall it alter the aggregate amounts of liens allowable under Section 29-5-40, nor shall it affect the priority of any mortgage filed before or after the notice, nor shall it affect any future advances under any mortgage. The Clerk of Court or Register of Mesne Conveyances in each county shall maintain a separate book and index of all notices of project commencements."
SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Approved the 15th day of May, 1992.