On rare occasions, I have had to contend with a claim of “slander of title” being filed in response to a mechanic’s lien. A slander of title claim requires:
- The making of a false statement pertaining to the owner’s title;
- The making of the false statement must have been made “with malice”; and
- The false statement must result in actual damages.
Neri Corp. v. McDermott Rd., LLC, 2016 Conn. Super. LEXIS 2067, *18 (Conn. Super., July 26, 2016). The requirement for the statement to have been made “with malice” means that the lienor either had acknowledged that the statements in its mechanic’s lien were false or that the lienor acted with “a reckless disregard of the truth.” Id. Both are very unlikely in the context of a mechanic’s lien.
As stated previously in this blog, the purpose of a mechanic’s lien is to provide security for an alleged debt arising out of work performed. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the “[f]iling of a mechanic’s lien like that of any other lien can be the basis of a slander of title action as long as all of the elements of the tort are met.” Id.