Right now, the Connecticut Legislature is considering Proposed Bill No. 5682 (the “Proposed Act”), which states as its purpose “[t]o establish a process for the holder of a mechanic’s lien to establish priority for the lien effective upon the filing of a ‘Notice of Commencement of Work’ with the town clerk for recording with deeds of land.” The text of the Proposed Act states, however, that the lienor must be an architect and that the lienor’s priority is established upon the date of filing. Such language raises many questions.
The “priority” of a mechanic’s lien pertains to where the mechanic’s lien stands in line with regard to the other claims against a property such as mortgages and other interest should the property go into foreclosure. Presently, the priority of a mechanic’s lien relates back to the first date that the lienor, i.e. the person filing the mechanic’s lien, worked on the project. There is some logic in creating a separate statute for design professionals because – unlike an excavation contractor – no one can see when a design professional starts work but, if that were the reason for the change, why does the Proposed Act only pertain to architects and not engineers as well.