Parol or extrinsic evidence can be used to defeat an argument that a lien is a fraudulent lien. And, just because a lien amount exceeds the total contract amount does not presumptively mean the lien is willfully exaggerated or recorded in bad faith. Finally, a ruling invalidating a construction lien can create the irreparable harm required to support a petition for writ of certiorari. All of these issues are important when dealing with and defending against a fraudulent lien and are explained in a recent case involving a dispute between an electrical subcontractor and its supplier.
In Farrey’s Wholesale Hardware Co., Inc. v. Coltin Electrical Services, LLC, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D130a (Fla. 2d DCA 2019), there were various revisions to the supplier’s initial purchase order, both from a qualitative and quantitative perspective, and a ninth-revised purchaser order was issued and accepted. The electrical subcontractor claimed that deliveries were late, unassembled, and did not include the required marking (likely the UL marking), to pass building inspections. As a result, the subcontractor withheld money from the supplier and the supplier recorded a lien in the amount of $853,773.16 and filed a foreclosure lawsuit.