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                                                                   Guidelines

When?  

 General Contractors / Design Professionals (if your contract is with the owner): File your South Dakota lien within 120 days of completion of the overall project.

Subcontractors/Suppliers (if your contract is with the prime or another sub): Record the South Dakota lien within 120 days of completion of the overall project.

 Who?  A mechanic’s lien in South Dakota is allowed for General contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, renters of equipment, architects, engineers, and land surveyors.

Where?  Registrar of Deeds in the county where the work and/or material were furnished.

How Long Does it Stay on Record  A mechanics lien in South Dakota stays 6 years after recording the lien or within 30 days of receiving a demand to file suit.  A lawsuit to foreclose the lien is then required. We have templates for this.

Let Us Help:   If you prefer, for the same price, we will instruct you how to fill-out the South Dakota mechanic’s lien form line by line, answer questions, and give a general idea of the chances for success in enforcing the lien. (800-995-9434).

Mechanics Lien for South Dakota Law Summary:  For a more detailed discussion of South Dakota mechanics liens.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW TO FILE A SOUTH DAKOTA MECHANIC’S LIEN

Step 1.  Fill-out and Print

 Simply complete the PDF “fillable” mechanic’s lien template.  It automatically captures data and prints the lien in final form.  Extra feature:  Keep on your desktop: it is re-usable for other non-paying jobs.

Amount of South Dakota mechanic’s lien: All work/material furnished under the base verbal or written contract plus change orders actually performed, whether signed or not. Finance charges are allowed only if included in your contract or PO and signed by the other party. If not, you still get pre-judgment interest.  But do not include specific finance charges or interest in the amount of your lien; instead state it only as something to be added later by the court. Example: “Mechanic’s lien for the principal amount of $10,550, plus finance charges / pre-judgment interest as allowed by law”.  This will be awarded later if you are the prevailing party in the South Dakota lien foreclosure suit.

It is not a good idea to reduce for freebies or discounts, as they were contingent on being paid.  With non-payment, it is no longer legal consideration for a contract modification in which the owner receives a reduced price.  Example:  In a kitchen remodel, for good customer relations you supplied some extras free:  a) a 48 bottle built-in wine cellar and b) painted the adjoining dining room with a coat of base and semi-gloss. Then you never got paid the last installment on the contract. If you supplied labor only, your South Dakota lien will add in the hourly rate under the contract. If labor and material, use cost-plus or T & M amounts in the lien.

Not allowed:  A mechanics lien in South Dakota should not include: court costs and attorneys’ fees (included later if you win at trial for breach of contract); lost profits if terminated from the job; delay or impact damages; lost time or business the interruption; or anything else not constituting actual labor and materials improving the property.

Be careful.  Including unauthorized amounts may void a South Dakota mechanics lien.  Call us if you have any questions.

Step 2.  Sign and Notarize

 Signed by anyone who has knowledge of the general services rendered and the costs incurred.  There is no need to have it signed by someone in the field like a job foreman—in other words, it can be by office personnel. For example, this could be a manager, bookkeeper, controller, job foreman, project manager, owner, co-owner, or partner. All recorded documents must be notarized.

Step 3.  Look-up Recorder’s Office

 Recording a mechanics lien in South Dakota is at the county level, not state or city.  See “Where?” above for the name of your State’s recorder. Do a Google search for the county in which the project is located.  Call to verify the fee and recorder’s mailing or delivery address. Give them the city where the work was done–sometimes it is filed in different branch offices.  If you don’t know the county, Google the city—even small towns have a Wikipedia listing describing the county. Use the cover letter provided. Send the original and one copy with a stamped self-addressed return envelope.

Legal description in the lien? Most counties don’t require it, but if they do, we will look it up for free with any purchase.

Step 4.  Mail

Regular mail to the recorder.  Overnight if close to the filing deadline. If a general contractor, serve the South Dakota mechanics lien on the owner with a copy certified mail. If a sub or supplier, serve the owner and general with a copy certified mail. Fill-out and staple as the last page the Proof of Service (it shows proof of mailing to the owner and/or general contractor).

Done!

Call with any questions about a mechanics lien in South Dakota—we’ll walk you through it. (800) 995-9434; (925) 899-8449.

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