Small claims court/leins

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Joel B., Sep 6, 2006.

  1. Joel B.

    Joel B. LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 458

    What is involved in taking someone to SCC? How much proof do you need to win? If you do win a judgment, is anything specified as to when the money is to be paid?

    Also, what is involved in placing a lien on a property?

    Any specifics dealing with Minnesota are appreciated.


    Joel B.
  2. cutterdown

    cutterdown LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    Go to and ask youll find everything you ever wanted to know
  3. baddboygeorge

    baddboygeorge LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,249

    I have a few cases in court as we speak over Landscaping work an the only way to place a lein on a piece of property is that you had to add to the property ( ie. install plantings , mulch , etc,).If its only for maint. a lien wont be possible! Small claims is your best way to go . If you have a contract with all the stipulations presented in the contract you will win in small claims court , if ya have any more questions let me know thanks George
  4. lewdo

    lewdo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    Not sure about MN, but in IL costs $40 to place a lien on property. That's my first course of action. Usually when they find out they have a lien on their property they pay pretty quick.
  5. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,420

    Here you automatically are issued a lien upon winning the small claims case, this remains in effect until the debt has been satisfied. As long as the debt remains the lien remains and when they attempt to refinance, sell property, whatever the lien will need to be taken care of first. This applies to landscaping, hardscaping, mowing, applications, etc. Anything that is provided as a good or service is subject to this
  6. baddboygeorge

    baddboygeorge LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,249

    it differs , i take it! each state has its own laws!!???

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    In Virginia, if you win at first it is just a Judgement...all that means is the court has found that the defendent owes you the money. The Judgement has nothing to do with collecting ACTUAL money. However from past experience almost all deadbeat clients pay up after the judgement. Only with a few did we have to pursue bank garnishments, etc. Liens are OK but if the client isn't planning on moving for 10 years, do you really want to wait that long to get paid???
  8. thes

    thes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    If you put a lien on someone's property, can you have interest added on every month/year until the debt is paid back in full? I've heard this but was wondering if it was true.
  9. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,420

    We have had only one case in which garnishment was not really an option for us in that the deadbeat was a Federal employee. The agency he worked for did not, (nor does any employer public or private for that matter), provide us with the S.S. #. This is required for garnishment here. No S.S. # no garnish, so yep I was willing to wait however long it takes. The principle continues to accrue interest and when they do go to eventually sell or refinance the property, or sell a vehicle/use for collateral the obligation will have to be settled.
    This particular joker stuck us last year, he has his house for sale this year LOL! Well,,, peek a stinkin boo pal, I will get whats mine.
  10. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,949

    When I had a late payer, I talked with a handyman, doing most of his work with residential customers. I asked about small claims filings. He shrugged, and said he had received a favorable ruling in all claims. BUT, he has collected on very few of them. Apparently, this state does not include a lein with a favorable judgment on a claim. His experience was that the small claims filing was nearly useless because it had nothing to do with collecting the outstanding money. The magistrate's ruling meant nothing to the offender because there are no consequences.

    Oh yes, one more thing, ... most of his problems were with attorneys who knew how the law works, and knew the ramifications of a magistrate's ruling.

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