County Recorders Can Refuse to Record Mechanic’s Liens Thumbnail

County Recorders Can Refuse to Record Mechanic’s Liens

In a recent decision, the Seventh District Court of Appeals held that a county recorder could refuse to record an affidavit for mechanic’s lien where the lien did not contain a complete and correct legal description of the real property. 
In Kirk Excavating & Construction, Inc. v. RKJ Enterprises, LLC, et al., 2018-Ohio 3735, the Court noted:
  • A county recorder has discretion to reject an instrument for filing;
  • An incorrect legal description in an affidavit for mechanic’s lien provides a basis for refusing to record the lien;
  • Filing and recording are not the same thing, and the lien was invalid because it was not timely recorded; and
  • If the recorder refuses to record a lien, the lien claimant could file an action pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code § 317.13(C) to have the court of common pleas order that the county recorder must record the instrument.
Curiously, the lien claimant had notice that the recorder rejected the lien at least a month before the deadline, but never filed a corrected affidavit.
This decision highlights the importance of verifying the accuracy of all information contained in affidavits for mechanic’s lien, presenting them early for recording, and correcting any errors before the recording deadline.  Here, the error could easily have been corrected.
If you would like us to help you evaluate how this may affect you, please contact Mark L. Rodio at or (216) 515-1640.

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