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Homeowner Has No Grounds to Avoid Mechanics Lien

September 1, 2011 — CDJ Staff

The California Court of Appeals has rejected a motion by a homeowner in a dispute with the contractor who built an extension to his home. In McCracken v. Pirvulete, Mr. McCracken filed a mechanics lien after Mr. Pirvulete failed to complete payment. The matter went to trial with a series of exhibits that showed “the contractual relationship was strained and the parties disagreed over performance and payment.” As a result of the trial, the court awarded Mr. McCracken, the contractor, $1,922.22.

Mr. Pirvulete appealed, contending that the court had not allowed his daughter to act as a translator, that the court had failed to give him sufficient time to present his case, that the mechanics lien should have been dismissed, and several other claims, all before a formal judgment was issued. After the court formalized its judgment and rejected the appeal, Mr. Pirvulete appealed again.

The appeals court found that Mr. Pirvulete did not provide an adequate record for review. The court dismissed Mr. Pirvulete’s claims. The court notes that Mr. Pirvulete claimed that a request for a discovery period was denied, however, he has provided neither the request nor the denial. The trial court has no record of either.

Nor was there a record of a request that Mr. Pirvulete’s daughter provide translation. The court notes, “so far as we can glean from the record provided, the Register of Actions states, ‘Trial to proceed without Romanian Interpreter for Defendant; Daughter present to interpret if needed.’” Additionally, the court found that “there has been no showing that his facility with the English language is or was impaired in any way or that there was any portion of any proceeding, which he did not understand.”

Further, the appeals court found there were no grounds for a new trial, despite Mr. Pirvulete’s filings. The court concluded, “The owner has failed to provide a record adequate for review of most, if not all, of the claims of error. Some issues are not cognizable because they relate to entirely separate proceedings, and not the trial below. To the limited extent that the claims are examinable, the owner has made no showing of error.” The court affirmed the judgment of the lower court against Mr. Pirvulete.

Read the court’s decision…

Homeowner Has No Grounds to Avoid Mechanics Lien