Engineering Firm has no Lien
for Services related to Platting
Professionals can have Liens,
on projects that never existed, but
Not in this situation
In Christopher B. Burke Engineering Ltd v Heritage Bank, (3rd Dist March 2015) the plaintiff had contracted with a developer to provide services that enabled the developer to get plat for unimproved land in Peoria County. At the time the services were first provided the developer did not yet own the land, but were completed after the developer took title. The lender filed a motion for summary judgment in a case brought by the engineering firm to foreclose on its claimed mechanics lien.
Although the courts have upheld liens by architects and engineers for services rendered when the actual building or other construction never actually occurs, the Third District upheld the summary judgment. The court held that Burke’s services did not represent an improvement of the property, even allowing for the arguable requirements by the lender and the municipality for the product of Burke’s efforts. “The plaintiff has not pointed to any case in which the recording of a final plat as the result of an engineering company’s work was found to enhance the value of the land, and we likewise have found no such case,” the court stated.