Inclusion of Disallowed Items in Lien Not Always Bad Faith

Politano v. GPA Constr. Group, 2008 WL 515661 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. Dec. 10, 2008)

In Politano, an owner moved to discharge a contractor’s lien for willful exaggeration based on the contractor’s inclusion of overhead and profit.  The Third DCA affirmed the trial court’s decision to reduce the amount of the lien accordingly, but not discharge the lien based on the finding that the disallowed items included in the lien were a result of mistake not willful exaggeration.  It rejected the owner’s argument that a lien is willfully exaggerated if it includes non-lienable items without regard to ignorance or good faith, or that a court’s reduction of a lien amount necessarily means the original lien amount was fraudulent.

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