Williams v. Athletic Field, Inc., No. 33607-3-II (Wash. Ct. App. Apr. 7, 2010)
By: Jesse O. Franklin IV and Bradley D. Bowen, K&L Gates, Seattle
This case demonstrates the importance for claimants to substantially comply with Washington’s lien statutes. The issue in Williams was whether a lien is invalid if a lien filing service employee signs the lien’s attestation clause, rather than a claimant or the claimant’s attorney. The Court in Williams held that an agent of a claimant can sign a lien’s attestation clause under RCW 60.04.091, addressing the recording of liens, including an employee of a lien filing service. However, the Court went on to hold that when the claimant’s agent is also a corporation, like a lien filing service, the agent must comply with the corporate acknowledgement requirements under Washington law. Moreover, the Williams case stands for the more general proposition that a lien claimant in Washington must clearly demonstrate that all statutory lien claim requirements have been met because courts strictly construe the lien statutes.