A general contractor hired a subcontractor to design and construct a renewable solar generating facility on the campus of the Mercer County Community College. The Mercer County Improvement Authority issued bonds in excess of $29,000,000 to fund the project. The subcontractor filed a mechanics' lien notice against the Authority when it was unable to resolve a payment dispute with the general contractor. The subcontractor settled its claim against the general contractor and filed a complaint against the Authority to foreclose on its mechanic's lien.
The Law Division granted the Authority's motion to dismiss the foreclosure complaint under Rule 4:6-2(e). The trial court held that pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:37A-127, all of the Authority's property was exempt from judicial process.
In this appeal, the subcontractor argues it's municipal mechanic's lien is enforceable against the Authority's project fund pursuant to the Municipal Mechanics' Lien Law, N.J.S.A. 2A:44-125 to -142. Amicus curiae Utility and Transportation Contractors Association of New Jersey, Inc. supports the subcontractor's legal position. The Authority argues the subcontractor's mechanic's lien is not valid under the County Improvement Authorities Law, N.J.S.A. 40:37A-44 to -135.
This court affirms the Law Division's order dismissing the foreclosure complaint as a matter of law under Rule 4:6-2(e), but for reasons other than those expressed by the trial court. Hayes v. Delamotte, 231 N.J. 373, 387 (2018). As a matter of first impression in a published opinion, this court holds that the Municipal Mechanics' Lien Law does not apply to county improvement authorities.