Hadrup v. Sale

Decision Date30 November 1959
Docket NumberNo. 5006,5006
Citation111 S.E.2d 405,76 A.L.R.2d 1159,201 Va. 421
CourtVirginia Supreme Court
Parties, 76 A.L.R.2d 1159 A. HADRUP, ET AL. v. THOMAS BATTAILE SALE, JR., ET AL. Record

William J. Gibson (Coleman & Gibson, on brief), for the appellants.

No brief filed or appearance for the appellees.

JUDGE: MILLER

MILLER, J., delivered the opinion of the court.

In this suit appellants, A. Hadrup, and W. C. Spratt and W. C. Spratt, Jr., partners, trading as Fredericksburg Pipe and Supply Company, assignees of A. Hadrup, seek to enforce a mechanic's lien taken out by them upon a house and lot owned by Thomas Battaile Sale, Jr., and Margaret B. Sale, appellees. From a decree of October 24, 1958, that declared the mechanic's lien to be invalid, we granted an appeal.

Some months prior to July 9, 1956, Hadrup entered into a contract with Normandy Village, Incorporated, owner of numerous lots in a residential subdivision known as Normandy Village, to do the plumbing and heating work in the building erected on lot 67, section 4. On July 9, 1956, Hadrup assigned in writing to W. C. Spratt and W. C. Spratt, Jr., partners, all sums of money due him under his contract.

Appellants, on July 29, 1957, filed in the appropriate clerk's office a memorandum of mechanic's lien in the sum of $1,265 for plumbing and heating work done by Hadrup on the house and lot. However, lot 67 had been purchased on March 19, 1957, by appellees from Normandy Village, Incorporated. Appellees' deed was duly recorded but appellants had no actual knowledge of the sale until the day their lien was filed in the clerk's office.

About the time appellants filed their mechanic's lien, many other similar liens were filed against lots in the subdivision owned by Normandy Village, Incorporated, and its numerous grantees. Seven separate suits for various amounts were instituted by mechanic's lien claimants against Normandy Village, Incorporated, and other lot owners in the subdivision, and holders of liens on the lots.

By decree of January 10, 1958, these seven suits, in which numerous liens and claims of varying dignities and priorities were asserted against the same defendants and subject matter, were consolidated into a single cause and referred to a special commissioner to take evidence and report upon the inquiries set out in the decree.

The inquiry pertinent to this appeal follows: 'The validity of the mechanic's liens which have been asserted in these causes against the properties standing in the names of the parties hereto.'

After hearing voluminous testimony from numerous witnesses and considering many exhibits, the commissioner reported that the work on the building on lot 67 was completed during the second week of August, 1957, and the mechanic's lien filed by appellants on the 29th day of July, 1957, was a valid lien against the house and lot in the sum of $1,265.00, with interest from July 27, 1957.

Exceptions were filed to the commissioner's report, and in an opinion that ruled upon the exceptions, the court found that no work was done by Hadrup on the house and lot bought by appellees on March 19, 1957, subsequent to their purchase, and that by the change of ownership on March 19, 1957, the work on the building was then 'otherwise terminated' within the meaning of § 43-4, Code 1950. As appellants did not file their lien within sixty days after March 19, 1957, the lien was held invalid. In its opinion the court said:

'* * * Any work that Hadrup did on the house must have been done for the prior owner before 19 March, 1957, and Hadrup's lien against Sale's house should have been filed within sixty days after 19 March, 1957 whether the house was finished or not. When there is a change of ownership, that is notice to contractors and workmen who do no further work on the house, that the statute has begun to run and the lien even on an unfinished house must be filed within the limitation period from the date of sale.'

In the decree which conformed to the opinion, the court held that appellants' mechanic's lien was invalid.

Appellants' assignment of error is that the court erred when it held that the sale and conveyance of the house and lot by Normandy Village, Incorporated, to appellees 'otherwise terminated' the work on the building within the meaning of § 43-4, Code 1950.

The material part of that section follows:

'A general contractor, in order to perfect the lien given by the preceding section, shall file at any time after the work is done and the material furnished by him and before the expiration of sixty days from the time such building, structure, or railroad is completed, or the work thereon otherwise terminated, * * *.'

The question presented is solely one of law. It is: Did the conveyance of the house and lot 'otherwise terminate' the work upon the building and make it necessary for Hadrup and his assignees to file...

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8 cases
  • WT Jones and Company v. Foodco Realty, Inc.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fourth Circuit
    • May 21, 1963
    ...is done and which may be perfected by filing and recording it within sixty days thereafter. Code of Va. § 43-4. See Hadrup v. Sale, 201 Va. 421, 111 S.E.2d 405, 407 (1959); Wallace v. Brumback, 177 Va. 36, 12 S.E.2d 801, 803 (1941). But the mechanic's lien itself is not self-enforcing and i......
  • In re Concrete Structures, Inc.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Virginia
    • March 30, 2001
    ...Nat'l Bank, 233 Va. 476, 357 S.E.2d 509, 511 (1987) (citing Sergeant v. Denby, 87 Va. 206, 12 S.E. 402, 402 (1890); Hadrup v. Sale, 201 Va. 421, 111 S.E.2d 405, 407 (1959); Weaver v. Harland Corp., 176 Va. 224, 10 S.E.2d 547, 549 (Va.1940)). Virginia decisional law has for over a century ma......
  • Fed. Nat'l Mortg. Ass'n v. CG Bellkor, LLC
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Virginia
    • October 29, 2013
    ...that Virginia's Mechanics' Lien Act provided for creation of a lien that could then be perfected through filing); Hadrup v. Sale, 201 Va. 421, 425, 111 S.E.2d 405, 407 (1959) (citing Wallace v. Brumback, 177 Va. 36, 41, 12 S.E.2d 801, 803 (1941)) (“[A]n inchoate lien attaches when work is d......
  • In re Cunningham
    • United States
    • U.S. Bankruptcy Court — Northern District of Indiana
    • August 14, 2012
    ...Nat'l Bank, 233 Va. 476, 357 S.E.2d 509, 511 (1987) (citing Sergeant v. Denby, 87 Va. 206, 12 S.E. 402, 402 (1890); Hadrup v. Sale, 201 Va. 421, 111 S.E.2d 405, 407 (1959); Weaver v. Harland Corp., 176 Va. 224, 10 S.E.2d 547, 549 (Va.1940)). Virginia decisional law has for over a century ma......
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