CS & W Contractors, Inc. v. Sw. Sav. & Loan Ass'n

In CS & W Contractors, Inc. v. Sw. Sav. & Loan Ass'n, 180 Ariz. 167, 883 P.2d 404 (1994), the Arizona Supreme Court held that a contractor with a mechanics' lien on a fifty-two lot development could not assert its entire lien amount against four lots in which it had priority. Id. at 169, 883 P.2d at 406. The court further held that each lot in the development would be deemed to have benefitted equally from the contractor's improvements, for purposes of apportioning the contractor's mechanics' lien among lots in the subdivision, unless the contractor could prove that a lot was improved in a disproportionate amount. Id. It is appropriate to apportion a mechanics' lien per lot because, by statute, the legislature intended a mechanics' lien to correspond to improvements made to the specific lot on which the lien is placed. Id. at 168, 883 P.2d at 405. There is no similar rationale, however, for apportioning an acquisition loan secured by a blanket deed of trust on one parcel among individual lots. To do so, contrary to the holding in CS & W, would allow Northern (and Brimet) "to resurrect an extinguished lien and obtain a priority to which it is not entitled." Id. at 169, 883 P.2d at 406.