Can a Contractor File a Mechanic's Lien Complaint Without a Written Contract or Work Order ?

In K. Miller Construction Co. v. McGinnis, 394 Ill. App. 3d 248, 253, 913 N.E.2d 1147, 1152, 332 Ill. Dec. 857 (2009), the homeowners orally agreed to pay Miller, a contractor, $ 187,000 for remodeling work in 2004. In 2005, the project expanded significantly, and the homeowners allegedly agreed to pay over $ 500,000. In 2006, Miller completed the project. The homeowners paid Miller $ 177,580.33 but refused to pay any more. Miller filed a complaint against the homeowners for foreclosure of a mechanic's lien, breach of contract and quantum meruit. The homeowners filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that Miller could not recover because he never provided a written contract as required by the Act. The trial court granted the motion to dismiss. The appellate court affirmed the trial court's dismissal of Miller's foreclosure and breach of contract claims, stating, "In the absence of a written contract or work order, Miller's time and materials oral contract is unenforceable under the Act." McGinnis, 394 Ill. App. 3d at 254, 913 N.E.2d at 1152.