Filing a Mechanic's' Lien for Not Paying a Subcontractor for Materials

In LGL Animal Care Products, Inc. v. Humane Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania (LGL case) 1273 C.D. (2006), Barnhart Builders hired LGL as a subcontractor to supply labor and materials in the construction of new kennels for the new shelter. Barnhart Builders also failed to pay LGL for its labor and materials. LGL, therefore, filed a mechanics' lien in the amount of $ 24,816.00 against the Humane Society in September of 2004. LGL subsequently filed a complaint against the Humane Society in May of 2005, seeking to enforce its lien. In response, the Humane Society filed a preliminary objection to LGL's complaint, alleging that LGL's mechanics' lien was invalid because the Humane Society serves a "purely public purpose" and is consequently exempt from the mechanics' lien. In support, the Humane Society referenced Judge Cunningham's prior order in the Carter-Jones case, wherein he concluded that the Humane Society serves a purely public purpose and, therefore, is exempt from mechanics' liens pursuant to Section 303(b) of the Law. After hearing arguments on the issues presented, Judge Anthony entered an order in December of 2005, sustaining Humane Society's preliminary objection in the nature of a demurrer and dismissing LGL's action.