Carolina Lumber Co. v. Cunningham

In Carolina Lumber Co. v. Cunningham, 156 W.Va. 272, 192 S.E.2d 722 (1972), the Court considered the meaning and application of W.Va. Code 38-2-16, as well as W.Va. Code 38-2-17 and 38-2-18, in determining the priority of perfected mechanics' liens in relation to other liens recorded against the property. The Court concluded that: "Under the provisions of the mechanics' liens statutes of this state all perfected mechanics' liens attach at the time the initial mechanic's lien comes into existence after the construction of the building or structure begins and they take priority over all other liens created by deeds of trust, or otherwise, that are not recorded before the initial mechanic's lien comes into existence." In reaching that conclusion, the Court observed that the relevant statutes had to be "read in pari materia and any ambiguous provisions in the statutes should be interpreted in such a manner as to avoid conflict and give effect to all of the provisions of the related sections of the statutes."