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LM Construction LLC v. HGIK Hospitality LLC

Court of Appeals of Iowa

August 1, 2018

LM CONSTRUCTION LLC, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
HGIK HOSPITALITY LLC, Defendant-Appellee.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Steven J. Oeth, Judge.

         A contractor appeals from the district court's grant of summary judgment on a petition to foreclose a mechanic's lien.

          Valerie A. Cramer of Cramer Law, PLC, Des Moines, for appellant.

          Elizabeth R. Meyer of Davis Brown Law Firm, Des Moines, for appellee.

          Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.

          BOWER, JUDGE.

         LM Construction (LM) appeals the district court's granting of summary judgment to HGIK Hospitality LLC (HGIK). LM contends the district court erred by striking its amended resistance to summary judgment, and finding LM improperly filed a mechanics lien. We affirm.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         LM is an Iowa limited liability company based in Des Moines Iowa. HGIK is also an Iowa limited liability company with its principal office in Irving, Texas.

         HGIK owns real estate in Ames, Iowa, and entered into a contract with DDG Construction, LLC (DDG), as general contractor to build a commercial hotel on the property. DDG subsequently hired ESC LLC d/b/a Empire Group (Empire) to work as a subcontractor on the project.

         On October 28, 2015, Empire contracted LM to put up drywall in the hotel, including providing labor and materials.[1] LM's contract is specifically with Empire. In the contract with LM, Empire is designated as a general contractor with LM listed as subcontractor. LM claims to have started work the next day. LM mailed a notice in November to HGIK regarding furnishing drywall labor and materials to the project and specifying the materials and labor were being provided to Empire. HGIK claims it never received the notice.

         At some point Empire appears to have been fired from the project. Empire paid for the work completed by LM up to the time it was fired. LM claims DDG managers approached LM and requested he complete the work, promising to pay pursuant to the Empire contract.[2] LM completed the work on or about April 1, 2016, at a cost of an additional $96, 915. LM submitted an invoice for work completed. DDG did not pay LM.

         On April 28, LM filed a mechanic's lien for the amount due for the work on the Ames property for the time after the departure of Empire, pursuant to Iowa Code sections 572.2 and 572.8 (2016). The lien was filed on the Iowa Mechanic's Notice and Lien Registry.

         On September 21, LM filed a petition to foreclose on the mechanic's lien against HGIK and DDG in Polk County. In November and again in December, LM filed amended petitions, dropping the claim against DDG and moving the case to Story County. On June 13, 2017, HGIK moved for summary judgment. LM filed a timely resistance on June 28. On July 10, the ...


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