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RULE 12-304. PROCEEDINGS

West's Annotated Code of MarylandMaryland Rules

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Maryland Rules
Title 12. Property Actions
Chapter 300. Mechanics' Liens (Refs & Annos)
MD Rules, Rule 12-304
RULE 12-304. PROCEEDINGS
(a) Court Review. The court shall review the complaint and any exhibits and may require the plaintiff to supplement or explain any of the matters set forth in the complaint and exhibits.
(b) Order.
(1) Entry; Contents. If the court determines that there is a reasonable ground for the lien to attach, it shall enter an order directing the defendant to file an answer under oath on or before a date indicated in the order, showing cause why a lien for the amount claimed should not attach to the land described in the complaint, provided that a copy of the order together with copies of the pleadings and exhibits filed shall have been served on the defendant by the deadline for service specified in the order. The order also shall (A) set a date for hearing no later than 45 days from the date of the order, (B) advise the defendant of the defendant's right to appear and present evidence at the hearing, and (C) warn the defendant that if the defendant fails to file a timely answer, the facts set forth in the plaintiff's complaint shall be deemed admitted and the hearing waived, and the court may enter an order establishing the lien.
(2) Service. The order, together with copies of the pleadings and exhibits filed, shall be served on the defendant in the manner provided by Rule 2-121.
(c) Answer; Failure to File Deemed Admission. A defendant may controvert any statement of fact in the plaintiff's complaint by filing an answer under oath. The failure to file an answer within the time allowed by the order shall constitute an admission for the purpose of the action of all statements of fact in the plaintiff's complaint, but shall not constitute an admission that the complaint is legally sufficient.
(d) Hearing. If the defendant fails to answer within the time allowed by the order, the court may at any time thereafter, without hearing and without further notice to the defendant, enter an order in conformity with section (e) of this Rule. If the defendant files an answer in compliance with the order, a hearing shall be held as scheduled.
(e) Relief Granted.
(1) Judgment if No Genuine Dispute.
(A) If the pleadings and admissions on file and any evidence show that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the lien should attach as a matter of law, the court shall enter a judgment establishing the lien. If it appears that there is no genuine dispute as to a portion of the lien claim, the court shall enter an order establishing the validity of the lien as to that portion and the action shall proceed only on the disputed amount of the lien claim.
(B) If the pleadings and admissions on file and any evidence show that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the plaintiff, as a matter of law, has failed to establish a right to a lien, a judgment shall be entered denying the lien.
(2) Interlocutory Order if Probable Cause. If the court determines from the pleadings and admissions on file and any evidence that a judgment under subsection (e)(1)(A) should not be entered, but that there is probable cause to believe the plaintiff is entitled to a lien, the court shall enter an interlocutory order that:
(A) establishes a lien;
(B) describes the land to which the lien attaches;
(C) states the amount of the claim for which probable cause is found;
(D) specifies the amount of a bond which may be filed by the defendant to have the land released from the lien; and
(E) assigns a date within six months for a trial of all matters that may be necessary to adjudicate the establishment of the lien.
The owner or any other person interested in the land may move at any time for modification or dissolution of the lien established by the interlocutory order.
(3) Probable Cause Not Found. If no judgment or interlocutory order is entered under subsections (1) and (2), the court shall enter an order that the portion of the complaint seeking to establish the lien be dismissed unless the plaintiff, within 30 days thereafter, files a written request that the portion of the complaint seeking to establish the lien be assigned for trial.
(4) Bond by Plaintiff. In an interlocutory order entered under subsection (2) of this section, the court may require the plaintiff to file a bond in an amount that the court determines to be sufficient for damages, including reasonable attorney's fees. The lien shall not attach until any required bond is filed.
(5) Trial. At the conclusion of the action a judgment shall be entered either continuing or terminating a lien established by an interlocutory order, or establishing or denying the lien.
Committee note: This Rule renders impermissible an oral response to a show cause order previously permitted by Code, Real Property Article, § 9-106.
Source: This Rule is derived from former Rule BG73.

Credits

[Adopted June 5, 1996, eff. Jan. 1, 1997.]

Editors' Notes

HISTORICAL NOTES
Derivation:
Maryland Rule of Procedure BG73, adopted July 12, 1976, eff. Aug. 9, 1976, amended May 4, 1979, eff. July 1, 1979; May 24, 1979, eff. July 1, 1979; April 6, 1984, eff. July 1, 1984, related to proceedings, rescinded June 5, 1996, eff. Jan. 1, 1997.
MD Rules, Rule 12-304, MD R PROP ACT Rule 12-304
Current with amendments received through July 1, 2019.
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