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RULE 15-1403. RIGHT OF EMPLOYER TO CONTEST PROPOSED LIEN; PROCEDURE; CONSEQUENCE OF FAILURE TO ...

West's Annotated Code of MarylandMaryland Rules

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Maryland Rules
Title 15. Other Special Proceedings
Chapter 1400. Liens for Unpaid Wages
MD Rules, Rule 15-1403
RULE 15-1403. RIGHT OF EMPLOYER TO CONTEST PROPOSED LIEN; PROCEDURE; CONSEQUENCE OF FAILURE TO CONTEST
(a) Right to Contest Lien. Within 30 days after the employer is served with the notice pursuant to Rule 15-1402, the employer may contest the proposed lien by filing a complaint in the circuit court for any county in which any of the property identified in the employee's notice is located.
(b) Requirements of Complaint. A complaint shall include or be accompanied by:
(1) a copy of the notice that was served on the employer in accordance with Rule 15-1402;
(2) the date that the notice was served on the employer;
(3) the names and addresses of the employer and employee named in the Notice of Intent to Claim Lien for Unpaid Wages;
(4) an explanation of why the wages claimed by the employee are not due and owing by the employer;
(5) a statement of any other defense to the proposed lien for unpaid wages;
(6) a statement of whether the employer has an ownership interest in the property identified in the notice and the nature of the interest;
(7) an affidavit containing a statement of facts that support any defenses raised;
(8) a description of supporting documents with the supporting documents attached;
(9) if the employer wants a hearing, a separate request for hearing in bolded lettering at or near the caption of the complaint;
(10) a statement that, within 10 days after service of the complaint, the employee may file (A) an answer to the complaint, (B) a motion to dismiss the complaint, or (C) a withdrawal of the Notice of Intent to Claim Unpaid Wages, and may request a hearing as part of a response or in a separate document; and
(11) any other statement or information required by regulation of the Commissioner of Labor and Industry adopted pursuant to Code, LE §§ 3-1104 and 3-1110.
(c) Service. The complaint shall be served on the employee pursuant to Rule 2-121.
(d) Response by Employee. Within ten days after being served with the complaint, the employee may file (1) an answer to the complaint, (2) a motion to dismiss the complaint, or (3) a withdrawal of the Notice of Intent to Claim Lien for Unpaid Wages and may request a hearing as part of a response or in a separate document. A request for a hearing shall be made in bolded lettering at or near the caption of the response or document in which the hearing is requested. The court may not enter an order of default based upon an employee's failure to file a timely response to the complaint.
(e) Hearing. If a request for a hearing is filed by the employer or employee, the court shall hold a hearing no later than 30 days after the earlier of (1) service of a complaint that includes a request, or (2) the filing of a timely request by the employee.
(f) Determination. Within 45 days after service of the complaint, the circuit court shall determine whether to issue an order establishing a lien for unpaid wages in accordance with LE § 3-1103. The employee has the burden of proof to establish the employee's right to the lien based a preponderance of the evidence. If there are any issues or claims raised by either party the resolution of which is not necessary to the determination of whether a lien should be established or the amount thereof, the court may defer determination of those issues.
Committee note: Rule 15-1403 (d) does not preclude an employee from asserting a counterclaim, including a wage claim under LE § 3-427 or § 3-507.2. Such a counterclaim is subject to Rules 15-1403 (f) and 15-1403 (g)(3).
Cross reference: See McCalls Ferry Power Co. v. Price, 108 Md. 96 (1908); Snyder v. Cearfoss, 186 Md. 360 (1946), and Tucker v. State, 89 Md. App. 295 (1991), holding that when a statute prescribes a time limit for court action but provides no sanction or remedy for exceeding that limit, the time limit is regarded as directory rather than mandatory, and the court does not lose its authority to act after the expiration of the prescribed time.
(g) Order.
(1) In Favor of Employer. If the court determines that the employee is not entitled to a lien in any amount for unpaid wages, it shall enter an order so stating. If the court determines that the employee's effort to establish a lien for unpaid wages was frivolous or made in bad faith, the court may award court costs and reasonable attorney's fees to the employer.
(2) In Favor of Employee. If the court determines that the employee is entitled to a lien in any amount, it shall enter an order (A) establishing the lien, (B) stating the amount of the lien and identifying each item of property that is subject to the lien, (C) awarding court costs and reasonable attorneys' fees, and (D) awarding such other relief as the court finds appropriate, including a stay of enforcement.
Cross reference: Rule 15-1403 (g)(2) is derived, in part, from LE § 3-1103 (d)(2).
(3) Determination of Other Issues. If determination of the lien is not dispositive of all issues, the order shall direct that those issues be resolved in accordance with the court's case management plan.
(h) Consequence of Failure to File Timely Complaint. If the employer fails to file a timely complaint pursuant to section (a) of this Rule, the lien is established and the employee may record a Wage Lien Statement pursuant to Rule 15-1404.
Source: This Rule is new.

Credits

[Adopted Oct. 10, 2017, eff. Jan. 1, 2018.]
MD Rules, Rule 15-1403, MD R SPEC P Rule 15-1403
Current with amendments received through May 15, 2022. Some sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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