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§ 1701. Procedure to obtain judgment

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 49 P.S. Mechanics' Liens

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 49 P.S. Mechanics' Liens
Chapter 6. Mechanics' Lien Law of 1963 (Refs & Annos)
Article VII. Judgment; Execution; Revival
49 P.S. § 1701
§ 1701. Procedure to obtain judgment
(a) Practice and Procedure. The practice and procedure to obtain judgment upon a claim filed shall be governed by the Rules of Civil Procedure promulgated by the Supreme Court.
(b) Time for Commencing Action. An action to obtain judgment upon a claim filed shall be commenced within two (2) years from the date of filing unless the time be extended in writing by the owner.
(c) Venue; Property in More Than One County. Where a claim has been filed in more than one county as provided by section 502(b),1 proceedings to obtain judgment upon all the claims may be commenced in any of the counties and the judgment shall be res adjudicata as to the merits of the claims properly filed in the other counties. The judgment may be transferred to such other county by filing of record a certified copy of the docket entries in the action and a certification of the judgment and amount, if any. The prothonotary of the court to which the judgment has been transferred shall forthwith index it upon the judgment index and enter it upon the mechanics' lien docket.
(d) Limitation on Time of Obtaining Judgment. A verdict must be recovered or judgment entered within five (5) years from the date of filing of the claim. Final judgment must be entered on a verdict within five (5) years. If a claim is not prosecuted to verdict or judgment, as provided above, the claim shall be wholly lost: Provided, however, That in either case, if a complaint has been or shall be filed in the cause and if the cause has been or shall be at issue, all time theretofore or thereafter consumed in the presentation and disposition of all motions and petitions of defendants, substituted defendants and intervenors in the cause, and in any appeal or appeals from any order in the cause, from the date of perfection of such appeal to the date of return of the certiorari from the appellate court to the court of common pleas, shall be excluded in the computation of the five (5) year period herein provided.
(e) Defense to Action on Claim. A setoff arising from the same transaction or occurrence from which the claim arose may be pleaded but may not be made the basis of a counterclaim.

Credits

1963, Aug. 24, P.L. 1175, No. 497, art. VII, § 701. Amended 1972, Dec. 28, P.L. 1640, No. 343, § 1.
COMMENT--JOINT STATE GOVERNMENT COMMISSION 1964 REPORT
Subsection (a). This subsection abolishes the sci. fa. and lev. fa. and other procedural provisions of Sections 31 to 34 inclusive, 36, 37, and 51 to 53 inclusive, Act of 1901, as amended, 49 P.S. 136, 151 to 154 inclusive, 157, 158, 159 and 243 to 247 inclusive. These matters will now be governed by Rules of Civil Procedure to be promulgated by the Supreme Court which it is anticipated will conform as far as possible to the practice in assumpsit.
Subsection (b). Adapted from Section 10, Act of 1901, 49 P.S. 52. The two-year period for commencing action to obtain judgment on the claim remains unchanged. The Act of 1901 permitted the waiver by the owner of the issuance of a writ of sci. fa. for an additional period of three years. The reference to the three-year period is omitted as unnecessary in view of Subsection (c) which provides that the judgment must be recovered within five years from the date of filing, totalling the two- and three-year period allowed by the Act of 1901.
Subsection (c). This subsection is new. The Act of 1901 failed to provide for venue where the improvement is in more than one county. Section 45, Act of 1901, 49 P.S. 183, dealt only with the execution sale of a structure in more than one county and did not deal with the venue of filing of the lien. Subsection (c) is intended to clarify the procedure where claims have been filed in more than one county and to provide full faith and credit to judgments on the merits obtained in any of the counties in which a claim has been filed so as to obviate any necessity for an additional trial to obtain judgment in the other counties. However, a judgment on the merits in one county will not prevent an improper lien, one filed for example after the four-month period, from being stricken.
Subsection (d). Taken from Section 10, Act of 1901, 49 P.S. 52.
Subsection (e). Taken from Section 36, Act of 1901, 49 P.S. 157. The provisions of that section providing that the filing of a claim for a grossly excessive amount could defeat the entire claim are omitted, thus changing prior practice.
The Act of 1901 is clarified to expressly provide that a set-off cannot be made the basis of a counterclaim resulting in a verdict in favor of the owner against the contractor or subcontractor. Also, the action is now treated as one in rem restricting set-offs to those arising from the same transaction or occurrence from which the claim arose. To the extent that prior decisions were not in accord, they are overruled.
HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
Section 2 of the act of 1972 provides:
“This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to all mechanics' lien causes pending at the time of its enactment.”
Prior law:
1901, June 4, P.L. 431, §§ 10, 31 to 34, 36, 37, 45, 51 to 53.
1905, April 17, P.L. 172, § 2.
1911, June 15, P.L. 980, § 1.
1913, May 23, P.L. 307, § 1.
49 P.S. §§ 52, 136, 151 to 154, 157 to 159, 183, 243 to 247.

Footnotes

49 P.S. § 1502.
49 P.S. § 1701, PA ST 49 P.S. § 1701
Current through 2018 Regular Session Act 164 (End)
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