Filing Your South Dakota Mechanic’s Lien

Rules for Filing an South Dakota Mechanic’s Lien

Who Can File: Anyone supplying labor, work, or materials for a project can file.  This includes professional services such as architecture engineering, and surveying.  Only work or labor relating to the project that has already been furnished can be claimed by a claimant.  Additionally, no written contract is required.  An acknowledgement by the owner that the work is being done is all that is required to be eligible to file.

Preliminary Requirements: A “Sworn Account and Notice of Claim” must be served by all subcontractors and lower tier claimants.  Serving this document upon the owner will secure your lien rights should need to file.

 Lien Filing: The lien document must be filed within 120 days from the last date of work.  Additionally, the unfiled lien must first be served on the owner before it is filed.  South Dakota is unique in that a lower tier Claimant must serve two separate documents (the unfiled lien and the sworn account and notice of claim) upon the owner before filing.

Action must be taken within 30 days of service of the filed lien, or the document will expire.

Public Liens:  South Dakota is one of the few states that makes public liens available.  However, the time limit for filing is much more strict than a commercial or residential lien.  A public lien must be filed within 20 Days from the last date of work.  It is filed with the appropriate officer of the public body overseeing the project.

Knowing how to secure your lien rights with the proper preliminary requirements is an important step to take when trying to properly file a document.  Many clerks require that these prenotices be attached to the lien as proof that the proper requirements were met.  Knowing the preliminary requirements before going into a new job can give you peace of mind should you need to file a lien in the future.