Can a former client sue my girlfriend or place a lien on her property ?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a former client sue my girlfriend or place a lien on her property ?

I am a contractor and was doing a job that ended up becoming very dangerous for my crew and I, as the owners had severe issues with their behavior. We did more work than paid, and decided to quit the job site, that’s another story altogether. My main issue is that they are threatening to place a lien on my girlfriend’s house. And to sue her, which is ridiculous as she had no involvement whatsoever with the contract, clients, or their house. Is it possible for them to do what they say they would?

Asked on December 9, 2016 under Business Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Legally, if you are not an owner of her property, she is not involved in your business, and she did not participate in the work in question, they have no grounds to sue her or get a lien. That does not mean, unfortunately, that they cannot file a suit and force her to respond, because the courts do not "prescreen" lawsuits and make sure they are valid; but if they do file anything, your girlfriend should have a good defense because they do not have a legal basis to hold her liable simple because she is your girlfriend.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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