KSP Law Makes New Law on RI Mechanics Lien Law

KSP Law Makes New Law on RI Mechanics Lien Law

Per a (17) page decision issued by Superior Court Justice Sarah Taft-Carter on January 21, 2022, KSP Law secured a victory for their client, Rhode Island Grows, LLC (“RI Grows”) against J-Scape Seasonal Property Care, LLC (“J-Scape”) whereby J-Scape sought to have their mechanics lien recorded against the property to which RI Grows is a tenant for work performed on the property at the direction of RI Grows.


RI Grows contracted with J-Scape to conduct certain site work on the property leased by RI Grows’ in preparation of erecting a commercial hydroponic greenhouse upon the property. RI Grows disputed the nature and cost of the work. J-Scape recorded two (2) mechanics liens against the property in the land evidence records of both North Kingstown, and Exeter for the amount reflective of the contract sum.

KSP, on behalf of RI Grows, challenged both mechanics liens on the grounds that J-Scape failed to comply with the strict requirements of R.I. Gen. Laws § 34-28-4.1, which require that a party contracting directly with an owner or tenant of property where it performs work cannot claim a lien on such property unless it either 1) incorporates specific language from the statute providing notice of a possible mechanics lien directly into their contract; or 2) sends such notice via certified mail with return receipt requested before starting work or delivering materials to the owner, lessee, or tenant, or owner of less than fee simple. See R.I. Gen. Laws § 34-28-4.1. The Court agreed with KSP and dismissed the mechanics liens.


In a seventeen (17) page decision, Justice Taft-Carter found J-Scape’s application of the Mechanics Lien statute to the case at bar was incorrect, RI Grows was indeed a tenant of the property entitled to notice of intention to claim a mechanics lien prior to beginning work (or delivering materials to) the property. The Court found that RI Grows was not the owner of the property but a tenant.

The final reasoning in deciding for RI Grows was that J-Scape did not provide the proper notice of intention to claim a mechanics lien to RI Grows, who was a tenant of the property, thus significantly departing from the notice requirements of R.I. Gen. Laws § 34-28-4.1.

Take Away

RI Grows LLC v. J-Scape Seasonal Property Care, et al. C. A. No. WM-2021-0323 can be read in its entirety at

The following rule of law regarding the Mechanics Lien Statute in Rhode Island:

If the Primary Contractor is contracting directly with the 1) owner; 2) lessee; 3) tenant; in or to effectively claim a mechanics lien, the Primary Contractor must send a Notice of Possible Mechanics Lien to any of the above-mentioned four (4) categories in one (1) of the two (2) available methods. Those methods being either 1) have the notice incorporated conspicuously in a written contract (must be in bold lettering, at the bottom of your contract with the client against whom you intend to provide work for); or 2) by transmitting the notice to one of the above four (4) categories of person/entity via certified mail, return receipt requested, any time prior to commencing work, or delivering any materials for the project to the property.

If you have any questions or would like KSP to review your contract, please contact
Michael A. Kelly, Jackson Parmenter, or Dane Ardente.


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