If you missed the pre-lien notice letter and subcontractor lien filing deadlines, you may still have a right to a lien if you can demonstrate that there was a “sham contract” between the owner and the contractor who hired you.
If you have labored, provided specially fabricated materials, or furnished labor or materials to a project under a direct contractual relationship with a third party who is not the property owner, the law will infer that you have a direct contractual relationship with the owner, making you a “prime contractor,” if you can demonstrate the owner contracted with the third party for the construction or repair of a house, building, or improvements and one of the following applies:
- the owner controls the third party through ownership of voting stock, interlocking directorship, or otherwise;
- the third party can effectively control the owner through ownership of voting stock, interlocking directorship, or otherwise; or
- the contract between the owner and the third party was made without a good faith intention that the third party would perform the contract.