The Constitutional Mechanic's Lien

Article 16, Section 37, of the Texas Constitution provides as follows:

  • Mechanics, artisans and materialmen, of every class, shall have lien upon the building and articles made or repaired by them for the value of their labor done thereon, or material furnished therefor; and the legislature shall provide by law for the speedy and efficient enforcement of said liens."

  • The Supreme Court of Texas in First National Bank of Dallas vs. Whirlpool Corporation, 517 S.W. 2d 263 (Tex. 1975) held that the Constitutional lien is available to a manufacturer only upon articles made especially for a purchaser pursuant to a special order and in accordance with the purchaser's plans or specifications. Therefore, such lien would not encompass items made according to the manufacturer's specifications and for sale to the general public.

  • It has been established that the above constitutional provision is self-executing, and that the constitutional lien exists independently and apart from any legislative act.

  • The constitutional lien claimant must have a direct contractual relationship with the owner.

  • The lien may be enforceable against a purchaser if he has actual or constructive notice that improvements are being made.
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