VA: General Contractor Necessary Party for Mechanic’s Lien

mechanic's lienIn an action to enforce a mechanic’s lien filed by a subcontractor, the circuit court erred in concluding that a general contractor, which served as construction manager for the project but had no pecuniary interest in the bond posted to release the real estate subject to a subcontractor’s mechanic’s lien, was a necessary party in the subcontractor’s mechanic’s lien enforcement action. In Synchronized Constr. Servs. v. Prav Lodging, the general contractor had no mechanic’s lien of its own and, thus, the circuit court could render complete relief in the subcontractor’s mechanic’s lien enforcement action because, even in the absence of the general contractor, there was no monetary claim upon which the circuit court could award judgment in the general contractor’s favor, and no interest held by it which might need to be shielded from an adverse judgment. Under the facts of this case, the general contractor was a proper party but not a necessary party to a subcontractor’s mechanic’s lien enforcement action. The judgment dismissing the mechanic’s lien enforcement action is reversed and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. The dissenters argued that the statutory scheme enforcing mechanic’s liens by a subcontractor innately require that the general contractor be a necessary party to such proceedings.