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The Art of Shaving-N.J., LLC v. Atcon Construction Services

BER-C-54-08 (N.J. Super. Ch. Div. 2008) (Unpublished)

CONSTRUCTION LIENS; INJUNCTIONS — Once a party discharges construction lien claims by depositing money with the Superior Court Trust Fund Unit, it is not entitled to injunctive relief to invalidate the liens because it can no longer show immediate, irreparable harm.

A commercial tenant contracted with a general contractor for interior construction of its leased portion of real property. Four subcontractors/suppliers who performed the work for the tenant and who were not paid, filed construction lien claims. The tenant filed a complaint against the various contractors seeking a discharge of the liens based upon lack of contractual privity. The tenant also filed for injunctive relief which was opposed by the claimants. The tenant responded that it had discharged the construction lien claims by depositing monies with the Superior Court of New Jersey Trust Fund Unit, even though it continued to seek a declaration by the court that the liens were void and invalid so that the tenant could obtain a release of those funds.

To obtains injunctive relief, there must be a showing of immediate irreparable harm. Here, this was not the case because the liens had been discharged by the posting of security. Thus, the Court viewed the tenant’s claim as one seeking monetary damages, fees, and costs, as a result of the purportedly improperly filed lien claims. It observed that there was no assertion that the monies deposited by the tenant were immediately needed for the economic viability of the tenant. Therefore, the Court denied injunctive relief.

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