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Legal Memorandum: Summary Judgment in Release of a Lien

Issue: Is summary judgment appropriate in a case involving the release of a lien?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Release of a lien; Summary judgment
Jurisdiction: National
Cited Cases: 91 F. Supp. 2d 451; 802 N.Y.S.2d 821
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 05/01/2007

Summary judgment is inappropriate in a case in which a party seeks release of a lien when there are triable issues of fact as to the entitlement to release of the lien.  Lamparelli Constr. Co. v. Berkley Square of Hamburg, Inc., 802 N.Y.S.2d 821, 822-23 (App. Div. 2005) (affirming denial of summary judgment).  See also Morell v. United States, 91 F. Supp. 2d 451, 462-63 (D.P.R. 2000) (remaining genuine issues of material fact as to whether levies or liens were properly issued could not be determined at summary judgment); Am. Sec. Bank, N.A. v. York, Civ. A. No. 91-1212 (D.D.C. Sept. 1, 1992) (issues surrounding, inter alia, refusal to release lien on shares so that a stock swap could occur were triable issues of fact that precluded summary judgment on the defendants’/counterclaimants’ counterclaim).  In Battaglia Electric, Inc. v. Bancroft Construction Co., No. Civ.A.01C04114RRC (Del. Super. Ct. Mar. 13, 2003), the Delaware court denied the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on the issue of the release of its lien rights. 

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