Mechanics’ Liens-Improvements Outside Building–Lien Allowed for the Clearing of Land Unconnected with the Construction of a Building

Plaintiff filed a bill of complaint seeking to enforce a mechanic’s lien for the clearing of eighty acres of land pursuant to an agreement with the owners. The bill alleged that plaintiff’s lien was superior to a mortgage which, though prior in time of execution, had been recorded subsequent to the inception of the clearing contract. Defendant mortgagee demurred on the ground that land clearance did not qualify for a lien under the pertinent mechanic’s lien statute which provided that “every … person … who shall do or perform any work or labor upon … any building or improvement on land … shall have a lien therefor on such building or improvements and on the land on which the same is situated …. ” The demurrer was overruled. On appeal, held, affirmed, three judges dissenting. The clearing, grading, or excavating of land is an improvement upon land within the meaning of the mechanic’s lien statute. Mazel v. Bain, 272 Ala. 640, 133 So. 2d 44 (1961).