Construction Law Insights

Marines Plumbing, LLC v. Durbin, 2019 Va. Cir. LEXIS 43 (Fairfax Cnty. Cir. Ct. Mar. 14, 2019)

Marines Plumbing, LLC (“MP”) performed plumbing repair work on the Defendants’ property and the Defendants did not pay for the repair work. The Defendants’ property is subject to a Deed of Trust securing a loan, which was recorded prior to the plumbing repair work performed by MP. On April 18, 2018, MP recorded a memorandum of lien against the Defendants’ property. On October 17, 2018, MP filed a complaint to enforce the lien. The Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that it was fatally deficient due to its failure to name necessary parties, i.e. the two trustees and the lender.

The Court denied the Defendants’ motion to dismiss. The Virginia Code does not define “necessary parties.” As a general proposition, a “necessary party” is an individual who has an interest in the subject matter, either in possession or expectancy, which is likely either to be defeated or diminished by the plaintiff’s claim. As a matter of law, Virginia Code § 43-21 makes MP’s lien subject to the lien of the two trustees and the lender and, therefore, the interest of the two trustees and lender are not likely to be either defeated or diminished by MP’s lien.

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