What you should know about Garage and Repair Liens.
ARS 33-1022 (A) entitles a garage or repair facility to a lien over a vehicle for unpaid repair charges when the owner and the garage agree on the amount of the charges.
A recent case, Beck v. Hy-Tech Performance, Inc. 1 CA-CV 13-0723 decided January 8, 2015, speaks to what happens where the vehicle owner and the garage do not agree to the amount of the charges.
The Court of Appeals decided that the Garage is still entitled to a lien, but only for the amount of the agreed charges.
This decision may help a vehicle owner recover possession of a motor vehicle from a garage where the charges are greater than originally agreed. If the owner pays the agreed upon portion for the work done, the lien disappears and possession must be returned. This sounds good in theory. In practice, it may be necessary to educate the garage as to the law and the possible consequences of non-compliance before the garage will agree to release a vehicle in return for only partial payment.
If you find yourself in this situation, or have questions regarding Garage or Repair Liens, please contact Platt & Westby, P.C., and visit one of our convenient locations.