HB 1087, an amendment to Oklahoma's mechanic's and materialmen's lien statute that provides for a lien filing to include profit and overhead costs, went into effect on November 1, 2013. A filer can now seek "an amount inclusive of all sums owed to the person at the time of the lien filing, including, without limitation, applicable profit and overhead costs." The requirements for filing remain the same.
This provision is the first change in many years to Oklahoma's lien law, and though this is the only change to the statute, the amendment wording has some saying it lacks clarity, leaving the door open for future debate. "I would assume the invoice that a vendor issues to his customer would include his overhead costs and any expected profit," said James Vogt, Esq., managing partner at Reynolds, Ridings, Vogt & McCart PLLC,Vogt. "When the legislature used the word 'including' it seems to confuse the issue. If the legislature had used the word 'and' instead of 'including,' it might be easier for a judge to interpret. I doubt this was reviewed by any lawyer and, as usual, the addition of these few words will probably create more legal work for lawyers."