Recently, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that a trial court's rationale for concluding that the wife of the property owner and a co-party to a construction contract is an indispensable party to a mechanics' lien claim was in error. The Superior Court held that the statute does not require that the mechanics' lien claimant name all parties to the contract to satisfy the requirements set forth in the mechanics' lien statute; it requires only that the claimant name the owner or reputed owner of the property.
In Schell v. Murphy, 2016 Pa. Super 302 (Pa. Superior, Dec. 2016), the Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed the finding of the Bedford County Court of Common Pleas, which held that the wife of property owner Mr. Murphy, who was not an owner of record of the property but was a co-party to a construction contract for improvements to the property, was an indispensable party to the contractor's mechanics lien action. The trial court held that, despite the clear language of the statute requiring only that the mechanics' lien name the owner of the property, Wife was an indispensable party in this mechanics' lien action. The trial court offered the following.