Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

LeGrand Johnson Construction Co. v. Celtic Bank Corp.

Supreme Court of Utah

May 21, 2018

LeGrand Johnson Construction Company, Appellee,
v.
Celtic Bank Corporation and Celtic Investment, Inc., Appellants.

          On Direct Appeal First District, Logan The Honorable Brian G. Cannell No. 090101252

          John A. Snow, James A. Boevers, Salt Lake City, Mark B. Hancey, Logan, for appellee

          Troy L. Booher, Beth E. Kennedy, Leslie K. Rinaldi, Ronald G. Russell, Jeffery A. Balls, Salt Lake City, for appellants

          Associate Chief Justice Lee authored the opinion of the Court, in which Chief Justice Durrant, Justice Himonas, Justice Pearce, and Judge Pohlman joined.

          Having recused herself, Justice Petersen does not participate herein; Court of Appeals Judge Jill M. Pohlman sat.

          LEE, ASSOCIATE CHIEF JUSTICE

¶1 LeGrand Johnson Construction Company (LeGrand) filed an action seeking to enforce a mechanic's lien on property owned by B2AC, LLC, for the unpaid value of construction services provided by LeGrand. Celtic Bank, B2AC's lender, sought to foreclose on the same property after B2AC failed to pay on its loan. B2AC did not defend against LeGrand's action to enforce its mechanic's lien. The action resulted in a lien for $237, 294.21 and an award of $6, 395.50 in attorney fees and costs, which were to be collected from the proceeds of the sale of B2AC's property.

         ¶2 LeGrand and Celtic Bank disputed which of their liens had priority. The district court determined that LeGrand's lien had priority. It also awarded LeGrand $132, 916.48 in attorney fees and costs incurred in the lien priority action. And it held that LeGrand was entitled to recover 18 percent in prejudgment and post judgment interest from Celtic Bank based on LeGrand's contract with B2AC. The prejudgment interest was awarded not only on the value of the mechanic's lien but also on the attorney fees and costs incurred by LeGrand in seeking to enforce the lien against B2AC and in seeking to establish priority against Celtic Bank.

         ¶3 Celtic Bank appeals. It challenges the district court's decision awarding prejudgment interest on the value of the mechanic's lien and on the amount of LeGrand's attorney fees. In the event we reverse the award of prejudgment interest, Celtic Bank also asks us to vacate the district court's attorney fee award and to remand to allow the district court to award attorney fees and costs to Celtic Bank as the prevailing party on the prejudgment interest issues. To the extent Celtic Bank remains liable for attorney fees and costs, Celtic Bank also asks us to reverse the award of post judgment interest rate of 18 percent and to limit the post judgment interest rate pursuant to Utah Code section 15-1-4.

         ¶4 We reverse the decision to award prejudgment interest on the basis of our decision in Jordan Construction, Inc. v. Federal National Mortgage Ass'n, 2017 UT 28, ¶ 64, 408 P.3d 296. We also conclude that Celtic Bank is the prevailing party on the prejudgment interest issues. And we accordingly vacate and remand to the district court to allow it to award attorney fees in a manner consistent with this opinion.

         I

         ¶5 Celtic Bank's first claim of error is vindicated by our recent decision in Jordan Construction, Inc. v. Federal National Mortgage Ass'n, 2017 UT 28, 408 P.3d 296. There we explained that "[t]he extent of overall recovery available on a mechanic's lien claim, just like the amount that can be validly listed on the lien itself, can be no broader than what is provided for by statute." Id. ¶ 61. And we noted that the version of the mechanic's lien statute applicable in that case (and here)[1] "specifically provided for attorney fees" but "did not provide that prejudgment interest is recoverable in the action." Id. ¶ 62. We thus concluded that "what is left unsaid in the mechanic's lien statute is not available for recovery in a mechanic's lien action" and held that prejudgment interest is accordingly "unavailable on a mechanic's lien claim under the 2008 Utah Code." Id. ¶¶ 62, 64.

         ¶6 This holding applies with equal force here. LeGrand has identified no plausible basis for distinguishing our holding in Jordan Construction. Nor has it offered a persuasive ground for overruling it. We accordingly reinforce that decision here and reverse the district ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.