An owner of property in the State of Ohio that discovers or is notified of a mechanic's lien filed against his or her property may force a resolution of the matter by filing a notice to bring suit and posting an Ohio lien release bond with the county recorder in which the property is located. The Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 1311 addresses the process in detail. The pertinent steps are 1311.11, entitled "Notifying (a) Lienholder to Commence Suit". The lien release bond requirements are detailed in subsection (C).
(1) Before or after suit has been commenced upon a lien, and whether or not a notice to commence suit has been served, a surety bond may be provided in double the amount of the claim secured by the lien or, if the claim secured by the lien exceeds five thousand dollars, in the amount of one and one-half times the amount of the claim, conditioned upon payment of any judgment and costs. The Ohio lien release bond must be issued in favor of the lienholder and executed by a sufficient surety. A petition must be made before the court of common pleas for approval of the lien release bond. A notice of a hearing on the petition must be served on the lienholder or his/her agent.
(2) At the hearing on the petition, the only issues to be determined are the sufficiency of the lien release bond, whether the lienholder has consented to the surety bond and if the bond offered is reasonable. If the surety bond is approved the court must order that it be retained in the court file.
(3) As of the date of the entry of approval, the Ohio lien release bond is a substitute for the security of the lien. The lien is void and the property wholly discharged from the lien. If an action on the lien has been or is commenced and a surety bond has been or is provided in accordance with the law, the action on the lien is terminated automatically, the land is freed from the lien, and the action on the lien may proceed as an action on the lien release bond.
The Ohio lien release bond is discharged and the surety released upon failure of the lienholder to commence suit within the time allowed pursuant to the prevailing statute, or if a suit on the security is dismissed with prejudice to the plaintiff or judgment is entered against the plaintiff, or if judgment is entered in favor of the plaintiff upon payment of the judgment with costs. The court may direct that costs and a judgment in favor of the plaintiff in a suit be paid from the surety bond posted as security.
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