In Ontario and other common-law jurisdictions, legal disputes are subject to what is known as an “adversarial” process. Many lawyers take this approach too close to heart. While lawyers may be skeptical of ADR, perhaps we should begin relationships with opposing counsel from a position of trust rather than combat.
How can a Subcontractor stop payments in wake of ongoing construction dispute? In realizing the fast-paced nature of the construction industry, the drafters the Construction Act, created a mechanism allowing Subcontractors to cease payment on a project without having to actually preserve a lien. Namely, a “Written Notice of Lien.”
Although construction lien proceedings do not extend the same rights as ordinary proceedings, the Construction Act allows claimants to demand information pursuant to Section 39. The Act extends a similar fact-finding ability to Owners/Contractors/other Defendants through a cross-examination of the lien claimant on the contents of their lien by way of Section 40.
The purpose of a construction lien is to provide statutory protections to contractors and subcontractors for the services and materials they supply to subject properties. That being said – these protections are not cheap. In order to address these costs and allow “Access to Justice,” the Construction Act affords specific remedies to allow smaller lien claimants to either assign, piggy-back, or bundle up their lien.