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5. SAME-effect of material-man's failure to keep distinct accounts, as affecting right to single lien. Failure of petitioner for a material-man's lien upon several houses to keep separate accounts of the materials furnished to each house will not entitle him to a single lien.

Fried v. Blanchard, 58 Ill. App. 622, reversed.

APPEAL from the Appellate Court for the First District; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook county; the Hon. RICHARD S. TUTHILL, Judge, presiding.

This is an appeal from a judgment of the Appellate Court reversing a decree of the circuit court of Cook county in favor of the present appellants, against appellees, establishing a material-man's lien.

The following facts appear from the report of the master to whom the case was referred in the circuit court: On the first day of April, 1892, one Frank Compton owned lot 1, block 7, in Pitner's addition to Evanston. On that day he made and acknowledged a plat subdividing said lot 1 into six lots, numbered from 1 to 6, inclusive, and conveyed them to Bernhard Fried by the description "lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, in Compton's subdivision of lot 1, in block 7, in Pitner's addition to Evanston." Fried on the same day executed and delivered six trust deeds to Frank R. Chandler, trustee, one on each of said lots, to secure parties therein named in the sum of $1000 each, money loaned Fried, and six other trust deeds to George W. Cass, trustee, one on each of said lots, to secure the payment to other parties therein named sums of money loaned to Fried, aggregating $3000. On the same day Fried gave to petitioners below this order: “CHICAGO, ILL., April 1, 1892.

"Messrs. T. B. Blanchard & Co.: "GENTLEMEN-Please deliver to Mr. F. Remus such lumber as he may need to build my six houses on Greenleaf and Asbury ave., South Evanston, and charge same to my account, and oblige. Yours truly,

BERNHARD FRIED."

On the 11th of that month material began to be delivered on this order. The plat of the re-subdivision and the deed from Compton to Fried were filed for record April 19, and the trust deeds above mentioned were filed for record on April 20. All the material delivered to petitioners to that date amounted to only about $200.

On October 3, 1892, petitioners filed in the office of the circuit clerk of Cook county a paper, which they claim in their petition was a sufficient statement, as required by statute. (3 Starr & Curtis, chap. 82, sec. 4.) It is as follows:

"EVANSTON, ILL., Sept. 1, 1892. "Mr. Bernhard Fried, Asbury Ave. and Greenleaf Street:

"Bought of T. B. Blanchard & Co., Office and Yard, Railroad Track north of Depot:

Feet. Pieces. Size. Length. Description. Price.

14

13

20

15

April 11 1610

66

66 990

115
30

2-6
2-10

21.74 14.85

Then follows a long list of items, stated in the same manner as the first and second. It also shows certain items of material returned, for which credit is given, and foots up a balance due of $1693.67. No other remarks or explanations are made upon the face of the statement. It is verified by the affidavit of T. B. Blanchard, who swears that he is a "member of the firm of T. B. Blanchard & Co.; that the annexed statement of account is true and just; that Bernhard Fried is indebted to said firm of T. B. Blanchard & Co. for lumber and materials, as described in the annexed statement of account, after allowing him all the just credits and set-offs, in the sum of $1693.67; that all of said material was delivered at the request of said Bernhard Fried, on the dates mentioned in said statement, at the following described premises, where all of said material was used and for which buildings said material was ordered, to-wit, the houses now situated upon the following premises, to-wit: Lot 1, in block 7, in Pitner's addition to Evanston, afterwards

described as lots one (1) to six (6) inclusive, of Compton's re-subdivision of lot 1, in block 7, of Pitner's addition to Evanston." The six houses were erected on the six lots.

NORTON, BURLEY & HOWELL, for appellants:

The Mechanic's Lien law should be liberally construed as remedial legislation. Bryson v. St. Helen, 86 N. Y. 167; Hicks v. Scofield, 121 Mass. 381.

The construction of mechanic's lien laws should be reasonable, and not such as to render them strictly inoperative and ineffectual. Culver v. Schroth, 153 Ill. 437.

Any blunder or mistake in the statement for lien, made with no wrong intention and where no one is prejudiced thereby, ought not to vitiate the statement and defeat the lien. Culver v. Schroth, 153 Ill. 437; Slight v. Patton, 96 Cal. 384; Treusch v. Shryock, 55 Md. 330; Hopkins v. Forrester, 39 Conn. 351; Baptist Church v. Trout, 28 Pa. St. 153.

The court should consider the customs and forms known and recognized among commercial people and business men. Belford v. Beatty, 145 Ill. 414.

The lien for materials furnished or labor done attaches on the date of the contract. Clark v. Moore, 64 Ill. 273; Thielman v. Carr, 75 id. 385; Paddock v. Stout, 121 id. 571.

A lien for materials furnished for separate buildings on the same tract of land may be enforced as one. Phillips on Mechanics' Liens, sec. 202; Stock Yards v. O'Reilly, 85 Ill. 546; Quimby v. Durgin, 148 Mass. 105.

After the lien of a mortgagee attaches he is not bound to search the records for subsequent conveyances. The same rule applies to a mechanic's lien. Matteson v. Thomas, 41 Ill. 110; Hosmer v. Campbell, 98 id. 572; Iglehart v. Crane, 42 id. 261; Boone v. Clark, 129 id. 466.

STILLMAN & MARTYN, for appellees:

In Fourth Baptist Church v. Trout, 28 Pa. St. 153, the court say: "There must be a substantial compliance with the statutory requirement; and it has been held that a

claim was defective when no year was stated." Rehrer v. Ziegler, 3 W. & S. 258.

A single blanket mechanic's lien cannot be enforced against several detached buildings, under separate roofs and standing upon separate lots. The lien must be enforced, if at all, against each of the several premises according to the value of the work and materials furnished for them, respectively. Culver v. Elwell, 73 Ill. 536; James v. Hambleton, 42 id. 308; Steigleman v. McBride, 17 id. 300; Stock Yards v. O'Reilly, 85 id. 546; Clark v. Moore, 64 id. 273; Thielman v. Carr, 75 id. 385; Paddock v. Stout, 121 id. 571.

Mr. JUSTICE WILKIN delivered the opinion of the court:

The petition seeks to enforce a lien for the whole amount due, against lot 1, block 7, as a unit. Two principal defenses were, interposed upon the hearing of the cause: First, that the statement of the claim filed in the office of the circuit clerk was not in compliance with the requirements of the statute; and second, petitioners were not entitled to a lien against lot 1, block 7, as a whole, but at most they could only proceed against each of the six lots separately. These defenses were overruled by the circuit court, and a decree entered granting the prayer of the petition, finding the amount due. $1693.67, with interest at five per cent per annum from July 8, 1892, and ordering that unless the defendants, or some of them, pay the same, said lot 1, in block 7, with all buildings and improvements thereon, or so much thereof as may be sufficient to realize the amount due the complainants, with costs of suit, be sold at public auction, for cash, to the highest and best bidder, etc.; also ordering that in making the sale the master shall first offer the lots of the subdivision separately, and receive bids therefor, and if the sum of the bids so received shall be sufficient to satisfy the lien, with interest, costs, etc., that then said bids shall be received by the master and a sale made thereon, but if sufficient shall not be

offered upon the bids for the lots separately to satisfy the amount of said lien, interest and costs, then the master shall offer the whole of the premises together, and whichever way shall realize the most to apply upon the lien the master shall consider as conclusive, and shall sell the land upon such bids and issue certificates of purchase in the manner required by law. From that decree the defendants appealed to the Appellate Court for the First District. That court held that the statement filed in the office of the circuit clerk was insufficient to support petitioners' claim, for the reason that it failed to show the year in which the material was furnished, holding that the date (September 1, 1892,) in the heading referred merely to the date when the statement was made out, and could not be understood as indicating the year in which the items were furnished, and hence it considered no other grounds of reversal urged.

The objection that the year in which the material was delivered is not shown is admitted to be hypercritical, but is thought to be fatal under the rule announced by this court that the statute providing for such liens must be strictly construed. This seems to us to carry the rule of strict construction to the extreme, and the decisions of this court cited in support of the conclusion do not sustain it. It is true the date "September 1, 1892," has reference to the time when the statement was made out; but it does not follow that it may not also, in the absence of anything to show the contrary, sufficiently indicate the year in which the material was bought. We think it must be understood, when the whole statement is considered, that the lumber mentioned in the several items was sold in the months of April, May, June and July of the year 1892, and that any one examining it would so understand.

The objection that the statement fails to give a sufficient description of the property to be charged with the lien, is, in our opinion, of more substantial merit. Sec

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