Hobbs v. Head & Dowst Co. - 231 U.S. 692 (1914)
U.S. Supreme Court
Hobbs v. Head & Dowst Co., 231 U.S. 692 (1914)
Hobbs v. Head & Dowst Company
Argued December 18, 19, 1913
Decided January 5, 1914
231 U.S. 692
Even though contractors may not be entitled to a mechanics' lien under the statute unless the contract be completed, they may be entitled thereto if absolute completion is waived, and in this case, this Court will not go behind the finding of the master followed by the court below that there was a waiver and the contractor was justified in stopping work.
Where the state trial court had upheld a mechanics' lien before the petition and the trustee in bankruptcy seeks in the federal court to prevent the enforcement of the lien, this Court will not go behind the state judgment because exceptions thereto had not been passed upon owing to the action of those representing the estate.
In this case, this Court is satisfied that substantial justice has been
done in enforcing a lien for over $45,000 admittedly due to the contractor but contested because about $1,000 of work remained uncompleted on a contract of $187,000, the contractors having ceased work after the owner of the building had failed in its payments and was hopelessly insolvent.
175 F. 501 affirmed.
The facts, which involve the validity of lien for labor and materials on property of a bankrupt, and the necessity for completion of the contract in order to maintain the lien, are stated in the opinion.