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Alpine Lumber Co. v. Capital West National Bank

May 18, 2010

ALPINE LUMBER COMPANY AND ALPINE INSTALLATIONS, LLC, APPELLANTS (DEFENDANTS),
v.
CAPITAL WEST NATIONAL BANK, APPELLEE (PLAINTIFF).



Appeal from the District Court of Natrona County The Honorable David B. Park, Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kite, Justice

Before VOIGT, C.J., and GOLDEN, HILL, KITE, and BURKE, JJ.

*This case was reassigned to Justice Kite on April 15, 2010.

[¶1] Alpine Lumber Co. and Alpine Installations, LLC ("Alpine") supplied materials to a residential construction project in Casper, Wyoming, and did not receive payment. Alpine filed liens within 120 days of providing materials and contends the liens were timely because Alpine was a "contractor" under Wyoming‟s lien statutes. The district court granted partial summary judgment against Alpine holding Weyerhaeuser Co. v. Walters, 707 P.2d 733 (Wyo. 1985) controlled, Alpine was a materialman and the applicable statutes required the liens to be filed within 90 days of providing the materials. We affirm.

ISSUES

[¶2] Alpine presents one issue for this Court‟s determination:

I. Whether the District Court was in error in concluding that the Appellants were "materialmen" (and thus required to file their liens within 90 days) and not contractors (and thus required to file their liens within 120 days) as those terms are defined by Wyoming Statute § 29-2-201 (LexisNexis 2007).

Capital West National Bank ("Capital West") phrases the issue as follows:

Issue 1: If an entity provides only materials to a builder/contractor who is also the property owner, is that entity a materialman or a contractor?

FACTS

[¶3] McDonald Homes, LLC (McDonald) was a Wyoming limited liability company with principal offices in Loveland, Colorado. McDonald was in the business of residential development, i.e., building and selling residential homes. In the spring of 2006, McDonald commenced a project of developing and constructing some thirty residential homes on properties it owned in Casper. Capital West National Bank (Capital West), provided the financing for these projects and received mortgages on the homes and property. Alpine Lumber Company is a Colorado corporation, and is in the business of commercial and retail sale of lumber and other building supplies for construction projects. Alpine Installation, LLC is a subsidiary of Alpine Construction and supplies window and door assemblies.

[¶4] Alpine entered into contracts with McDonald to provide materials for the construction of the residences on McDonald‟s property. Between May and September 2006, they shipped materials to Casper which were incorporated into McDonald building projects. Midway through, McDonald began having financial difficulties and stopped paying its creditors. A number of homes were completed, others were simply abandoned. In the end, McDonald was indebted to Alpine for sums in excess of $200,000. Ultimately, Alpine filed some thirty liens on twenty-two separate properties. There are twelve liens on seven separate properties involved in this appeal. Eventually, various entities began to foreclose on the properties. In particular, Capital West filed its Complaint for Judgment and Foreclosure on May 10, 2007. It is undisputed that none of Alpine‟s liens were filed within 90 days of the last day of providing material and that all of their liens were filed within 120 days of that date.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

[¶5] When reviewing a district court‟s order granting summary judgment, we consider the record de novo. Stone v. Devon Energy Prod. Co., L.P., 2009 WY ...


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