Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Second Division
KARRENBROCK CONSTRUCTION, INC. ET AL., Respondents,
SAAB AUTO SALES AND LEASING, INC., Appellant.
from the Circuit Court of St. Charles County, Honorable
Deborah J. Alessi
M. Hess, Judge
Auto Sales and Leasing, Inc., ("Appellant") appeals
the mechanic's lien judgement entered against it by the
circuit court of St. Charles County. Appellant contracted
with Karrenbrock Construction, Inc., and Karrenbrock
Excavating, LLC (collectively "Respondents"), to
complete work on property owned by Appellant. Appellant's
sole point on appeal is that the trial court did not have
subject matter jurisdiction to enforce the mechanic's
liens because Respondents were original contractors and
neither pleaded nor provided evidence that the original
contractor notice required by § 429.012 was ever
provided. We hold that, because the trial court had subject
matter jurisdiction, Appellant's sole point is denied.
Accordingly, we affirm.
and Procedural Background
February 8, 2013, Respondents contracted with Appellant to
perform work on property owned by Appellant. The parties
agreed within the contracts that Respondents were
subcontractors. On January 20, 2014, Respondents sent
Appellant the subcontractor lien notices required by §
429.100. On February 10, 2014, Respondents filed
mechanic's liens against Appellant's property to
secure payment for their work under the contracts. On July
25, 2014, Respondents filed suit to enforce those liens.
pleaded they were subcontractors but also that Appellant
owned the property being worked upon at the time the contract
was created. Appellant answered and admitted the same.
Respondents further pleaded they followed all conditions
precedent to enforcing a mechanic's lien. Appellant
answered by stating it was without sufficient information to
admit or deny and therefore denied that allegation. At the
bench trial, the only witness in the case testified, without
objection, that the contracts between Respondents and
Appellant were subcontracts. Appellant's ownership of the
property being worked upon was evidenced by a deed.
Respondents also introduced into evidence, with Appellants
stipulating to admissibility, the subcontractor notices
Respondents provided to Appellant in accordance with §
429.100. Respondents did not produce any evidence the
original contractor notice required under § 429.012 was
provided to Appellant. Appellant presented no evidence at
trial. Appellant made no assertion Respondents were original
contractors (as opposed to subcontractors), or that
Respondents were required to provide notice of their
mechanic's liens under § 429.012 (as opposed to
§ 429.100), until Appellant's motion to amend the
the bench trial, the trial court entered judgment on October
5, 2016, declaring the mechanic's liens to be valid and
enforceable against Appellant's property. This judgment
was interlocutory until the dismissal of the remaining claims
on June 7, 2017. The trial court amended its judgment on
August 9, 2017. The amended judgment mirrored the original
judgment in declaring Respondents' mechanic's liens
valid and enforceable against Appellant's property.
Appellant timely appealed.
trial court's judgment will be affirmed "unless
there is no substantial evidence to support it, unless it is
against the weight of the evidence, unless it erroneously
declares the law, or unless it erroneously applies the
law." Murphy v. Carron, 536 S.W.2d 30, 32 (Mo.
1976). "Dismissal for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction is appropriate 'whenever it appears by
suggestion of the parties or otherwise that the court lacks
jurisdiction.'" McCracken v. Wal-Mart Stores
East, LP, 298 S.W.3d 473, 476 (Mo. banc 2009) (quoting
Rule 55.27(g)(3)). "Lack of subject matter jurisdiction
is not subject to waiver; it can be raised at any time, even
on appeal." Id. "Jurisdiction is a
question of law that we review de novo." Matthey v.
St. Louis County, 298 S.W.3d 903, 905 (Mo. App. E.D.
Appellant's sole point on appeal, it argues
Respondents' failure to plead and prove they provided
proper notice of the mechanic's liens under §
429.012 removes the trial court's subject matter
jurisdiction. Appellant argues Respondents were original
contractors because Appellant owned the property on which
Respondents were working. See Vasquez v. Village Center,
Inc., 362 S.W.2d 588, 593 (Mo. 1962) (stating
"[o]ne who makes a contract to perform labor or furnish
materials with the then owner of the property is an original
contractor"). Thus, Appellant argues, Respondents were
required to plead and prove they provided notice under §
429.012-not § 429.100. Respondents assert they were only
required to provide the notice under § 429.100 because
they were subcontractors under their contract with Appellant.
Respondents further argue that even if they were original
contractors, Appellant waived its right to appellate relief
because it did not plead the trial court lacked statutory
authority due to the failure to provide notice under §
429.012, and because Appellant did not lodge any objections
regarding the status of the parties at trial.
central question presented by Appellant's only point
relied on is whether Respondents' alleged failure to
plead and provide evidence of their mechanic's lien
notices removes a trial court's subject matter
jurisdiction. It does not.
point relied on states: "[t]he trial court
erred in denying [Appellant's] Motion to Amend the
Mechanic's Lien portions of the Judgments because the
trial court did not have jurisdiction to impose the
mechanic's liens in favor of [Respondents], in that