A Houston company claims a subcontractor filed a fraudulent lien against its property and refuses to release the lien.

Plaintiff Value Place Beaumont alleges it entered into a contract on June 26, 2008, with MDH Builders to construct a hotel at 2375 IH 10 South in Beaumont.

In turn, MDH hired subcontractor defendant Victore Mechanical to provide plumbing, mechanical and electrical work on the project, according to the complaint filed Jan. 20 in Jefferson County District Court.

In January 2009, Victore abandoned the project, forcing MDH to hire other subcontractors to perform the services, the suit states. About three months later, Victore filed a mechanic's and materialman's lien on Value Place Beaumont's project for $398,529.22, the complaint says.

Eventually, in December 2009, Victore filed for bankruptcy in the bankruptcy court for the Western District of Texas. In its bankruptcy case, Victore failed to list the Value Place Beaumont project as an asset, VPB claims.

Following Victore's filing of bankruptcy, VPB filed a motion for relief from automatic stay. Subsequently, a judge granted the stay, prohibiting Victore from collecting on its lien, according to the complaint.

Now, VPB is seeking a declaratory judgment and seeks to have the lien declared invalid, the suit states.

In addition, VPB alleges fraudulent lien claim against Victore.

"By filling and failing to release its lien even though it has been made aware it did not meet the requirements of the Texas Property Code, Defendant has knowingly and intentionally filed a fraudulent lien with the intent to cause financial injury, mental anguish and/or emotional distress to VPB," the suit states.

As a result of Victore's failure to release the lien, VPB is entitled to statutory damages of more than $10,000, the complaint says.

In addition to the money it says it is owed, VPB is seeking pre-judgment interest at the rate of 6 percent per annum, post-judgment interest at the highest legal rate, attorneys' fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Gregory M. Cokinos and Koetting B. Jackson of Cokinos, Bosien and Young in Houston will be representing it.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court.

Case No. D189-200

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