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Gregory’s, Inc. v. Haan
South Dakota Supreme Court
545 N.W.2d 488 (1996)
Charles Haan (plaintiff) built and sold homes. Gregory’s, Inc., d/b/a Northland Building Center (Northland) (defendant) supplied materials for Haan’s projects. According to Northland, Haan was to settle his Northland account when homes were done. Haan maintained that he and Northland agreed that payment would be due when homes were completed and sold and Northland would give Haan 30 days’ notice before filing a materialman’s lien, which is a type of mechanic’s lien. Haan sold two homes without paying Northland. Northland filed liens against those properties, a vacant lot, and Haan’s personal home, and sued to enforce the liens. Haan counterclaimed, alleging slander of title for the liens on the vacant lot and his home. Haan claimed that the liens resulted in his credit lines being canceled, two buyers suing him for breach of warranty of title, and project losses. The trial court granted summary judgment to Northland and dismissed Haan’s counterclaim, concluding that Northland’s lien filings were absolutely privileged. Haan appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Konenkamp, J.)
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