Michigan law requires that a proceeding to enforce a construction lien be brought no later than 1 year after the date the claim of lien was recorded. See MCL 570.1127. If no legal action has been taken to enforce a construction lien in over a year, the property owner (or other person with interest in the property) may request that the lien be discharged under MCL 570.1128. To do so, the property owner needs to send an affidavit to the county clerk showing the time when the claim of lien was recorded and the names of the parties to the claim of lien. Before preparing the affidavit, you should check with the county clerk for the county where the lien was recorded for specific instructions. Some county clerks have their own forms that they require be filled out for this purpose and there is generally a fee that needs to be paid at the time the paperwork is submitted.

Once the necessary paperwork has been submitted, the county clerk will examine their records to confirm that no action has been filed within the necessary time period and issue a certificate of that fact with the seal of the circuit court.  The certificate may then be recorded with the register of deeds, which will serve to discharge the lien.

*Be aware that the lien claimant may still bring a claim for damages after the lien is discharged (the statute of limitations for most breach of contract claims is 6 years). However, the lien claimant will not be able foreclose on the lien after a year.