The right of lien generally arises by operation of law, but in
some cases it is created by express contract.
There are two kinds of liens; particular and general. When a person claims
a right to retain property, due to money or labor invested in that property,
it is a particular lien.
Liens may arise in three ways:
- By express contract;
- From implied contract, as from general or particular usage of trade;
- By legal relation between the parties, such as created with common
carriers and inn keepers. When goods are delivered to a tradesman or
any other, to apply his labor to, he is entitled to detain those goods
until he is paid for such labor. When goods have been saved from the
perils of the sea, the salvor may detain them until his claim for salvage
To create a valid lien, it is essential:
- That the party claiming a lien should have the absolute property or ownership of
the thing or, at least, a right to vest it;
- That the party claiming the lien should have an actual or constructive, possession, with the assent
of the party against whom the claim is made;
- That the lien should arise upon an agreement, express or implied and not be for a limited or specific
purpose that contradicts the express terms or the clear, intent of the contract.