Older Uniform Acts

Liens Act 1996


1.  In this Act,

"court" means the [superior court of the enacting jurisdiction], or where the value of the goods does not exceed [the monetary jurisdiction of the provincial court of the enacting jurisdiction] includes the [provincial court];

Commentary: This definition, in addition to using the jurisdiction of the superior court, contemplates the use of the small claims procedure for claims in relation to assets that do not exceed the monetary jurisdiction of the small claims court. For most jurisdictions in Canada, this will expand the authority of the provincial court to include the exercise of powers under the jurisdiction's personal property regime.

"financing statement" means a financing statement as defined in the Uniform Personal Property Security Act;

Commentary: This definition reflects a decision to register the liens created by this Act in the registry established under the Uniform Personal Property Security Act. [Please note that all references to the PPSA in this Act are to the Uniform Act.]

"lien" means, except where the context requires otherwise, a lien created by this Act;

Commentary: This Act does not apply to all liens, but only those which have a commercial base and can be considered to have value. This point is more fully canvassed under section 2. The need to qualify the definition arises because sections 25 and 26 refer to liens that are not created by this Act. Section 25 abolishes liens arising at common law; section 26 is a transitional provision.

"lien claimant" means a person who has a lien on goods pursuant to section 2;

"secured party" means a person who has a security interest;

"security interest" means an interest in goods that secures payment or performance of an obligation;

"services" means services rendered for consideration in relation to goods, and includes:

(a) labour and materials provided for the purposes of restoring, improving and maintaining the condition and properties of goods and of salvaging goods,
  • (b) the storage of goods, and
  • (c) the transportation, carriage and towage of goods.
Commentary: This is a key definition. Coupled with section 2, this definition determines the Act's scope. The three types of liens contemplated by this Act are: (i) the repairer's lien; (ii) the storer's lien; and (iii) the carrier's lien. An enacting jurisdiction may choose to expand the list. The commonality among these liens is that each has a commercial base and each can be said to have preserved or enhanced the value of the goods. Some explanation in relation to this latter point is required.

The repairer's lien being a lien where a person has provided services for the purpose of improving, restoring or maintaining the condition or properties of goods is self-explanatory.

A storer's or a carrier's lien also preserves or adds value, but examples are needed to better explain this principle. A storer adds value in the sense that the goods are maintained by storage. Transportation adds value on the assumption goods are transported from one place to another where they are needed or will be capable of being sold or repaired. If not transported, the value of the goods is diminished if they cannot be sold for the best price or cannot be repaired.

This definition also removes the distinction between carriers and common carriers. All carriers are brought within the framework of the Act.

There is no requirement that a bill of lading must be issued in order that a carrier may claim a lien.

"sheriff" includes any person appointed by a sheriff pursuant to section 14.

Commentary: This Act contemplates the use of a sheriff to seize the goods covered by a lien. An enacting jurisdiction may wish to use a different system of enforcement.

Next Annual Meeting

2020 Annual Meeting

Place to be Announced

August 9 – 13, 2020