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Mechanic's lien. Before Judge Renfroe. Bulloch Superior Court. October 27, 1953.
1. The manner of attestation and recording of a contract of conditional sale which is to be enforced in Georgia is fixed by the law of this State. Cunningham v. Cureton, 96 Ga. 489 (3) (23 S. E. 420); Burgsteiner v. Street-Overland Co., 30 Ga. App. 140 (4a) (117 S. E. 268); Olmstead v. Carolina Portland Cement Co., 30 Ga. App. 126 (2) (117 S. E. 255), s. c., affirmed, 157 Ga. 669 (121 S. E. 687).
2. If personal property is bought in another State under a contract of conditional sale and is brought into Georgia by a nonresident, the seller, to maintain his title against third parties, must, within six months after the property is brought into this State, record his contract in the county in which the property is located. Such recording is considered to have been in effect from the time the contract was executed. Code 67-108; Armitage-Herschell Co. v. Muscogee Real Estate Co., 119 Ga. 552, 554 (46 S. E. 634); Morris Plan Bank v. Ginn, 56 Ga. App. 681 (193 S. E. 783). It is immaterial that the contract was not recorded in the State where it was executed. Jones v. Andrews, 89 Ga. App. 734 (81 S. E. 2d 304), affirmed, 210 Ga. 706; Hampton v. Universal Credit Co., 59 Ga. App. 568 (1 S. E. 2d 753); C. I. T. Corp. v. Coleman, 54 Ga. App. 576 (188 S. E. 585).
3. In the present case, a mechanic sought to foreclose his lien for repairs upon an automobile brought into this State from Florida and left in the mechanic's possession. The claimant, as assignee of the seller, asserted title to the automobile by virtue of a contract of conditional sale executed in Florida and recorded, within six months after the automobile was brought into this State by a nonresident, in the county where the automobile was located. The court did not err in directing a verdict for the claimant.
Lannie F. Simmons sought to foreclose a mechanic's lien upon an automobile put in his possession for repairs by T. E. Johnson. Springfield Atlantic Bank of Jacksonville, Florida, filed a claim of superior title to the automobile. On the trial, Simmons counsel stated to the court that, since there were no issues of fact, the question of law involved might be decided by the court on the following stipulation of facts: "On February 5, 1953, one T. E. Johnson gave to Jacksonville Service Electric Company a conditional bill of sale wherein Jacksonville Service Electric Company retained title to the automobile in question to secure part of the purchase money of said automobile. Later Jacksonville Service Electric Company transferred to Springfield Atlantic Bank of Jacksonville, Florida, the same conditional sale contract. Said conditional sale contract was never recorded in the State of Florida.
"On March 5, 1953, the said T. E. Johnson brought to the shop of Lannie F. Simmons at Statesboro, Bulloch County, Georgia, one certain 1948 Dodge [described], being the same automobile as that described in the conditional sale contract given by T. E. Johnson to Jacksonville Service Electric Company, and requested Lannie F. Simmons to make certain repairs to said automobile. In pursuance of that request, Lannie F. Simmons, who is a mechanic, [and] automobile dealer, and operates a garage for making repairs to automobiles, made $381.50 worth of repairs to said automobile which work was completed and the above-stated amount due on March 30, 1953. The said T. E. Johnson never returned for said automobile, never made any payment on the amount due for repairs made [upon] said automobile, and on June 11, 1953, the said Lannie F. Simmons made affidavit to foreclose a mechanic's lien on said automobile for the amount due for repairs that he had made on said car. An execution issued . . . on June 11, 1953. On June 12, 1953, Stothard Deal, a sheriff of Bulloch County, levied said execution on said automobile, which automobile was still in the possession of Lannie F. Simmons as a mechanic [and] was still in the shop where the repairs had been made and the said Lannie F. Simmons had not surrendered possession of said automobile after making said repairs. Stothaid Deal, as Sheriff of Bulloch County, advertised through the month of August, 1953, [that] said automobile [was] to be sold on the first Tuesday in September, 1953, by virtue of the foregoing execution as a mechanic's lien levied on said automobile.
"A few days before the automobile was to be sold, on the 21st day of August, 1953, defendant in error [the bank] caused said conditional sale contract to be recorded in the office of the Clerk o[ Bulloch Superior Court. Prior to that date said conditional-sale contract had not been recorded anywhere. At the time the said Lannie F. Simmons, as a mechanic, made the repairs to said automobile, he had no notice of any kind and no reason to suspect that there was a lien of any kind, anywhere, against said automobile, and never knew anything of one until a few days before the automobile was to be sold when defendant in error had said conditional sale contract recorded in the office of the Clerk of Bulloch Superior Court and filed a claim to said automobile."
The court ruled that the bank's claim was superior to Simmons' mechanic's lien, and directed a verdict for the bank. Simmons excepts to that judgment.
George M. Johnston, contra.
Fred T. Lanier, Robert S. Lanier, for plaintiff in error.
DECIDED JUNE 15, 1954.
Saturday May 23 03:49 EDT

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