A completed solar installation in ~ the County college of Morris is part of the task that is under litigation.

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MORRISTOWN — A state appeals court ruled this day that a contracting firm involved in a financial problem over 71 solar framework in Morris, Somerset and also Sussex counties had actually no legit authority once it filed liens totaling $49.8 million versus the tri-county project.

The dashboard upheld premium Court Judge thomas Manahan in Morristown, who issued rulings last year rejecting the liens put by the north Carolina-based contractor, power Partners/MasTec.

The conflict resulted indigenous a project including a full of $88.8 million in municipal bonds issued in December 2011 through the three counties v the innovation authorities that Somerset and also Morris, which assisted in the Sussex project. Three separate bond worries were intended to finance construction of solar generating framework at schools and also at municipal and also county buildings.

MasTec, the contractor, ended up being embroiled in a dispute with the developer and also operator, the brand-new York-based Sunlight basic Capital.

MasTec stated in a lawsuit the it had actually performed much more than $79.2 million precious of “construction services,” however was paid only $33 million by Sunlight.

Sunlight, in turn, accused MasTec of price overruns and of performing job-related not stated in the contract.

The Morris advancement authority, acting on instead of of all three counties, filed suit in Morristown to overturn the liens.

The appeals court ruled that Judge Manahan correctly hosted that building liens “attach specifically to real property,” and also Sunlight’s capacity to attract on the task funds is no “real property.”

Sunlight’s basic counsel, James Mann, likewise said the solar panels and their linked equipment carry out not constitute “real property.”

Also, the appeals court said, the state’s county advancement authorities regulation specifically exempts the home of a county improvement authority from “judicial process.”

Thus, even though Manahan erred once he ruled MasTec is no a “subcontractor,” and also therefore not entitled to a mechanic’s lien, the lien had actually no legal communication either, the court ruled.

The financial conflict has come to be an issue for the Morris county freeholders, some of whom are now claiming the county should not have actually gotten associated in solar framework in the an initial place.

Although all the projects are finished in Somerset, the litigation has actually delayed the perfect of the jobs in Morris and also Sussex “by at least a year,” Mann claimed today.

“We are very pleased with the court decision,” Mann added. “We believe the appellate court decided correctly that MasTec’s debates are meritless.”

But the case isn’t over yet. The jae won dispute in between MasTec and also Sunlight has actually been heard by an arbitrator “to recognize which among them is responsible for price overruns and also construction delays," in the native of the appeals court. The arbitrator has actually not yet issued his ruling.

Attorney louis Modugno, who said MasTec’s case for the certain of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, was no immediately available for comment today.

Also not immediately obtainable was lawyer Denis Driscoll native the firm of Inglesino, Wyciskala & Taylor, who said the appeal for the counties.

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