LIENS ‑- APPLICATION OF SEED LIEN LAW TO TENANTS.
Supplier of seed, furnished at request of tenant, does not have lien against crop grown from such seed.
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February 21, 1956
Honorable W. C. Raugust
State Senator, Eighth District
Odessa, Washington Cite as: AGO 55-57 No. 209
By letter personally acknowledged, you have requested the opinion of this office concerning a question which we paraphrase as follows:
Under chapter 336, Laws of 1955 (RCW 60.12.180) would a supplier of seed, furnished at the request of a tenant have a lien against the crop grown from such seed during the calendar year in which such seed was furnished?
Our answer to this question is in the negative.
Chapter 336, Laws of 1955 adds a new section to Chapter 60.12 RCW, which has been codified as RCW 60.12.180, which reads as follows:
"Every person who, at the request of the owner of real property or his agent, furnishes seed for growing crops upon such real property shall have a lien for the agreed price or the reasonable value thereof upon any or all crops grown from such seed during the calendar year in which such seed was furnished. If such seed is [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]
furnished and the crop therefrom is to be grown and harvested in the following calendar year, the lien shall attach to such crop." (Emphasis supplied)
As regards the interpretation of statutes creating liens, our supreme court had this to say in the case of De Gooyer v. Northwest Trust & State Bank, 130 Wash. 652, affirmed 132 Wash. 699:
"Statutes creating liens are in derogation of the common law and are to receive a strict construction. Tsutakawa v. Kumamoto, 53 Wash. 231, 101 Pac. 869, 102 Pac. 766. Their operation will not be extended for the benefit of those who do not clearly come within the terms of the act. * * *"
Our conclusion that tenants, as such, do not come within the terms of the seed lien statute is further bolstered by the omission of any reference to tenants in the seed lien section such as is found in the same chapter wherein the legislature created a labor lien on crops grown. RCW 60.12.010, in part, reads as follows:
"Any person who, as laborer, contractor, or otherwise,at the request of the owner or tenant of any land, does or causes to be done, any labor thereon in tilling, preparing for growing of crops, planting, cultivating, harvesting, securing or housing crops, threshing grain, or hauling to any warehouse any crop grown thereon, shall have a lien upon any or all such crops grown during the calendar year in which such work was done, upon all or any of the land belonging to or occupied by the person at whose request the work was done, for the contract price or reasonable value of the labor performed. * * *" (Emphasis supplied)
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Our conclusion is limited to the landlord-tenant situation and is not intended to apply to any other situation wherein the tenant is actually the agent of the landlord, such as a farm manager arrangement.
We trust that the foregoing will prove helpful to you.
Very truly yours,
JOHN J. CHAMPAGNE
Assistant Attorney General