An artisan's lien is the right of a bailee, who by his labor, skill, or material adds value to the chattel of another at the request of the owner, directly or impliedly, to retain possession of the chattel until the reasonable value of his services has been paid. The right to this lien, which is a specific lien, is of common-law origin, and in the absence of anything inconsistent in the contract has long been extended to all artisans. This common-law artisan's lien, however, has been supplanted by statute in some respect in all but five states. In the other forty-three states and in the District of Columbia, statutes have in various ways extended the artisan's lien beyond one or more of its common-law limitations. In an attempt to classify the numerous statutes into definite groupings, the best basis for any division seems to be the extent to which they have extended the common-law artisan's lien.
Arthur P. Boynton,
LIENS - EXTENT TO WHICH COMMON-LAW ARTISAN'S LIEN HAS BEEN SUPPLANTED BY STATUTE,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol37/iss2/5