44-87. Discharge of lien; penalty for failure to discharge.

(a) Liens created by this Article may be discharged as follows:

(1) By the designated representative in IV-D cases, or by the obligee in non-IV-D cases, filing with the clerk of superior court an acknowledgment that the obligor has satisfied the full amount of the lien;

(2) By depositing with the clerk of superior court money equal to the amount of the claim and filing a petition in the cause requesting a district court judge to determine the validity of the lien. The money shall not be disbursed except by order of a district court judge following the hearing on the merits; or

(3) By an entry in the judgment docket book that the action on the part of the lien claimant to enforce the lien has been dismissed, or a judgment has been rendered against the claimant in such action.

(b) An obligee in a non-IV-D case who has received payment in full for a delinquent child support obligation which is the basis for the lien shall, within 30 days of receipt of payment, file with the clerk of court an acknowledgment that the obligor has satisfied the full amount of the lien and that the lien is discharged. If the lienholder fails to timely file the acknowledgment, the obligor may, after serving notice on the obligee, file an action in district court to discharge the lien. If in an action filed by the obligor to discharge the lien, the court discharges the lien and finds that the obligee failed to timely file an acknowledgment discharging the lien, then the court may allow the prevailing party to recover reasonable attorneys' fees to be taxed as court costs against the obligee. (1997-433, s. 7; 1998-17, s. 1.)