Quit Title Action
A “Quiet Title Action” is a lawsuit to establish ownership of real property. The plaintiff in a quiet title action seeks a court order that prevents the respondent from making any subsequent claim to the property. Quiet title actions are necessary because real estate may change hands often, and it is not always easy to determine who has title to the property.
A quiet title action is a judicial proceeding whereby a party seeks to:
The statutory provisions for Quiet Title in California can be found in the California Code of Civil Procedure Sections 760.10-760.060.
Who bears the burden of proof in a California Quiet Title Action?
The answer will usually depend on whether the defendant holds legal title or whether title is disputed.
In a California Quiet Title lawsuit (WHERE LEGAL TITLE VESTS IN DEFENDANTS), the Plaintiff must bear the burden of proof (this is the case in most civil lawsuits). The normal burden of proof in a civil lawsuit is “preponderance of the evidence.” However, in a Quiet Title action, the standard of proof is higher and the Plaintiff must establish its right to title by “CLEAR AND CONVINCING” proof.
Notice Of Pending Action (Lis Pendens)
A notice of pendency of action is required in any quiet title action. [Code Civil Procedure §761.010]
A "notice of pendency of action" or "notice" is a notice of the pendency of an action in which a real property claim is alleged. [Code Civ. Proc. §405.2] Formerly known as a "lis pendens", a notice of pendency of action provides constructive notice to purchasers or encumbrancers of real property of any pending actions affecting title to or possession of the real property and enables those parties to find notice of pending litigation in the recorder’s office in which the real property is located. It furnishes the most certain means of notifying all persons of the pendency of the action and to warn them against any attempt to acquire a legal or equitable interest in the real property.
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