What Is A Lis Pendens, What Does It Do, And How Can You Get Rid Of It?
A brief explanation of what a lis pendens is, what a lis pendens does, and how one might go about dealing with a lis pendens.
What Is A Lis PendensWhat is it? A "lis pendens", also known as a "notice of pendency of action" is a notice that recorded with the County recorder's office. The lis pendens tells the world that there is a lawsuit concerning real estate. A litigant in a lawsuit asserting a "real property claim" concerning a specific piece of property (or many pieces of property) may record a lis pendens. A lis pendens must be signed by an attorney, or approved by a court. See Code of Civil Procedure Sections 405.20 through 405.24.
What Does A Lis Pendens Do?What does it do? From the time the lis pendens is recorded, a subsequent transferee of the property (for example, a buyer) or secured lender against the property (such as, a bank making a loan on the property) is said to be on "constructive notice" of the lawsuit as it relates to the real estate. This means that any transactions involving the property (loans, transfers, etc.) after the recording of the lis pendens are subject to being unwound, undone, or otherwise having no force or effect against the property. Effectively, the lis pendens makes the property unmarketable, unsaleable, and not amenable to real estate secured loans while the lis pendens is on the property. See Code of Civil Procedure Section 405.20 through 405.24.
How Can You Get Rid Of A Lis Pendens?How can you get rid of it? Although a plaintiff can file a lis pendens when the plaintiff has a real property claim, a claimed owner of the property can request the court "expunge" or remove the lis pendens or require the plaintiff to post a bond in order to maintain the lis pendens against the property. The court can also allow the claimed owner to post a bond in order to remove the lis pendens. On this type of motion, the winner generally receives their attorney's fees incurred in brining/opposing the motion, however, it is not mandatory. See Code of Civil Procedure Section 405.30 through 405.39.