Quiet Title Actions

In order to “quiet” real estate disputes, a lawsuit is filed in this regard known as a quiet title action. This suit comes about when a question is posed about the title. For example, a quiet title action occurs when the boundary is in dispute. Actions of this type also result when there is a question about an easement that has been used over time with a recorded description.

Quiet Title Process

A quiet title lawsuit names anyone who may have had an interest in a title as a defendant. Therefore, defendants can include descendants of a property’s previous owners – both known or unknown. A Notice of Action must be posted on the real estate and published in a local newspaper that has been approved. If the court makes a ruling that the plaintiff is the owner, it will issue a quiet title judgment, which will be recorded, thus settling the issue of ownership. 

Therefore a quiet title action is brought to “quiet” the interest or title in a property between two adverse parties. A party can establish an equitable right, estate, lien, title, or interest in a property, or cloud upon title.

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What Is Quiet Title Adverse Possesion?

The adverse party is the person who claims an ownership interest. However, he or she interferes with the enjoyment of the property by the plaintiff in a quiet title lawsuit. The presence of the adverse party can reduce the value of the real estate or cause the title to become uninsurable.
A quiet title is not used to determine boundary lines or cancel an instrument that cast a cloud on the aforementioned title. 

How Do I File A Quiet Title?

When a quiet title action is filed, it may be brought to court by the holder of an interest in land, whether it is the title to the property, a license, easement, lease, or title that was acquired by adverse possession. In turn, the quiet title action is leveled at a person who has an adverse interest in the real estate. As a result, the plaintiff claims an interest while the defendant claim an adverse interest. Any quiet title action should be filed in the county of the superior court where the real estate is located.

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When Are Quiet Title Lawsuits Filed?

Other grounds that lead to a quiet title complaint include the following:

  • Adverse possession, where the new possessor of the property sues to place the title in his or her name;
  • Fraudulent transfer of a property through forgery or due to coercion
  • Tax issues, where a municipality claims the real estate title instead of the back taxes owed
  • Surveying errors
  • Claims made my missing heirs or lien holders, often emerging from foreclosure actions where the liens were not correctly discharged from the title – due to recording mistakes.
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Stuck In A Quiet Title Dispute?

As a property owner it's important to know your rights in any title disagreement. More importantly, if you are currently involved in a title discrepancy and one party is taking legal action, we recommend that you hire an experienced real estate lawyer to guide you through the legality of a quiet title action. 

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How To Remove A Quiet Title Action?

An action to remove a cloud on title is taken toward specific instrument or document. The plaintiff, in this filing, must prove the document in not valid.

Once a quiet title judgment is made, it binds all parties that claim an interest in the property. That means it binds non-parties to the filed lawsuit whose claim is adverse, but was not part of the record when the suit was facilitated. 

However, the judgment is not binding on those non-parties whose claim was recorded before the lawsuit. Therefore, a plaintiff must make a search of all the records to make sure that all parties are included in the lawsuit.

Needless to say, hiring an attorney to handle a quiet title is helpful. That is why Equity Legal can assist in this special type of filing. Whether you need a question answered about a quiet title matter that relates to fraud or want to better understand the process, you should always have a legal advocate on your side.

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