A notice of pendency of action (formerly known as Lis Pendens) is a notice of a legal action in which a real property claim is alleged. A notice of pendency of action provides constructive notice to purchasers of real estate or encumbrancers of real property of any pending court actions affecting title to or possession of real property and allows those parties to find notice of pending litigation in the recorder’s office in which the real property is located.
It conveys 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. A notice of pendency of action gives constructive notice not only of the facts apparent on the face of the pleadings in the action, but also all facts concerning the pending court action that could have been obtained by proper inquiry and research.
For example, in quiet title actions where the actual and true owner of the property is contesting title to the property, it would be wise to file a notice of pendency action with the local county recorder’s office to prevent title from being exchanged right away. This type of action would reveal itself if the property was currently in escrow, thus prevent the sale of the property to continue. At any time after notice of pendency of action has been recorded, any party, or any nonparty with an interest in the affected real property, may apply to the court in which the action is pending to expunge the notice.
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