Quiet Title Law in California
Los Angeles Quiet Title Actions
Definition: A legal proceeding to establish an individual’s right to ownership of real property against one or more adverse claimants.
Quiet Title – is a lawsuit filed to establish ownership of real property (land and buildings affixed to land). The plaintiff in a quiet title action is seeking 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.
Clouded Title Affects Many Los Angeles Properties
Clouded Title – A quiet title lawsuit is also called a suit to remove a cloud. A cloud is any claim or potential claim to ownership of the property. The cloud can be a claim of full ownership of the property or a claim of partial ownership, such as a lien in an amount that does not exceed the value of the property. A title to real property is clouded if the plaintiff, as the buyer or recipient of real estate, might have to defend his or her full ownership of the property in court against some party in the future. A landowner may bring a quiet title action regardless of whether the respondent is asserting a present right to gain possession of the premises.
Example of a Clouded Title
For example, assume that JOE, the seller of a property agreed to sell a property to MARY but JOE then passed away before the sale was finalized. Assume further that the JOE, the seller, also gave the property to a a life-long friend in his will. This is not uncommon! JOE may have reconsidered giving away of the property as money was needed for an unexpected problem, and since the life-long friend really was never informed by JOE that JOE was going to will the friend the property, JOE figures that he will not be hurting his friend’s feelings. JOE fully intends to have his will altered when he gets around to it. Unfortunately for everyone, (mostly JOE), JOE passes away and never had the opportunity to modify his will as planned. In such a situation, both the life-long friend and the buyer have valid grounds for filing a suit to quiet title because each has a valid claim to the property.
Quiet Title Proof Requirements
A plaintiff seeking to quiet title against a person with legal title to property has the burden of proving title by clear and convincing proof, rather than by the preponderance of evidence usually used in civil cases.
The general rule in a quiet title action is that the plaintiff may succeed only on the strength of his own claim to the real estate, and not on the weakness of the respondent’s claim. The plaintiff bears the burden of proving that he owns the title to the property. A plaintiff may have less than a fee simple, or less than full ownership, and maintain an action to quiet title. So long as the plaintiff’s interest is valid and the respondent’s interest is not, the plaintiff will succeed in removing the cloud (the respondent’s claim) from the title to the property.
Advocating for Plaintiffs and Defendants in Quiet Title Claims
To schedule a consultation regarding a Los Angeles quiet title action with Real Estate Attorney Jeffrey Williams, contact us for an appointment right away. Attorney Jeffrey Williams welcomes inquiry from either plaintiffs or defendants in quiet title claims.
Assisting Owners, Lien Holders, Private Lenders in Los Angeles Title Disputes
Los Angeles Real Estate Attorney Jeffrey Williams advocates on behalf of owners, lien holders, and private lenders in clouded title and title disputes who seek court judgments validating that they are rightful property owners of a particular piece of real estate. Conversely, Attorney Jeffrey Williams also represent opponents in quiet title actions.
Detailed Investigations Prove Validity of Quiet Title Claims
For a Los Angeles or Southern California area quiet title action, Real Estate Attorney Jeffrey Williams is experienced and prepared to undertake a detailed investigation to prove the validity of the quiet title claims of their clients. We are dedicated attorneys working steadfastly for our clients and we do not take shortcuts. Our lawyers do whatever is required to complete a case effectively and in a timely manner.