Legal Dictionary

lis pendens

Legal Definition of lis pendens

Etymology

    Latin Origin

Noun

  1. A dispute or matter which is the subject of ongoing or pending litigation. Politicians will sometimes refuse to discuss a matter or an issue which is "lis pendens" because they do not want their comments to be perceived as an attempt to influence a court of law.

Definition of lis pendens

Etymology

    Latin lis (“dispute”) + pendens (“pending”)

Noun

lis pendens

  1. (law) a notice of pending litigation against a property

See also

Further reading

Lis pendens is Latin for "suit pending." This may refer to any pending lawsuit or to a specific situation with a public notice of litigation that has been recorded in the same location where the title of real property has been recorded. This notice secures a plaintiff's claim on the property so that the sale, mortgage, or encumbrance of the property will not diminish plaintiff's rights to the property, should the plaintiff prevail in its case. In some jurisdictions, when the notice is properly recorded, lis pendens is considered constructive notice to the other litigants or other unrecorded or subordinate lienholders. The term is sometimes abbreviated as "lis pend".

In current practice, a lis pendens is a written notice that a lawsuit has been filed concerning real estate, involving either the title to the property or a claimed ownership interest in it. The notice is usually filed in the county land records office. Recording a lis pendens against a piece of property alerts a potential purchaser or lender that the property's title is in question, which makes the property less attractive to a buyer or lender. After the notice is filed, anyone who nevertheless purchases the land or property described in the notice takes subject to the ultimate decision of the lawsuit.

The recording office will record a lis pendens upon request of anyone who claims to be entitled to do so (e.g. because he has filed a lawsuit). If someone else with an interest in the property (e.g. the owner) believes the lis pendens is not proper, he can then file suit to have it expunged.

Some states' lis pendens statutes require the filer of the notice, in the event of a challenge to the notice, to establish that it has probable cause or a good likelihood of success on the merits of its case in the underlying lawsuit; other statutes do not have such a requirement.

Lis pendens applies in matters of parental responsibility as well.

References:

  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.



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