A “quiet title action” is a type of lawsuit that establishes who is the rightful owner of a certain lot of real estate. Quiet title actions are sometimes brought between amicable parties trying to nail down once and for all where boundary lines or easements are, or they can be hotly contested fights to prove that someone has no claim on a property at all.
Title to real estate can become “cloudy” under a number of circumstances. One examples is where the same person has sold the same piece of real estate to multiple parties. (Yes, seriously! This happens.) Cloudy title also arises where an estate was never opened and ownership never passed to an heir through lawful means.
Even decades down the line, these sorts of mixups can cause problems for a potential buyer of real estate. Quiet title actions are also brought where someone buys a property at sheriff’s sale or tax sale and wants to ensure that the old owner cannot come back and try to redeem the property or otherwise claim that the sale was not done legally. Quiet title actions can also be very similar to declaratory judgement actions in that they are sometimes filed to extinguish someone’s claim and end all dispute over a property.
Where should you file a quiet title?
Quiet title actions are brought in the county in which the property is located. This can create some confusion when a piece of the property goes into another county. Quiet title actions are brought on behalf of the plaintiff or plaintiffs who claim full ownership of the property and name all defendants who could have any ownership claim in the property. This means naming as defendants anyone who has claims to having title for the property, but also includes naming any prior owners and their descendants or heirs who might have also have claims to the property. Finally, Quiet Title Actions are typically brought “against the world,” which means they are purportedly naming all potentials defendants anywhere in the world.
What sort of evidence do courts consider in quiet title actions?
Quiet title actions will typically take into account evidence such as old contracts of sale, deeds that are part of the chain of title, and even letters between neighbors which demonstrate belief about the correct spot where a specific line should be drawn. In addition, other community evidence may be available from Historical Societies or old surveyor offices that have been purchased by other surveyors. In the past, Cornerstone Law Firm attorneys have even been able to collect documents from old law firms that were in storage in family members’ homes.
The final conclusion of a quiet title action is a Court order allowing you to record a new deed that has been approved by the court. Call the real estate attorneys at Cornerstone Law Firm to get your issue resolved, today!