What Is a Slander of Title Claim?
If someone has published a false and disparaging treatment about your property that could harm the potential value of your property or if you are accused of filing such a statement against a property, a slander of title case may arise. These cases are often complex and require careful analysis by a trained legal professional.
Slander of Title Explained
Slander of title refers to a false and disparaging statement that is published about someone else’s real property that has a negative effect on a property’s value. Slander of title actions sometimes go hand in hand with lis pendens actions.
Lis pendens actions are filed along with a lawsuit concerning title to real property that gives the recorder of deeds office notice that a lawsuit regarding the property is in process. This also gives notice to other people searching the land records notice of the pending lawsuit. However, a lis pendens can form the basis of a slander of title action when it is misused, such as when filing a lis pendens when there is no suit pending. The person filing a lis pendens in this situation may be trying to stop or delay a real estate sale or other transaction rather than for any lawful purpose.
Elements of Slander of Title
To win a slander of title case, the plaintiff must prove the following legal elements:
- The plaintiff has an interest in the property
- The defendant published a statement about the plaintiff’s property
- The statement was false
- The statement was maliciously published
- The plaintiff suffered a financial loss or injury because of the false statement
An example of slander of title can occur when someone records a lis pendens when there is no lawsuit pending regarding the property. This type of case could also arise when someone files a false and malicious recording with the recorder of deeds.
Here are some more details on each of these elements:
It is not enough to show that a statement was damaging. It must be an untrue statement. The truth is a defense to this type of action.
The plaintiff must also show the statement was published. In this context, publication means the false statement was made in some type of public record, such as an official filing with the recorder of deeds office.
The plaintiff in a slander of title action must show that the statement was published maliciously. In legal terms, this means the defendant made the statement knowing the statement was untrue or had no reason to believe it was true.
This type of legal action is only successful if it can be shown that the false statement caused damages. Damages refers to the monetary loss or reduction of value of the property.
It can be difficult to prove all of the elements necessary to establish a slander of title case. An experienced real estate attorney can review your situation and explain whether these elements can be proven.
Reach Out to Us for Help with Your Slander of Title Case
If you are facing a slander of title action or want to take action against someone who has disparaged your property, TdD Attorneys at Law can help. We can discuss your legal rights and options during a free case review.
Contact us today to learn more.