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What Is the Burden of Proof in a Missouri Quiet Title Action?

Posted on October 22, 2023

If you are a real estate investor or property owner, you may need to file a quiet title action to clarify your ownership. A quiet title action can provide an official declaration regarding ownership through the court system. One of the most important aspects of this type of claim is the burden of proof, which is what you must prove in order to win the case.

If you are considering filing a quiet title action, an experienced real estate lawyer at TdD Attorneys at Law can discuss your legal rights and options during a free case review.

What You Need to Know About Quiet Title Actions

Quiet title actions can have a significant impact on your ownership of property. Some things to know before initiating this type of legal action include:

  • Quiet title actions refer to real estate, including any land or buildings on the property.
  • Quiet title actions can help remove a cloud from a title.
  • Quiet title action can clear up competing ownership interests and property questions, including problems in title that arise because of estate sales, mechanic’s liens, mortgage lender disputes, easements, boundary disputes, periods of inoccupancy, or tax liens.
  • If you win the quiet title action, you will be declared the rightful owner and be entitled to full possession of the property.
  • Quiet title actions can protect your ownership interest from future claims.

Because quiet title actions are complex and can impact your ownership interest, you should work with an experienced real estate attorney.

Legal Requirements for Quiet Title Actions

State law governs quiet title action. In Missouri, you must notify all potential defendants of the suit. This includes anyone with an interest in the property, including heirs, mortgage lenders, tax authorities, or others. Future claims can still arise regarding the property, so quiet title actions must have specifically named defendants.

After you serve the defendants, they have 20 days to respond. In many quiet title actions, the defendants do not respond. In this situation, you can move for a default judgment. The judge can sign an order that gives you clear title to the property.

Burden of Proof in Quiet Title Actions

If you file the quiet title action, you are the plaintiff. This means you will have the burden of proof in the case. In civil cases, the burden of proof is by the preponderance of the evidence, which means that the facts are more likely as you allege than not. It is not usually enough for you to simply state you are the owner of the property. You may need proof to convince the judge, such as:

  • Written contracts
  • Documents showing you possessed and maintained the property, such as for repair work or tax payments
  • Discovery answers or admissions
  • Witness testimony
  • Your testimony made under oath

Obtain the Experienced Legal Representation You Need

Property disputes can be confusing and frustrating. TdD Attorneys at Law understands how distressing it can be when your ownership is threatened. We can help protect your rights through a quiet title action.

Contact us today for a free case review where we can discuss how we can help settle a property dispute.