What Is Lis Pendens Or “Suit Pending?”
If you file a lawsuit concerning title to real property, such as a quiet title action or reformation action, you may also file a lis pendens in the recorder of deeds office that identifies the real estate lawsuit. The term lis pendens is Latin meaning “suit pending.” As its Latin meaning implies, the purpose of recording a lis pendens is to give individuals searching the land records notice that a lawsuit has been filed concerning the property. Section 527.260 of the Missouri Revised Statutes outlines when a Missouri lis pendens must be filed.
Slander Of Title
A lis pendens is misused when it is filed with the recorder of deeds, although no lawsuit concerning the property has been filed. Generally, the individual who filed the lis pendens is attempting to stop or delay a real estate transaction. A lis pendens that has been filed improperly subjects the filer to liability under the legal doctrine of slander of title. A lawsuit alleging slander of title generally must show that:
- The plaintiff has an interest in the property.
- The lis pendens should not have been recorded.
- The lis pendens was recorded maliciously.
- The plaintiff suffered a loss as a result.