Lis Pendens Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Lis Pendens, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Lis Pendens?

(n) Lis Pendence is the notification made to refer the existence of a legal suit, pending legal claim in the property under reference. The Latin word means suit pending with reference to that property. Lis Pendence informs the general public, proposed buyers or financiers etc, that a potential claim exists.

History and Meaning of Lis Pendens

Lis Pendens is a Latin term that means "a pending lawsuit." It is commonly used in real estate law to refer to a notice filed with the county recorder's office that gives notice to anyone interested in a property that there is a lawsuit pending involving that property. The notice usually contains information about the parties involved in the lawsuit, the court in which the lawsuit was filed, and the nature of the lawsuit.

The purpose of Lis Pendens is to provide notice to potential buyers or lenders that the property in question could be subject to a court-ordered sale or other legal action that could affect their interests. It is also a tool for plaintiffs seeking to secure their interest in the property while the lawsuit is pending.

Examples of Lis Pendens

  1. Mary filed a Lis Pendens with the county recorder's office to give notice to potential buyers that the property was the subject of a pending lawsuit between her and the current owner.
  2. John's attorney advised him to file a Lis Pendens as a way to prevent the sale of the property until the dispute between him and his neighbor was settled.
  3. The bank required a title search before approving the loan because there was a Lis Pendens recorded against the property.

Legal Terms Similar to Lis Pendens

  1. Injunction - a court order that requires a party to do or refrain from doing a particular act.
  2. Title Search - an examination of public records to determine the ownership and legal status of a property.
  3. Quiet Title - a lawsuit to establish ownership of a property and clear any claims or liens against it.