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Legal Memorandum: Filing a "Notice of Pendency of Action"

Issue: Who may file a ‘notice of pendency of action’?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure, Real Estate Law
Keywords: Notice of Pendency of Action; Real property claim
Jurisdiction: California
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 405.20, § 405.24
Date: 03/01/2007

A party to an action may file and record, under the California Code of Civil Procedure, a “notice of pendency of action”*FN1 in which a “real property claim is alleged.”  Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 405.20.  The purpose of a notice of pendency of action is to put on notice any “purchaser, encumbrancer, or other transferee of the real property described in the notice” that the action is pending.  Id., § 405.24.  Accord La Paglia v. Super. Ct. (1989) 215 Cal. App. 3d 1322, 1326 [264 Cal. Rptr. 63, 66], abrogated on other grounds, Lewis v. Super. Ct. (1999) 19 Cal. 4th 1232 [970 P.2d 872, 82 Cal. Rptr. 2d 85].  See Bishop Creek Lodge v. Scira (1996) 46 Cal. App. 4th 1721, 1733 [54 Cal. Rptr. 2d 745, 752] (purpose of lis pendens is to give constructive notice of a suit affecting real property to those who subsequently acquire an interest in the property, so that the judgment in the action will be binding on them even if they acquire their interest before the judgment is rendered).  Indeed, the statute itself states that the only party who may file a notice of pendency of action is “[a] party to an action who asserts a real property claim.”  Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 405.20 (emphasis added).  When the party who files a notice of pendency of action does not have a real property interest in the action, the court must expunge the notice.  See Moseley v. Super. Ct. […]

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