Legal Memorandum: Motion to Strike a Lis Pendens in FL

Issue: Under Florida law, when may party petition the court by motion to strike a lis pendens?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Motion to strike a lis pendens; Property in litigation is subject to the decree of the court
Jurisdiction: Florida
Cited Cases: 111 So. 531; 105 So. 148; 93 Fla. 101; 430 F. Supp. 396; 149 So. 2d 357; 614 So. 2d 491; 645 So.2d 182; 90 Fla. 77
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 05/01/2000

           A party may petition the court by motion to strike a lis pendens.  See Marchand v. De Soto Mortgage Co., 149 So. 2d 357 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1963). 

As the court stated in Coral Isle West Ass’n v. Cindy Realty, Inc., 430 F. Supp. 396, 398 (S.D. Fla. 1977), “the purpose of a lis pendens is to notify prospective purchasers and encumbrancers that any interest acquired by them in the property in litigation is subject to the decree of the court.”  Under Florida law, a lis pendens is proper when the required relief could affect the property in question.  De Pass v. Chitty, 90 Fla. 77, 105 So. 148 (1925).  If there had been a hearing on the issue, a “fair nexus” clearly could have been demonstrated between the property and the lawsuit, as required by Chiusolo v. Kennedy, 614 So. 2d 491 (Fla. 1993). 

In deciding whether to strike a lis pendens the court considers whether “dissolving the lis pendens on the subject property could conceivably (1) jeopardize the rights of subsequent purchasers or encumbrancers by drawing them into the instant dispute, and (2) jeopardize the viability of the plaintiffs’ unrecorded equitable claim as against subsequent intervening liens on the property.”  Acapulco Constr. Co. v. Redavo Estates, Inc., 645 So.2d 182, 183 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1994).  As the court stated […]

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