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What You Should Know About Quiet Title Law in California

May 2, 2017

An action to quiet title is a lawsuit brought in a court having jurisdiction over property disputes, in order to establish a party’s title to real property, or personal property having a title, and thus ‘quiet’ any challenges or claims to the title. The purpose of a quiet title action is to establish title against the adverse claims. For what you need to know about quiet title law in California, read on.

Jurisdiction

A quiet title action must be brought in the superior court of the county in which the real property is located. The court will then have complete power to determine title issues.

Requirements

A complaint to quiet title must be verified, first. It must also contain all of the following:
• A description of the property that is the subject of the action. The legal description and street address must be noted.
• The title of the plaintiff as to which a determination of quiet title is sought. If the complaint is based on adverse possession, the complaint must allege the specific facts constituting the adverse possession.
• The adverse claims to plaintiff’s title.
• The date as of which the determination is sought.
• A prayer for the determination of plaintiff’s title against adverse claims.

Proof Requirements

A plaintiff seeking to quiet title against a person with legal title to property has the burden of proving title by clear and convincing proof, rather than by the preponderance of evidence usually used in civil cases.

Trial

An action to quiet title is an equitable action, as in, there is no right to a jury trial. Quiet title is generally an equitable claim, and equitable defenses may be asserted against it. Although, if the plaintiff is out of possession and seeks to recover possession by a quiet title action, then the action is legal.

Do you have questions about title? Talk to our Sales Executives at Fidelity National Title in Orange County for more information!