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[Latin, Pending lawsuit.] A reference to the jurisdiction (or control) that courts obtain over property in a suit awaiting action.
A notice filed in the office of public records that the ownership of real property is the subject of a legal controversy and that anyone who purchases it takes it subject to any claims asserted in the action and thereby its value might be diminished.
(lease pen-dense) n. Latin for "a suit pending," a written notice that a lawsuit has been filed which concerns the title to real property or some interest in that real property. The lis pendens (or notice of pending action) is filed with the clerk of the court, certified that it has been filed, and then recorded with the county recorder. This gives notice to the defendant who owns real estate that there is a claim on the property, and the recording informs the general public (and particularly anyone interested in buying or financing the property) that there is this potential claim against it. The lis pendens must include a legal description of the real property, and the lawsuit must involve the property. Otherwise, if there is a petition to remove the lis pendens from real property not involved in the lawsuit, the plaintiff who originally recorded a false lis pendens will be subject to payment of attorneys fees as a penalty. Example: Joe Plumbob provides work and materials to Smith's home, sues to enforce a mechanic's lien, but records a lis pendens describing three other properties owned by Smith; Plumbob can be penalized by court order.
LIS PENDENS. The pendancy of a suit; the time between which it is instituted
and finally decided.
2. It has been decided that the mere serving of a subpoena in chancery, unless a bill be also filed, is not a sufficient lis pendens, but the bill being filed, the lis pendens commences from the service of the subpoena, although that may not be returnable till the following term 1 Vern. 318; and after a decree, final in its nature, there remains no lis pendens. 1 Vern. 459.
3. It is a general rule, that lis pendens is a general notice of an equity to all the world. 3 Atk. 343; 2 P. Wms. 282; Amb. 676; 1 Vern. 286. Vide 2 Fonb. Eq. 152, note; 1 Supp. to Ves. jr. 284; 3 Rawle, R. 14; Pow. Mortg. index, h.t.; 1 John. Ch. R. 566; 2 John. Ch. R. 158; 4 John. Ch. Rep. 83; 2 Rand. Rep. 93; 1 M'Cord, Ch. R. 264; Harp. Eq. R. 224; 1 Bibb, R. 314; 5 Ham. Rep. 462; 4 Cowen, R. 667; 1 Wend. R. 583; 1 Desaus. R. 167, 170; 2 Edw. R. 115; 1 Hogan, R. 69; 6 Har. & John. 21; 2 Dana, R. 480; Jac. R. 202; 1 Russ. & My. 617 Corn. Dig. Chancery, 4 C 3; 2 Bell's Com. 152, 5th ed.; 1 Bail. Eq. R. 479; 7 Dana, R. 110; 7 J. J. Marsh. 529; 1 Clarke, R. 560, 584; 14 Ohio, 109, 323.
4. When a defendant is arrested pending a former suit or action, in which he was held to bail, he will not, in general, be held to bail, if the second suit be for the same cause of action. Grah. Pr. 98; Tro. & Hal. Pr. 44; 4 Yeates' R. 206. But under special circumstances, he may be held to bail twice, and of these circumstances the court will judge. 2 Miles, Rep. 99, 100, 142. See 14 John. R. 347. When such a second action is commenced, the first ought to be discontinued and the costs paid; but, it seems, it is sufficient if they are paid before the replication of nul tiel record to a plea of autre action pendant. in the second suit. Grah. Pr. 98; and see 1 John. Cas. 397; 7 Taunt. 151; 1 Marsh. R. 395; Merl. Rep. Litispendance; 5 Ohio R. 462; 6 Ohio R. 225; 1 Blackf. R. 53; Id. 315; Autre action pendent; Bail; Litigiosity.