Form Notice of Pendency of Action in California
If you’re wondering “what is a lis pendens?“, you’re not alone. Formerly known as a “lis pendens,” a notice of pendency of action is a written document, recorded with the county recorder, that provides constructive notice of a pending court action (i.e. a lawsuit) that affects title to, or possession of, real property.
However, recording a lis pendens has stringent requirement. See Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 405.23. The form lis pendens below provides an example of a notice of pending action sent for recording with the county recorder.
It is highly recommended that you contact a skilled real estate attorney prior to using this template. The lis pendens must be executed and served in the right format or it will be subject to expungement. An improper lis pendens may not be recognized by title insurance company as creating a cloud in title.
Note: While not statutorily required, having the acknowledgement notarized is a recommended precaution to help prevent issues leading to a lis pendens expungement
Lis Pendens Template to Place Cloud on Title
[Attorney Name], State Bar No. _____
Attorneys for Plaintiff
SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
COUNTY OF [SPECIFY COUNTY]
[Name of Plaintiff],
[Name of Defendants],
CASE NO. _______
NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION PURSUANT TO CCP § 405.20 (LIS PENDENS)
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that an action has been commenced in the Superior Court for the County of [Specify County] in the above-entitled court, Case No. ______, concerning real property and affecting the possession of and title to real property by Plaintiff [Name of Plaintiff], against Defendants [Name of Defendants].
The real property, comprising the subject matter of this action is certain real property located within the county of [Specify County], [Property Address], Assessor’s Parcel Number [Specify APN]. The mentioned parcel of real property is located within the State of California and is legally described as follows:
DATED: [Specify Date]
[Name of Attorney]
Attorneys for Plaintiff
(Notary Acknowledgement Attached)
PROOF OF SERVICE OF NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION (CCP 405.22)
I am at all times herein mentioned over the age of eighteen years I am not a party to the within action or cause, and my current business address is [specify address].
On [Date], I served a copy of the foregoing NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION PURSUANT TO CCP § 405.20 (LIS PENDENS) in this matter and effected service in the following manner:
BY CERTIFIED MAIL/RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED: I sealed and prepaid such envelope addressed as stated below, with certified fees thereon and return receipt requested, and placed it in the United States Postal Service located in [City of Office], California.
An envelope was addressed to each addressee as follows:
[Address of Defendant]
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of California that the foregoing is true and correct and that I could competently testify thereto if called upon to do so.
Date: [Date] _______________________
[Name of Party Mailing the Lis Pendens]
Service of a Lis Pendens
It is important to remember that a lis pendens is not effective unless it has been served by certified mail. Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 405.22. Indeed “a motion [to expunge] may be brought on ground that  service was invalid (§§ 405.22, 405.23).” Castro v. Superior Court (2004) 116 Cal. App. 4th 1010, 1014. Indeed: “Any notice of pendency of action shall be void and invalid as to any adverse party or owner of record unless the requirements of Section 405.22 are met for that party or owner and a proof of service in the form and content specified in Section 1013a has been recorded with the notice of pendency of action.” Code Civ. Proc. § 405.23.
Contact an Experienced Lis Pendens Attorney in California
Because a lis pendens is such a powerful tool to resolve legal disputes regarding title to or possession of real property, California law requires that you either have an attorney file the lis pendens or apply to a court. Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 405.21. Indeed, the ramifications of filing an erroneous lis pendens can be serious, including attorney’s fees. If you have questions about lis pendens law in California, contact a skilled real estate litigation attorney in California.