San Mateo County Genealogical Society's Blog featuring society events, projects, meeting notes and other items of relevance to genealogists.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

SMCGS Databases Online: Lis Pendens

Lis Pendens filings for San Mateo County are found in drawers 53-56A in the County Record Repository. There are also eight registers located on shelves along the back wall.   This index to the original filings located in the drawers includes records dating  from the 1850s through the early 1900s. 

You will find records related to right of way such as that of the Ocean Shore Railway Co, foreclosures, and satisfaction of mechanic's liens among others.  Some state that they are an effort to quiet title, which means a suit is being brought to obtain a determination of the title of a certain piece of property.  These suits can involve property lines, probate problems and more.  While these documents can provide great information for your family research, they are also interesting in and of themselves. They come in all colors and on various types of paper including oil cloth.  Some are handwritten.  Some are fill in forms.  Others have been specially printed in their entirety.  

Lis Pendens Index

lis pendens - The People's Law Dictionary
(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 attorney's fees as a penalty. 

Code of Civil Procedure
Lis Pendens - What it is and how it affects title 

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