How long is a real estate lis pendens effective in CA
3 Answers from Attorneys
For as long as the litigation it refers to is pending.
Actually, a lis pendens has at least some permanent effect. In California, the statutes give them an English name, "Notice of Pendency of Action," but lawyers continue to use the old legal-Latin name. Once recorded, a Notice of Pendency of Action remains in the record forever, and will continue to give title searchers some reason to wonder what happened, even 100 years from now. However, three things (in addition to the passage of time) can intervene to reduce the possible impact of finding a lis pendens in the title chain of a property: resolution of the underlying litigation, withdrawal of the lis pendens, and/or expungement of the lis pendens. Sometimes two of these occurrences happen within a short time frame. In any event, when someone researching title encounters a Notice of Pendency of Action (lis pendens), even if it is stale, withdrawn or expunged, it will serve as at least a pale-pink flag, if not red. Maybe it's time to take a trip to the courthouse and pull the file.
Until it is purged, which means another document is recorded that releases the lis pendens.
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