Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

been sued for Quiet Title

My elderly father granted me 50% of his property, this being with his and the family's agreement, to provide protection against him selling/mortgaging the family home and to keep the family home in the family. Now, two years later, he has sued me stating he did not comprehend (because now he claims he doesn't speak English)what he was signing at the time, that i fraudently put my name on the title. i believe he is being unduly influenced by a granddaughter that lives with him. she has alienated him from the rest of the family, to the point where they have filed restraining orders against most family members. no one can check up on him anymore because they refuse to open the door and end up calling the police. At the time my name was put on the title, he sold another property he owned, by himself, not asking the family for their input. We don't know what he did with the money, but shortly after he sold it, the granddaughter started making trouble with the rest of the family and slowly started alienating him from us. I need to know if there are cases like mine that have had successful outcomes, and if there is an atty willing to take my case.

Asked on 12/19/05, 5:55 pm

4 Answers from Attorneys

Scott Schomer Schomer Law Group

Re: been sued for Quiet Title

Unfortunately, this is not an usual situation. You need to expore the reason for your grandfather's change and explore the possibility that he is being unduly influenced by other family members. You may need to seek the appointment of a conservator. I have handled a number of similar matters and would be happy to further evaluate your situation.

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Answered on 12/19/05, 6:18 pm


Re: been sued for Quiet Title

Your question is really two-fold.

The first is the quiet title lawsuit. To defend, you will most likely need an attorney, because quiet title suits are not straightforward. Your defense will likely include an affirmative claim that you have an agreement to be on title.

The second part of your question involves how you can, if at all, gain control over the situation that the granddaughter has created. There are a variety of avenues to start going down, including ascertaining whether it makes sense to seek the imposition of a conservatorship over your grandfather. We will need more facts to ascertain whether or not you have a viable civil claim against the granddaughter at this point.

The most pressing issue is the quiet title lawsuit. You have a limited time in which to respond, and the response must be in proper legal form.

You should immediately seek out qualified real estate litigators to help. We are litigators with extensive experience in land use and title issues. If/when you are ready to proceed, please feel free to call or email.

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Answered on 12/19/05, 6:27 pm
H.M. Torrey The Law Offices of H.M. Torrey

Re: been sued for Quiet Title

We empathize with your legal and personal situation as it stands with your father.We sincerely hope both resolve themselves favorably shortly hereafter.

As far as your legal rights are concerned, you have the agreement firmly showing your 50% ownership rights in the property at issue. Thus, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to rebut the strong presumption that you are a legal owner to the property. The claim "failing to understand or speak the language" is a "flimsy" defense at best, especially if your father has sold another property prior to this one at issue, and without any assistance whatsoever. Thus, this would be a very difficult defense for him to prove out under the circumstances. So, we definitely like your position herein. If you would like a free consultation, contact us directly ASAP, as time is most likely of the essence in preserving your rights.

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Answered on 12/19/05, 6:41 pm
Carl Starrett Law Offices of Carl H. Starrett II

Re: been sued for Quiet Title

As observed by another attorney who responded, you have two different questions pending.

With respect to the quiet title lawsuit, these are unique lawsuits and not easily handled without an attorney. The "doesn't speak english" defense probably won't get the anywhere, but there may also be issues of mental competency. To properly advise you, it is important to review this agreement an further investigate the facts.

As far as the granddaughter cutting him off an creating further problems, she may be the one exercsing undue influence. You should probably consult a local estate planning attorney regarding a possible conservatorship.

I am in San Diego County, but my hourly rates are usually lower than most practioners. I could consultt with you on the quiet title action, but not the conservatorship issues.

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Answered on 12/19/05, 6:48 pm

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