Since my prior post on the expedited removal of a lis pendens in Colorado, I’ve received a number of related questions. The primary question people ask is: what are legitimate purposes for filing a lis pendens on real estate in Colorado?
As described in the prior post, the consequences for wrongfully recording a lis pendens in Colorado can be severe, including the recovery of attorneys fees as well as costs for its removal. Similar damages (legal fees and costs) may also be awarded through a slander of title case as costs incurred to remove the lis pendens.
So, what are the valid reasons for filing a lis pendens in Colorado? The short answer to the question is that you can file a lis pendens against real estate in Colorado to give notice of a pending suit involving title to the real property that is subject to the lis pendens.
The following types of claims are those that may give rise to filing a lis pendens in Colorado:
- Claims involving the right to possession of property;
- Rights to use real property;
- Claims of ownership of the real estate;
- Claims to easements, licenses, and other interests affecting title.
Think of a lis pendens as a restatement of the filed papers in the lawsuit to which it is providing notice to a potential purchaser that the owner of the property is current a party to an active court case involving the same property. It is nothing more than that. Without a current court action affecting title to real property, you shall not file a lis pendens. Even if you have a lawsuit that is tangentially related to real estate, be sure that the type of claim affects the title to real property and that it would fall under the body of Colorado law, including cases and statutes governing lis pendens.
MLMW has extensive experience with lis pendens in a variety of claims. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have a real estate matter involving a lis pendens, or whether a lis pendens can effectively be used to preserve your claim.