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Quiet Title

Quiet Title

A quite title is an action of taking a lawsuit to court with jurisdiction over a property dispute for the purpose of establishing a party title for personal property or real property with a title. Therefore ‘quiet’ refers to the claims or challenges against the title.

Legal actions taken “act to remove cloud from the title”, thus the plaintiff and any privity along with the plaintiff can be free of any claims against the property. In addition, quiet title actions are similar to other types of preventive adjudication, for instance a declaratory judgment.

Furthermore, this type of lawsuit may be referred to either as a trespass to try title, try title, or an ejectment action for “recovering possession of land that was occupied wrongfully by the defendant.” Although, slight differences exist. Ejectment actions are commonly conducted for the removal of a lessee or tenant during an action to evict, or evicting after a foreclosure. However, there are states where the terms are all used synonymously.

Grounds for Complaint or Quiet Title

A quiet title consists of complaints against the ownership of a land parcel or an alternative real property that is in some way defective, commonly when the property title is ambiguous. For instance, when a quitclaim deed has been conveyed by means of the prior owner disclaiming all interests, but did not promise conveyance of a good title. Additionally, this type of action can be taken for dispelling restraints against alienation or the nonpossessory interest in land claim of another party, for example, easement by prescription.

Additional grounds that are common for complaints include the following:

  • Fraudulent conveyance of property: This can occur from being under coercion or the deed has been forged;
  • Adverse possession: When a new possessor is suing to collect the title under his/her name;
  • Treaty: This describes the dispute in regard to boundaries between nations, or property;
  • Torrens title registration: This is an action taken to terminate any claims that were not recorded;
  • Tax taking problems: This refers to a title claimed by a municipality in lieu of owed back taxes. Alternatively, it can be when a subsequent buyer takes action to collect an insurable title from a land tax sale;
  • Surveying errors;
  • Boundary disputes between private parties, municipalities, or states;


Quiet title actions provide the seeking party relief of no cause of action being taken against the prior property owners, unlike the acquisition with deed of sale, unless the plaintiff of the quiet title action had obtained interest with a warranty deed and required taking actin for settling defects which existed during the delivery of the warranty deed.

Furthermore, not all of the quiet title actions will completely clear a title. There are states where the quiet title action are used for clearing a specific title defect of a known claim against a perceived defect.

  1. Bray, Samuel L. (2010). “Preventive Adjudication”. University of Chicago Law Review. 77: 1275. SSRN 1483859 .
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