When a dispute arises involving real property, a party may wish to obtain a Certificate of Pending Litigation (CPL) over that land. Antonoplos & Associates group of District of Columbia pending litigation lawyers have experience in both obtaining and setting aside a Certificate of Pending Litigation.

Freezing Land from Sale, Transfer, or Mortgage

After obtaining and registering a CPL, this document provides notice to all other parties interested in dealing with the specific piece of land. Furthermore, the CPL states that there is disputed interest over the land and any transfers or claims after that notice will be subject to the claim being asserted.

A CPL has the effect of preventing any other person or entity—including the current owners of the property—from making any transactions with the property. This includes selling the property, transferring it, or even re-financing it. The reason for this is that anyone looking to deal with the land will not want to be subject to another party’s claim. Thus, a CPL provides security for an interested party with respect to their interest in a piece of land.

Claims and Disputes Leading to a Certificate of Pending Litigation

Interests in land claims and disputes concerning ownership or title can arise in many different ways, including:

  • disputes involving ownership, sale, or assignment of sale of property
  • agreements of purchase and sale where one party is refusing to complete the transaction
  • where a party is claiming a mortgage interest that may not have been formally registered
  • tracing actions where one uses fraudulent funds to purchase property

The reason why someone would seek a CPL is to prevent any interests in the property from being further diluted from the issues in the claim. This is especially true when the specific property is unique or the interest in the dispute cannot be satisfied by monetary compensation. Finally, the CPL freezes the property with disputes and intended litigation.

Because of this, a CPL, similar to an injunction, you bring about a CPL fast and without prior notice. The reason why this legal remedy is brought about so quickly is that a notice of proceedings to the other parties will push them to speed up any current deals with the property before a CPL can be obtained.

Setting Aside, Removing, Discharging, or Cancelling a Certificate of Pending Litigation

After you receive a CPL, the affected parties may move to have a CPL set aside or discharged. The basis for this claim is normally that the asserted land is not a valid claim. Another common claim for removing a CPL is that the CPL imposes an undue hardship or inconvenience and alternative security can be provided.

Furthermore, if you set aside a CPL after one receives it without notice, the entity that originally got the CPL is financially responsible for any damages the other party suffers. In most cases, the damages will result because of slander of title that is based on a false claim to title or ownership to land.

Urgent Remedy

At Antonoplos & Associates, our District of Columbia pending litigation lawyers we are able to help you secure or remove a CPL from real property. Furthermore, our attorneys are able to act quickly to preserve your rights, and give you effective legal counsel before, during, and after this process.