Quiet Title Action Definition

A lawsuit to determine who owns a piece of real estate and so "quiet" any disputes over the title. Such a suit arises when there is some question about title -- for example, uncertainty about the boundary, claims by a lienholder, a question about an old mortgage, or an easement that's been used for years without a recorded description. A quiet title lawsuit names as defendants anyone who might have an interest (including descendants -- known or unknown -- of prior owners). Notice of the action must be posted on the property and published in an approved local newspaper. If the court rules that the plaintiff is the rightful owner, it will grant a quiet title judgment, which can be recorded and will settle the issue of ownership. Quiet title actions are a common example of "friendly" lawsuits in which often there is no opposition. (See also: cloud on title)