Lis Pendens Issues In Arizona Real Estate – Part III

The lis pendens itself is not a lien, but it often has a similar effect on the property it is recorded against and, many court battles have been fought over the appropriateness of a lis pendens in the first place. However, to be sure, A.R.S. § 12-1191(A) is not a license to litigants to freeze their opponents’ real property and may be subject to abuse. In fact, A.R.S. § 33-420(A) states that, one who:

causes a document asserting [a] claim to be recorded . . . knowing or having reason to know that the document is forged, groundless, contains a material misstatement or false claim or is otherwise invalid is liable to the owner or beneficial title holder of the real property for the sum of not less than five thousand dollars, or for treble the actual damages caused by the recording, whichever is greater, and reasonable attorney fees and costs of the action.

Furthermore, be cautious when filing a lis pendens in Arizona, because A.R.S. § 33-420 (E) clearly states that:

[a] person purporting to claim an interest in, or a lien or encumbrance against, real property, who causes a document asserting such claim to be recorded . . . knowing or having reason to know that the document is forged, groundless, contains a material misstatement or false claim or is otherwise invalid is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor.

Therefore, if you have questions about recording or defending against a lis pendens or, any other real property questions, you can contact a competent real estate attorney.