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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  Attorney
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Is there a way the plaintiff can put a lien on defendants

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Is there a way the plaintiff can put a lien on defendant's property? Just like if you do not pay a plumber for the work, the plumber can put a mechanical lien on the property. When selling the house or re-financing the house, the lien has to be cleared.
I heard when a lawsuit is filed, the record is public. When defendant sells his house, can or will the title or lender(of buyer) find such lawsuit information?
Furthermore, before the defendant being served, is the lawsuit information a public knowledge already? Can the plaintiff send such lawsuit information to
the titile company (of house) to make sure they have it?
Hello again,

If there is no lien on the property, a lender doing a title search would likely not find the lawsuit. They don't typically check all of the court records in every county, although the information is public, and they could find it if they looked. Until there is a lien on the property, there's nothing to block the sale. A plaintiff certainly can tell a title company about a pending lawsuit, but the best thing to do is file a lis pendens, which is a notice of the pending claim against the property.

Another option, if the plaintiff believes there is a strong possibility that he will be irreparably harmed if the defendant is permitted to sell the property, he cannot be made whole by monetary damages, and he's likely to win, he can also get an injunction stopping the defendant from selling the property - and that, also, can be filed with the county. And, the plaintiff can do both, because a defendant who sells a property in violation of an injunction can be sanctioned and fined by the court.

Please rate my service before signing out, as this is the only way that I get credit for the time I spend helping you. I hope that you are 100% satisfied - otherwise, please reply so we can continue the conversation. Good luck.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks. Where the plaintiff can file lispendens (lis pendens ?). In court or with a title company, or county etc?

For the other option, where the plaintiff can get injunction ? I assume to file in the county. Will the defendant counter sue the plaintiff for damage?

Can the plaintiff do both before the court reach judgement? I think the informatiion/option you mentioned in very interest to the plaintiff.

A lis pendens is filed with the county. To get an injunction, you have to file a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order with the judge, and lay out those elements that I listed above. These are both options that are only available prior to the judgment - once a final judgment is obtained, that can be filed with the county, and it creates a lien on the house. So, there would be no need to do anything else.

I'm afraid I don't have any way of knowing whether the defendant would counter-sue. Any time a person is sued, that is an option, depending on the facts of the case. He can't sue you for getting an injunction, because a plaintiff has a right to request one, and the judge ultimately makes the decision.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

You mentioned "To get an injunction, you have to file a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order with the judge, and lay out those elements.."


Can the plaintiff file a motion even when the plaintiff hasn't accomplished serving summons (because defendant does not coorporative)? if so, is the judge likely to dismiss that request? Suppose the plaintiff succeed in getting the injunction, he/she can send it to county to record that, right?


In terms of filing lis pendens, I think as long as the plaintiff has good ground in lawsuit, the risk of being counter sued is small. Anyway, nothing is certain.

Once the Complaint is filed, a plaintiff can do an Ex Parte Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, which means that the defendant isn't notified until after the fact. It's better to notify him and give him the chance to respond, but if you can't, because he's avoiding service, the judge might agree to hear the Motion. Usually, if the judge denies an ex parte restraining order on the grounds that the other party needs to be notified, you can just refile it as a regular, non-ex parte motion, and send the other party a copy.

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