California Lis Pendens: eFiling and eRecording Process Simplified

Navigating the complexities of California property litigation, particularly when it involves filing and recording a Lis Pendens, is a task that requires precision and understanding of specific legal procedures. The process of eRecording a Notice of Lis Pendens, or the Notice of Pendency of Action, is integral for attorneys and paralegals. This guide aims to clarify the steps and considerations involved in this process, ensuring that legal professionals can effectively safeguard their clients’ property interests during ongoing legal disputes.

Understanding Lis Pendens

At the heart of property dispute resolution in California is the concept of Lis Pendens. This legal notice, formally known as the Notice of Pendency of Action, plays a pivotal role in preserving property ownership rights amidst lawsuits. It serves as a public declaration of an ongoing legal dispute involving real property, alerting potential buyers or financiers to the litigation. Understanding the nuances of Lis Pendens is crucial for legal professionals navigating California real estate law.

Filing and Recording a Lis Pendens

The process of filing and recording a Lis Pendens involves several critical steps, each requiring attention to detail and adherence to California court procedures and county recorder guidelines.

The proper order for filing a Lis Pendens in California depends on which county you’re in and whether you’re filing electronically or in person. Here’s a breakdown:

For most California counties:

  1. Record the Lis Pendens with the county recorder’s office. This puts the notice of your pending lawsuit on public record, alerting anyone who searches the property title that there’s a legal claim against it.
  2. File a copy of the recorded Lis Pendens with the court where your lawsuit is pending. This fulfills your legal obligation to notify the court of the filing.

For San Francisco and Los Angeles counties:

  1. File the Lis Pendens with the court clerk.
  2. Once the court clerk stamps the Lis Pendens as filed, record it with the county recorder’s office.

For electronic filing:

In some counties, you can file your Lis Pendens electronically through the court’s e-filing system.



The specific instructions will vary by county, but generally, you’ll need to:


1. Prepare your Lis Pendens in the required electronic format.

Drafting the Notice of Pendency of Action is the first step. This document should include key lawsuit details like parties involved, a brief description of the lawsuit, pertinent property information, and the filing date. Ensuring accuracy in this step is vital, as it forms the foundation of the legal notice process.


2. Submit the Lis Pendens electronically to the court.

With the notice prepared, the next step is filing it with the appropriate county court. This can be efficiently done through eFiling services, like those offered at The eFiling process aligns with the increasing shift towards electronic recording processes in legal filings, offering a streamlined, time-efficient approach.


3. Pay the filing fee.

Countrywide Process will advance any filing fees submitted though our portal.


4. Record the Lis Pendens Notice with the County Recorder.

Following the court filing, the Lis Pendens notice must be recorded with the county recorder in the county where the property is located. This step is crucial for the Lis Pendens to be effective. Opting for eRecording services facilitates a faster and more reliable recording process, ensuring that the notice is duly noted in public records.


5. Serve The Notice of Lis Pendens.

In California, there’s no specific deadline for serving the Notice of Lis Pendens itself. However, serving it promptly has critical implications, and you must do so within a reasonable time frame. Usually, within 60 days of recording the Notice of Lis Pendens is acceptable, however, it is recommended to aim for within a few days or a week at most:

  • Constructive Notice
    Recording the Lis Pendens provides public notice but serving it on affected parties ensures actual notice. Quick service solidifies a claim and reduces the risk of challenges due to notification issues.
  • Lis Pendens Validity
    Under California law, a Lis Pendens risks invalidation if not served within 60 days of recording and filing with the court. Although “reasonable diligence” may sometimes suffice, prompt service eliminates the risk of invalidation.
  • Fairness and Prejudice
    Delaying service of the Lis Pendens may be perceived as unfair by affected parties, leading to claims of prejudice due to late      notification about the lawsuit and its impact on the property. This could weaken your legal stance and invite challenges to the Lis Pendens.

Here are some additional tips for filing a Lis Pendens in California:

  • Make sure you’re eligible to file a Lis Pendens. You can only do so if your lawsuit involves real property located in California.
  • Follow the specific filing requirements for your county. These requirements can vary, so be sure to check with the court or county recorder’s office for the latest information.
  • Serve a copy of the Lis Pendens to all parties named in the lawsuit.
  • Be aware of the deadlines for filing and serving the Lis Pendens. Failure to meet these deadlines could result in your Lis Pendens being invalid.

Important Notes

Swift action in filing and recording Lis Pendens right after initiating the lawsuit is imperative. Delays can risk the notice not effectively preventing property sale or transfer. Legal professionals must follow the outlined procedures diligently and may consult legal experts to ensure compliance and efficacy in safeguarding assets.