Clearing Clouds Upon Title to Real Property in Pennsylvania: Quiet Title Actions

Posted in Litigation

In Pennsylvania, where a “cloud” upon a title to real property exists, a party may initiate a civil action in order to adjudicate rights to the property.  Such actions fall under two related kinds:  1) Actions to Quiet Title, and 2) Actions in Ejectment. 

Actions in Ejectment are appropriate where a property owner seeks judicial relief to assert his right in real property where another party has encroached upon the former’s property.  A common scenario for an Action in Ejectment would be one owner’s erection of a structure which encroaches upon the aggrieved party’s property.  Essentially, an Action in Ejectment will lie where a party has usurped use or possession of the aggrieved party’s property.

In contrast, an action in Quiet Title will lie “where an action in ejectment will not lie” and may be utilized  to “determine any right, title, or interest in the land or determine the validity or discharge of any document, obligation or deed affecting any right, lien, title or interest in land.”  Actions in Quiet Title may also be brought to compel another party to initiate an action in Ejectment, compel the filing, recordation, cancellation or surrender of a document affecting an interest in land, admit the validity or invalidity of a document affecting an interest in land, or to obtain possession of land sold at a judicial or tax sale.

Common circumstances where a Quiet Title Action is appropriate include such divers claims as establishing legal title as a consequence of adverse possession, compelling a party to record a document evidencing the satisfaction of a lien, adjudicating the existence or lapse of an easement, and cancelling a fraudulent or erroneous deed.