If the title to your house isn't 100 percent clear, a quiet title action can fix that. If you file and win a legal action for quiet title, it quiets the claims anyone else has. That leaves you the legal owner unless and until someone presents better evidence of a better title. The general rule is that you have to win by proving your claim is good, not that other claims are weak. You must also fill out all the relevant paperwork the courts in your state require.
Fill out the cover sheet for your pleading. The information you have to provide includes your name, the defendant's name, the type of case -- quiet title, obviously -- and any related cases already in the courts. If there are too many plaintiffs or defendants to fit on the sheet, file a supplemental form.
Complete the legal complaint. This is a document that states who you are, who you are suing and the reason you're suing. It tells the judge that what you want is to have him identify you as the owner of the property and quiet any counterclaims.
Identify the property. You must typically give the street address in the complaint, and then attach a legal description to the packet of forms. The legal description is what the county uses when it wants to talk about your house; this may be based on the property boundaries if it's out in the country, or the platting, or lot breakdown of your subdivision if it's in town.
Sign and date the documents everywhere that your signature is required. If you're not the only plaintiff, your co-plaintiffs should sign too. In addition to the documents stating the case, you may have to sign an affidavit swearing that all the facts in the pleading are true.
Submit the finished paperwork to the court. Bring along a checkbook and pay whatever filing fees your local court requires.
- You can find the correct forms for a quiet pleading in your state or county by checking legal stationery stores. You can also look for them online.
A graduate of Oberlin College, Fraser Sherman began writing in 1981. Since then he's researched and written newspaper and magazine stories on city government, court cases, business, real estate and finance, the uses of new technologies and film history. Sherman has worked for more than a decade as a newspaper reporter, and his magazine articles have been published in "Newsweek," "Air & Space," "Backpacker" and "Boys' Life." Sherman is also the author of three film reference books, with a fourth currently under way.