Quiet Title Actions

When a person needs to establish that he is the proper owner of a piece of real estate in Arkansas, the proper action is to file a petition with the appropriate circuit court to quiet title to the property in his or her name. Below is a compilation of statutes that govern how someone confirms that he or she is the proper owner in a quiet title action.

Section 502 provides the requirements of the petition. The petition must describe the land, state facts showing a prima facie right and title to the land, and state that there are no adverse possessors on the property. Further, one has to search a lot of files and provide notice of the quiet title action to anyone who should be notified of the lawsuit. A proper search includes searching (1) the land title records of the county, (2) tax records held by the county’s collector, treasurer and assessor, (3) probate records, (4) voter registration records, (5) and any appropriate business or partnership records.

Notice to any individuals discovered during the search that may have an ownership interest must be made by sending notice in duplicate via certified mail to the individual by name and to the same address as “occupant”. If the certified mail is returned, then another notice must be sent via regular mail.

Also a conspicuous sign needs to be placed on the property that references the lawsuit.

If the petitioner trying to quiet title knows of someone who claims an interest in the property, then the petitioner must name the other person as a defendant and summon them to court.

The petitioner must also have a notice published in the newspaper of the county on the same day of the week for four weeks. That notice must tell everyone who claims an interest in the property to come forward and speak up.

After publication of the notice, the court is required to hear proof of allegations in the petition. If the petitioner can not show a perfect claim of title, then he must show color of title for the property for a period of seven years and have paid the taxes on the property during that time.

If the court is satisfied, then it will issue a decree establishing and quieting title in the petitioner. However, there are some important exceptions. The decree is not valid against those who contracted with the petitioner, a person in adverse possession, a person who paid the taxes in the last seven years or a remainderman unless he or she were served and summoned to court.

The decree should be recorded in the real estate records. The decree may be set aside within three years if someone can present a meritorious defense. If there is someone suffering from a disability such as infancy, lunacy, idiocy or someone claiming an interest in the property under someone suffering from such disability, then the decree may be set aside up to three years after the removal of the disability.

If you need to quiet title to a piece a property, please do not hesitate to contact me at 501-952-8114 or Jason@jasonbolden.com.
Compilation of Quiet Title Action statutes

Table of Contents

18-60-501. Proceedings generally.

18-60-502. Petition.

18-60-503. Publication of notice — Cancellation of liens.

18-60-504. Adjudication of rights.

18-60-505. Proof.

18-60-506. Prima facie title.

18-60-507. Lost or destroyed title papers.

18-60-508. Decree — Effect.

18-60-509. Recording of decree.

18-60-510. Setting aside decree.


18-60-501.Proceedings generally.

Any person claiming to own land that is wild or improved or land that is in the actual possession of himself or herself, or those claiming under him or her, may have his or her title to the land confirmed and quieted by proceeding in the manner provided in this subchapter.

18-60-502.Petition.

(a)A claimant shall file in the office of the clerk of the circuit court of the county in which the land is situated a petition describing the land and stating facts which show a prima facie right and title to the land in himself or herself and that there is no adverse occupant thereof.

(b)(1)The petitioner shall initiate a search of the following records in order to identify persons entitled to notice and shall provide notice pursuant to subdivision (b)(2) of this section:

(A)Land title records in the office of the county recorder;

(B)Tax records in the office of the county collector;

(C)Tax records in the office of the county treasurer;

(D)Tax records in the office of the county assessor;

(E)For an individual, records of the probate court for the county in which the property is located;

(F)For an individual, voter registration records maintained by the Secretary of State;

(G)For a partnership, partnership records filed with the county clerk; and

(H)For a business entity other than a partnership, business entity records filed with the Secretary of State.

(2)(A)The petitioner shall send notice by certified mail to the last known address in duplicate, with one (1) copy addressed by name to the person entitled to notice and the other copy addressed to “occupant”, and if the certified mail is returned undelivered, the petitioner shall send a second notice by regular mail.

(B)The petitioner shall post a notice of the pending quiet title action conspicuously on the property.

(3)If the petitioner has knowledge of any other person who has, or claims to have, interest in the lands, the petitioner shall so state, and the person or persons shall be summoned as defendants in the case.

(c)The petitioner may embrace in his or her petition as many tracts of land as he or she sees proper so long as they all lie in the county.

18-60-503.Publication of notice — Cancellation of liens.

(a)(1)Upon the filing of the petition, the clerk of the court shall publish a notice of the filing of the petition on the same day of each week, for four (4) weeks in some newspaper published in the county, if there is one, and if not, then in some newspaper having a circulation in the county.

(2)The petition shall describe the land and call upon all persons who claim any interest in the land or lien thereon to appear in the court and show cause why the title of the petitioner should not be confirmed.

(b)The circuit court within the proper county is authorized and empowered under the notice to find apparent existing liens on the real estate to be barred by the laws of limitation or laches and decree the cancellation of the liens and the records thereof.

18-60-503.Publication of notice — Cancellation of liens.

(a)(1)Upon the filing of the petition, the clerk of the court shall publish a notice of the filing of the petition on the same day of each week, for four (4) weeks in some newspaper published in the county, if there is one, and if not, then in some newspaper having a circulation in the county.

(2)The petition shall describe the land and call upon all persons who claim any interest in the land or lien thereon to appear in the court and show cause why the title of the petitioner should not be confirmed.

(b)The circuit court within the proper county is authorized and empowered under the notice to find apparent existing liens on the real estate to be barred by the laws of limitation or laches and decree the cancellation of the liens and the records thereof.

18-60-504.Adjudication of rights.

If any person is summoned to appear in the cause, his or her rights shall be adjudicated according to the principles of equity.

18-60-505.Proof.

(a)After proof of publication of the notice as stated in

18-60-503 has been filed, § the court shall require the petitioner to prove all the allegations of the petition.(b)Proof may be by depositions or by testimony ore tenus at the bar of the court.

18-60-506.Prima facie title.

If the petitioner cannot show a perfect claim of title to any particular tract or tracts of land, it shall be held to constitute a prima facie title if the petitioner shall show that:

(1)The petitioner and those under whom he or she claims, have had color of title to the land for more than seven (7) years; and

(2)During that time the petitioner or those under whom he or she claims, have continuously paid the taxes thereon.

18-60-507.Lost or destroyed title papers.

If the petitioner alleges that his or her title papers or the record thereof has been lost or destroyed, the court shall have the power to require new title papers to be executed if the party required to execute them shall have been duly summoned in the cause.

18-60-508.Decree — Effect.

(a)If the court is satisfied as to the truth of the facts set out in the petition, it shall render a decree establishing and quieting the petitioner’s title against all persons except as provided in subsection (b) of this section.

(b)The decree in the cause shall not bar or affect the rights of any person who claims through, under, or by virtue of any contract with the petitioner, or who was an adverse occupant of the land at the time the petition was filed, or any person who within seven (7) years preceding had paid the taxes on the land, or a remainderman unless the person shall have been made a defendant in the petition and personally summoned to answer it.

18-60-509.Recording of decree.

A certified copy of any decree confirming title to real estate shall be entitled to record in the books kept for the record of deeds in the county in which the decree was granted.

18-60-510.Setting aside decree.

(a)Any person may appear within three (3) years and set aside the decree if he or she shall offer to file a meritorious defense.

(b)Every person laboring under the disability of infancy, lunacy, or idiocy, and those claiming under them, may set aside the decree at any time within three (3) years after the removal of their disability.

Comments are closed.