What is slander of title claim?
Utterance of false and malicious statements disparaging the title to property in which one has an estate or interest, if the statements are untrue and cause damage, constitutes slander of title.
What is required for a slander of title claim?
- That there was a false statement concerning the real property owned by the plaintiff
- That the false statement was published to others
- That the false statement was published maliciously
- That the publication of the false statement concerning title to the property caused the plaintiff financial loss in the form of special damages
What is “Publication” in a slander of title claim?
“Publication” in a slander of title claim generally refers to recording a false claim against the plaintiff’s property in public record.
What makes a false statement malice?
To satisfy the malice requirement, the defendant does not have to be “out to get” the plaintiff. Rather, the requirement can simply be met by a defendant making a statement they know is untrue, or a statement they had no basis to believe was true
What are special damages?
A plaintiff must show “special damages” to prove their slander of title case. These include any probable economic damages resulting from the slander such as a cancelled lease and subsequent legal fees. Note that “special damages” legal fees are not what the plaintiff pays their attorneys to sue for slander of title, but rather prior legal fees paid to, for example, get a court’s declaratory judgment about who owns the property.