What is quiet title? According to Cornell law, a quiet title action is the following:
A special legal proceeding to determine ownership of real property. A party with a claim of ownership to land can file an action to quiet title, which serves as a sort of lawsuit against anyone and everyone else who has a claim to the land. If the owner prevails in the quiet title action, no further challenges to the title can be brought.
- How is it impacting Zuckerberg? – Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook filed a quiet title suit in Hawaii adjacent to his water front property to own a corner of the Kuleana lands as a private oasis. Unfortunately, Zuckerberg is using the old law of quiet title to control four pieces of the island that he does not own and has been denied the ability to purchase. It is an aggressive tactic and has caused a lot of animosity towards him and his wife in the community. On March 22, four of the properties will be held at a public auction.
Is it just in Hawaii or is it elsewhere?
The legal proceeding to quiet title ownership of real property can happen anywhere in the US. I am currently helping a seller quiet title on her property in Philadelphia, Pa. The previous owner sold the property to her and unfortunately, she did not purchase title insurance. While attempting to sell, the title search showed several judgments and two old mortgages from the previous owner. Unfortunately, the new owner is responsible. This legal proceeding can take months if not years to complete.
It appears that Mark Zuckerberg will be able to purchase the 4 properties at the public auction later this month. He will be essentially taking away land from families who have own it for generations beginning in the 1850’s. But his company motto is "People first". Hmmmm....
Yes, we all know-life is not fair.