OCGA 44-14-610 Interpretation

Notwithstanding OCGA 44-14-610, Georgia continues to require a showing of the common law elements of lis pendens before finding that litigation gives rise to a valid lis pendens for which notice may be filed. In Scroggins v. Edmondson, 250 Ga. 430 (297 SE2d 469) (1982) the Supreme Court of Georgia held: "To the existence of a valid and effective lis pendens, it is essential that three elements be present; . . . the property must be of a character to be subject to the rule; the court must have jurisdiction both of the person and the subject-matter; and the property involved must be sufficiently described in the pleadings." Further, the real property must be "involved" in the suit within the meaning of OCGA 44-14-610, i.e., it must be property which is actually and directly brought into litigation by the pleadings in a pending suit and as to which some relief is sought respecting that particular property. Id. at 432-433 (2), quoting Walker v. Houston, 176 Ga. 878, 880 (169 SE 107) (1933) see also Panfel v. Boyd, 187 Ga. App. 639, 646 (4) (371 SE2d 222) (1988). "To qualify as a bona fide purchaser for value without notice, a party must have neither actual nor constructive notice of the matter at issue. a purchaser of land is charged with constructive notice of the contents of a recorded instrument within its chain of title." VATACS Group v. Homeside Lending, 276 Ga. App. 386, 391 (2) (623 SE2d 534) (2005). Under OCGA 44-14-610, a lis pendens becomes effective upon filing in the office of the superior court clerk. "If notice of the suit is filed on the lis pendens docket in the office of the clerk of the superior court where the land lies, the action is notice to the world, and one who thereafter acquires an interest in the property would be affected by the relief granted in the suit." Meadow Springs v. IH Riverdale, 296 Ga. App. 551, 554 (1) (675 SE2d 290) (2009), rev'd on other grounds, 286 Ga. 701 (690 SE2d 842) (2010). In Vance v. Lomas Mtg. USA, 263 Ga. 33 (426 SE2d 873) (1993), the Supreme Court of Georgia held that setting aside a default judgment did not revive a lis pendens that terminated upon entry of that judgment. The court stated that "a valid notice of lis pendens, filed pursuant to OCGA 44-14-610, remains effective as constructive notice of the action referred to therein only until a final judgment has been entered in the action and the time for appeal therefrom has expired." Id. at 36.