An action to quiet title allows a litigant to clear title or have the court establish title to a piece of real property where the title to that property is in the issue. Moreover, a quiet title action is not solely for the purpose of establishing a legal interest in real property but can also be asserted to establish an equitable interest in real property. For example, when two people claim that they own an entire piece of property, one of those parties may file a quiet title action to determine which one of the two persons actually holds title to the property.
Sometimes, however, the other party will refuse to participate in the lawsuit, which requires a party to win by “default.” In those circumstances, a question arises about what is necessary to do to succeed. The law explicitly addresses these circumstances.
Specifically, Code of Civil Procedure section 764.010 provides: “The court shall examine into and determine the plaintiff’s title against the claims of all the defendants. The court shall not enter judgment by default but shall, in all cases, require evidence of the plaintiff’s title and hear such evidence as may be offered to respect the claims of any of the defendants, other than claims the validity of which is admitted by the plaintiff in the complaint. The court shall render judgment in accordance with the evidence and the law.”