lis pendens

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary

(lease pen-denz) (1) Latin for "a suit pending." The term may refer to any pending lawsuit. (2) A written notice that a lawsuit has been filed concerning real estate, involving either the title to the property or a claimed ownership interest in it. The notice is usually filed in the county land records office. Recording a lis pendens alerts a potential purchaser or lender that the propertys title is in question, which makes the property less attractive to a buyer or lender. After the notice is filed, anyone who nevertheless purchases the land or property described in the notice takes it subject to the ultimate decision of the lawsuit.

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.