Arizona Court of Appeals Awards Attorneys’ Fees in Quiet-Title Action

September 20, 2017
Kevin Walton - Snell & Wilmer Real Estate Litigation Blog

In Arizona, a party successfully quieting title to property may recover its attorneys’ fees if it satisfies three requirements: (1) the party requests a quitclaim deed from the party adversely claiming title twenty days before bringing the quiet-title action; (2) the party tenders five dollars for the execution and delivery of the deed; and (3) the adverse party fails to comply. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 12-1103(B). Recently, in McCleary v. Tripodi, No. 2 CA-CV 2016-0145, 2017 WL 3723472 (Ariz. Ct. App. Aug. 29, 2017), the Arizona Court of Appeals awarded attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party under this statute.

In McCleary v. Tripodi, Mrs. Tripodi, who became the administrator of her husband’s estate upon his death, wrongfully recorded three deeds purporting to transfer property to herself. After unsuccessfully attempting to get Mrs. Tripodi to quitclaim the property, the plaintiffs filed a quiet-title action. The trial court agreed that the plaintiffs were the legal and rightful owners, granted summary judgment in plaintiffs’ favor, and awarded attorneys’ fees to the plaintiffs.


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