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  1. #1
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    Default Quitclaim Deed Reversal and Statute of Limitations in Washington State Question

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Washington

    My home, has been hostilely taken over. It appears after my home was legally purchased and transferred into my name, that a dispute emerged and a default judgement was entered and I lost the house because of a quitclaim reversal in Washington State.

    What is the statute of limitations? When does tolling begin? I have not been in Washington State for years, but it appears the other party hired an investigator, and filed a news paper notice, et all, and received approval from the assigned judge to have the quitclaim reversed without my presence. However, I was never notified, nor present, even though the person(s) involved knew and know how to contact me, they went an alternate route and it was determined i was "unreachable."

    Do I have a case for recourse?

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Quitclaim Deed Reversal and Statute of Limitations in Washington State Question

    How long ago did all of this happen and when did you find out? Are you back in Washington state now?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Quitclaim Deed Reversal and Statute of Limitations in Washington State Question

    Also, did this have anything to do with a divorce or an inheritance? If so, what are those details?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Quitclaim Deed Reversal and Statute of Limitations in Washington State Question

    Quote Quoting bcr229
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    How long ago did all of this happen and when did you find out? Are you back in Washington state now?

    How long ago? It has not yet been 3 years since it was reversed. When did I find out? This month.

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    Also, did this have anything to do with a divorce or an inheritance? If so, what are those details?
    No. Nothing to do with a divorce nor an inheritance. So, I cannot provide that information.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Quitclaim Deed Reversal and Statute of Limitations in Washington State Question

    Quote Quoting mark302910
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    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Washington

    My home, has been hostilely taken over. It appears after my home was legally purchased and transferred into my name, that a dispute emerged and a default judgement was entered and I lost the house because of a quitclaim reversal in Washington State.
    So you were named in that lawsuit but did not respond and thus a default was entered against you, correct? Then the first question is how service of process was done. If service was improper, you might have the opportunity to file a motion with the court to vacate the judgment. You would not file a new action on this. If service was good you are likely out of luck even though you say you didn't know about this until just last month. So how exactly was the service done? The case file should have that information. If what stated about service was from that case file and the service was done properly by publication, that may unfortunately leave you without a remedy at this point. You'd want to see a civil litigation attorney in the state where this case took place about that.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Quitclaim Deed Reversal and Statute of Limitations in Washington State Question

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    So you were named in that lawsuit but did not respond and thus a default was entered against you, correct? Then the first question is how service of process was done. If service was improper, you might have the opportunity to file a motion with the court to vacate the judgment. You would not file a new action on this. If service was good you are likely out of luck even though you say you didn't know about this until just last month. So how exactly was the service done? The case file should have that information. If what stated about service was from that case file and the service was done properly by publication, that may unfortunately leave you without a remedy at this point. You'd want to see a civil litigation attorney in the state where this case took place about that.

    This is correct, including publication, and was approved. I pulled the case.

    The problems I have are: The person(s) involved stated they did not know how to get a hold of me, however, they have access to me through Social Media, E-mail, and mutual friends, and not only this, one of them directly corresponded with me through E-mail. The same person even took my computer, my phone, and wrongfully logged into my E-mail accounts, social media accounts, and deleted many things and blocked specific people from either contacting myself, or me contacting them. While this may or may not have any bearing on a quitclaim deed reversal, it does show some interesting intent to access my private information, and keep me from being in contact with others, and perhaps even finding out specific information.

    However, the same person(s) stated I was unreachable, my whereabouts unknown, and had absolutely no way of getting a hold of me. This is a lie. A mutual friend, contacted me, and told me one of the person(s) involved in this quitclaim deed reversal wanted to get a hold of me, for other or non-related reasons. I called them, but they did not answer, and I left a message with my telephone number.

    A company was hired to locate me, but they could not find me. I have no idea what information was given to them, but, I am not impossible to reach at all, due to E-mail, mutual friends, social media, etc, etc.. And they knew my whereabouts, but perhaps not my exact address.

    The judgement is a default with proper service and by publication, although, the publication was done in a very small town, a town I am not even in, and there is literally zero chance I would have ever seen it. The people involved know that, because I don't just live out of state, I live many thousands of miles away and would never have seen this publication.

    I believe there is a 6 year statute in Washington, though I heard it could be 5, 3, or even 2 years. I haven't found the exact chapter of law that cites the statute that would fall under a quitdeed claim reversal.

    In any sense. While I'm not a lawyer, nor by any means a legal expert, I understand that there are some conditions where statutes may be exempt in special situations, such as tolling, and when the person actually finds out about an incident, crime, or something of this nature (quitclaim deed reversal).

    Looking for suggestions, ideas, advice, in the matter, before i turn to a civil or real estate lawyer, for help. This is going to be massively costly, I assume, and am not looking forward to it.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Quitclaim Deed Reversal and Statute of Limitations in Washington State Question

    Quote Quoting mark302910
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    This is correct, including publication, and was approved. I pulled the case.

    The problems I have are: The person(s) involved stated they did not know how to get a hold of me, however, they have access to me through Social Media, E-mail, and mutual friends, and not only this, one of them directly corresponded with me through E-mail.
    If the plaintiff knew where you could be reached to be served with the complaint and lied about that to the court that will be very helpful in getting the judgment vacated. Vacating the judgment is the path you need to pursue, not filing a separate lawsuit on the same issue. That separate lawsuit would get dismissed because there is already a case that decided the matter. That's a principle known in the law as res judicata, which basically provides that once an matter is decided by a court the matter cannot be litigated again in a new lawsuit. The idea is to provide some finality to court actions. But that said, when the previous judgment was obtained by default, it often is possible to get the default judgment set aside since, in general, default judgments are disfavored in the law. But you still have to show you were not at fault for your failure to appear in the case and a couple of other things. Specifically what you need to show to get a default judgement vacated in Washington state is the following:

    A party moving to vacate a default judgment must be prepared to show (1) that there is substantial evidence supporting a prima facie defense; (2) that the failure to timely appear and answer was due to mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (3) that the defendant acted with due diligence after notice of the default judgment; and (4) that the plaintiff will not suffer a substantial hardship if the default judgment is vacated. White v. Holm, 73 Wash.2d 348, 352, 438 P.2d 581 (1968) (citing Hull v. Vining, 17 Wash. 352, 49 P. 537 (1897)). This is not a mechanical test; whether or not a default judgment should be set aside is a matter of equity. White, 73 Wash.2d at 351, 438 P.2d 581. Factors (1) and (2) are primary; factors (3) and (4) are secondary. Id. at 35253, 438 P.2d 581.

    Little v. King, 160 Wash. 2d 696, 70304, 161 P.3d 345, 350 (2007), as amended on denial of reconsideration (Oct. 3, 2007).

    The time limit for doing that is not something you'd find in the state's statutes of limitation since those statutes set out how long you have to file a lawsuit for particular types of claims. Here the lawsuit was already filed and decided. What you want to do is get that judgment vacated. And as the above case indicates, there is no hard time limit on when to file the motion to vacate the judgment. Instead, what the court is going to do is consider whether you acted promptly (i.e. with due diligence) after learning of the judgment and weigh that against the harm the plaintiff claims will occur to him if the judgment is set aside. The longer you wait to get the motion filed at this point the more problem you'll have showing you acted with due diligence and the more likely it is that the plaintiff will be able to claim harm if the judgment is set aside. For example, if the plaintiff has already spent considerable money and effort to improve the property, that's going to complicate things because simply vacating the judgment would potentially cause the plaintiff to lose what he has put into it. Don't give the plaintiff more time to take steps that would allow him to claim harm if the judgment is vacated.

    Get off internet forums and into a lawyer's office ASAP. At this point, time is not your friend.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Quitclaim Deed Reversal and Statute of Limitations in Washington State Question

    Thank you. You've been very helpful!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Quitclaim Deed Reversal and Statute of Limitations in Washington State Question

    You could likely get the judgment vacated based on the service by publication. If as you say, many persons knew how to get in touch with you, and there is also no doubt tax records and utility records that would lead someone to be ably to find you or your agents, notice by publication is contrary to common law when a plaintiff or the government is trying to take real property (foreclose or reverse a deed). Washington law requires a hearing before the court to establish if due diligence has been done before service by publication is allowed.

    Service by publication is in derogation of the common law and cannot be used 1234*1234 when personal service is possible. 14 Lewis H. Orland and Karl B. Tegland, Washington Practice, Trial Practice Civil 122 (5th ed.1996). Therefore, strict compliance with the statute authorizing service by publication is required. Brennan v. Hurt, 59 Wash.App. 315, 317, 796 P.2d 786 (1990), review denied, 116 Wash.2d 1002, 803 P.2d 1310 (1991); Longview Fibre Co. v. Stokes, 52 Wash.App. 241, 244, 758 P.2d 1006 (1988). The issue before a court on a postjudgment CR 60(b) motion is not simply whether the affidavit required by RCW 4.28.100 is sufficient, but whether the plaintiff, in fact, made an honest and reasonable effort to locate the defendant before seeking service by publication. Brennan, 59 Wash.App. at 319, 796 P.2d 786.
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