The Judgments Act, 1839, s. 7, which introduced the practice of registering actions, provides that no lis pendens shall bind a purchaser or mortgagee without express notice thereof, unless and until a memorandum or minute containing the name and the usual or last known place of abode, and the title, trade, or profession, of the person whose estate is intended to be affected thereby, and the title of the cause, etc, shall have been left for registration with the senior Master of the Common Pleas ; and by the same Act a lis pendens becomes void against the lands, as to purchasers, mortgagees, or creditors, unless re-registered every five years (u) ; so that a search need only be made in the Land Registry for that period.

Registration of lis pendens under the Judgments Act, 1839.

(r) An official search may he obtained under s. 2 of the Conv. Act, 1882.

(s) Bull v. Hutchens, (1863) 32 Beav. 615. On the doctrine of lis pendens in relation to notice, see Trice v. P., (1887) 35 Ch. D. 297; 56 L. J. Ch. 530 ; and sup. p. 892 et seq. (t) Wigram v. Buckley, 1891, 3 Ch. 483 ; 63 L. J. Ch. 689.

The search for lis pendens is usually made against the vendor and any mortgagees or trustees. Except in special cases it is assumed that when the last purchase for value or mortgage occurred the proper searches were made ; also when a mortgage is paid off and reconveyed it is often assumed that a search was made against the mortgagee who was paid off.

Searches for lis pendens.

Formerly the only mode of discharging the registry of a lis pendens was by obtaining an order in the cause upon a petition as of course presented at the Rolls; and on this being filed with the senior Master of the Common Pleas, satisfaction was entered in the register (x) ; but now, as formerly in the case of registered judgments, the Crown Debts and Judgments Act, 1860, empowers the senior Master to enter satisfaction as to any registered pending action, or lis pendens, upon the filing of an acknowledgment by the plaintiff in the form or to the effect therein mentioned (y).

Satisfaction of lis pendens.

And now, where the litigation is determined, or is not being prosecuted in good faith, the Court may make a summary order, which may be included in the judgment (s), vacating the registration of the lis pendens, without the consent of the party who registered it; and, on an office copy of such order being filed, a discharge of the lis pendens is to be entered (a).

Vacating the registration of a lis pendens.

An order giving leave, under s. 7 of the S. L. Act, 1884, to exercise the powers conferred by s. 63 of the S. L. Act,

Order under S. L. Act,

(u) And see the Judgments Act, 1855, s. 6.

{x) Pask, Pr. 117. (y) S. 2.

(z) Baxter v. Middleton, 1898, 1 Ch. 313; 67 L. J. Ch. 200.

(a) The Lis Pendens Act, 1867, s. 2; see Glutton v. Lee, (1876) 7 Ch. D. 541, n.; 45 L. J. Ch. 684.

1882, must be registered as a lis pendens, in order to affect any person dealing with the trustees.

By s. 114 of the Companies Act, 1862, any petition for winding up a company under the Act was, if duly registered, made a lis pendens under the Judgments Act, 1839. It was a common practice in winding-up cases to register the petition for the purpose of affecting the estate of the individual contributory, though, at the date of registration, there might be no specific charge against it. But the Court of Appeal, reversing a decision of the Master of the Rolls, held that the section only authorised registration as against the company (b) ; and now the section is repealed (c). However, s. 153 - which provides that, where any company is being wound up by the Court, or subject to the supervision of the Court, all dispositions of the property of the company made between the presentation of the petition for (d), or the passing of the resolution authorising the winding up (e), and the order for the winding up, shall, unless the Court otherwise orders, be void - makes it necessary to ascertain whether a winding-up petition has been presented; hence, search should be made for advertisements of petitions in the London Gazette in cases where doubt is entertained as to the position of the company.

1884, a lis pendens.

Winding-up petition, search in London


On a purchase from a company registered under the Companies Acts, search should be made at Somerset House in the register required to be kept by the Companies Act, 1900, s. 14, of mortgages created for the purposes specified therein; and on a purchase from a limited company application may be made for leave to search the register of mortgages specifically affecting the company's property required to be kept by s. 43 of the Companies Act, 1862, and open to the inspection of creditors and members of the company. But it seems that a purchaser cannot demand inspection as a right (/), nor does non-registration render the charge void (g).

Searches on purchase from a limited company [ee).

(b) Ex p. Thornton, (1867) 2 Ch. 171 ; 3G L. J. Ch. 190. (c) See the Lis Pendent Act, 1867,

8. 1

{d) See Re Dry Docks Corp., (1888) 39 Ch. D. 306 ; 57 L. J. Ch. 935 ; 58 ib. 33.

(e) S. C.; He West Cumberland Steel

Co., (1880) 40 Ch. D. 361 ; 58 L. J. Ch. 373.

(ee) Evidence of incorporation will he seen when making the search, also as regards companies registered after 1900, it should be seen that they arc entitled to commence business : s. 6.

When the property is copyhold, the Court Rolls should be searched for documents, incumbrances, etc, not appearing on the abstract; so, where the property lies in a district subject to the Registry Acts, viz., Middlesex, Yorkshire, Kingston-upon-Hull, and the Bedford Level, searches should be made in the local registers ; and in Yorkshire official searches may be made under the Yorkshire Registries Act, 1884, which also contains provisions, analogous to those provided by s. 2 of the Conv. Act, 1882. These searches, both in the Court Rolls and in the County Register, should, in strictness, be extended over the whole period covered by the abstract; but in practice this is seldom done, such searches are made as having regard to the abstract as a whole appear desirable. Searches in the Deeds Registers should be against each person from the date when he acquired an interest in the property to the date of registration of the instrument by which he disposes of his interest, dates inclusive. Search should also be made against the heir-at-law of a testator who dies before 1898, from the death of the testator to the date of the registration of the will. Instruments relating to copyholds, but not enfranchisement deeds (h), are excepted out of the Register Acts of Yorkshire, Middlesex, and Kingston-upon-Hull; so also are leases at rack-rent, and leases for a term not exceeding twenty-one years, where the actual possession and occupation go along with the lease; but in practice, when such leases are assigned by way of mortgage, it is usual to require them to be registered. It is considered doubtful whether the exception as to instruments relating to copyholds extends to long leases of copyholds (i). In practice such leases are usually registered (j).