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Steps to Secure a Land Patent

The mystery of Land Patents unveiled.

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Canderon1740
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Steps to Secure a Land Patent

Postby Canderon1740 » Thursday July 10th, 2014 10:03 am MDT

Thank you for the response. It is quite a pleasure getting information that seems to be so carefully hidden from view.

With regards to you "Steps to Secure a Land Patent," you quoted LANGDON v. SHERWOOD as

“State statutes that give less authoritative ownership of title than the patent can not even be brought into federal court"

I'm wandering if this is a direct quote, or a summary of the case. I had read the case on a separate website (I think it was Cornell's), and I couldn't find that exact quote. Although, in reading the case, I was happy to discover this little gem...

"It has been repeatedly decided by this court that such certificates (Deeds I believe?) of the officers of the land department do not convey the legal title of the land to the holder of the certificate, but that they only evidence an equitable title, which may afterwards be perfected by the issue of a patent, and that in the courts of the United States such certificates are not sufficient to authorize a recovery in an action of ejectment."

"The circuit court cannot presume that a patent has been issued to the party to whom such certificate was issued, or to any one to whom he may have transferred it. The fact of the issue of a patent is a matter of record in the land department of the United States, and a copy of that record may be so easily obtained by application at the proper office that no necessity exists for the acceptance in an action at law of the receipt of a register or receiver as a substitute for the patent. If it never issued, it is obvious that the legal title remains in the United States, and, according to the well-settled principles of the action of ejectment, the plaintiff cannot be entitled to recover in the action at law."

Deeds only convey equitable title, while the patent is legal title, at least to my understanding. Finally the question. Is the fact that a "resident" cannot prove legal title to their property open the door to statutes/codes imposed by the state? Does the legal title in some way, remove the municipalities jurisdiction, as there is no question (after a patent is accepted), who is the true owner of the property? I believe removing your status as a resident (my property is coded "Residential", a dwelling for a resident of the municipality), is not quite enough. Thank you in advance for any time you might spend on this question, and again, thanks for the previous response.

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Re: Ad Valorem Taxation

Postby Admin » Saturday August 16th, 2014 8:39 pm MDT

:h: Canderon1740:
Because the complexity of your inquiry goes well beyond the limitations set by Forum Rules 3, 10 and 31; therefore, we reserve our responses to such inquiries to those qualifying for Team Law beneficiary support.

However, some elements of your inquiry needed a response in this Open Forum; wherefore, we will go as far as we can stretch this response for the Open Forum. Because, regarding the quote from Steps to secure your Land Patent:
Referring to: Langdon v. Sherwood, at: 124 U.S. 74, in summary, Team Law wrote:State statutes that give less authoritative ownership of title than the patent can not even be brought into federal court

You asked whether this: “Is a direct quote, or a summary of the case?” To which we respond: the quote was definitely a summary; however, because we have been asked that question before; and, because people all too often misunderstand that case and, instead of doing a bit of research to resolve their understanding, make gigantic assumptions based purely on their imaginations, we replaced that quote with one (from that same case) that should add greater understanding to all readers. The new quote is:
In Langdon v. Sherwood, at: 124 U.S. 74, 84; the U.S. Supreme Court wrote:Congress has the sole power to declare the dignity and effect of titles emanating from the United States; and the whole legislation of the Federal Government, in reference to the public lands, declares the patent the superior and conclusive evidence of legal title…

Respectively, we are also adding the portion of the case from which our summary was made as follows:
In Langdon v. Sherwood, at: 124 U.S. 74, 84; the U.S. Supreme Court wrote:In the case of Bagnell v. Broderick, 13 Pet. 436, 450, this question was very fully considered, and the language of the court, expressive of the result arrived at, is, that "Congress has the sole power to declare the dignity and effect of titles emanating from the United States; and the whole legislation of the Federal Government, in reference to the public lands, declares the patent the superior and conclusive evidence of legal title; until its issuance the fee is in the government, which, by the patent, passes to the grantee; and he is entitled to recover the possession in ejectment."

Fenn v. Holmes, 21 How. 481, 483, was also a case of this character, and in that the court said: "This is an attempt to assert at law; and by a legal remedy, a right to real property — an action of ejectment to establish the right of possession in land. That the plaintiff in ejectment must in all cases prove a legal title to the premises in himself, at the time of the demise laid in the declaration, and that evidence of an equitable estate will not be sufficient for a recovery, are principles so elementary and so familiar to the profession as to render unnecessary the citation of authority in support of them."

The case of Hooper v. Scheimer, 23 How. 235, was an action of ejectment in the Circuit Court of the United States for the 84*84 Eastern District of Arkansas. The plaintiff endeavored to maintain his right to recover possession by the production of an entry made in the United States Land Office. A statute of Arkansas enacted that an action of ejectment may be maintained where the plaintiff claims possession by virtue of an entry made with the register or receiver of the proper Land Office. This court, however, after referring to the case of Bagnell v. Broderick, and declaring that its principles are the settled doctrine of the court, adds: "But there is another question standing in advance of the foregoing, to wit: Can an action of ejectment be maintained in the Federal courts against a defendant in possession, on an entry made with the register and receiver?" To which question it responds by saying: "It is also the settled doctrine of this court, that no action of ejectment will lie on such an equitable title, notwithstanding a state legislature may have provided otherwise by statute. The law is only binding on the state courts, and has no force in the Circuit Courts of the Union." See also Foster v. Mora, 98 U.S. 425, for an assertion of the same principle.

The defendants in error rely upon § 411 of the Nebraska Code of Civil Procedure, which is analogous in its provisions to the statute of Arkansas referred to in the case of Hooper v. Scheimer. That section is as follows: "The usual duplicate receipt of the receiver of any land office, or, if that be lost or destroyed, or beyond the reach of the party, the certificate of such receiver that the books of his office show the sale of a tract of land to a certain individual, is proof of title equivalent to a patent, against all but the holder of an actual patent." But, whatever effect may be given to this statute in the courts of the State of Nebraska, it is obvious that, in the Circuit Court of the United States, it cannot be received as establishing the legal title in the holder of such certificate. Where the question is one of a derivation of title from the United States, it is plain that this class of evidence implies that the title remains in the United States. The certificate is given for the purpose of vesting in the receiver of it an equitable right to demand the patent of the government after such further proceedings as the laws of the United States and the course of business in the departments may require.

Now, we’ll point out a couple of things that should make that ruling a bit clearer—mind you, at this point we are stepping a bit further than we should in the Open Forum—yet, some of your errant presuppositions compel us to do so; given the circumstances.

In the process the law requires of those that would lay a claim to unappropriated public land, among other things, the claimant must occupy the land and follow a procedure for staking and filing a formal claim on the land. It is from that process that the “certificate(s)” were generated. Respectfully, the cases regarding ejectment so referenced wherein instrument of lesser authority to the land than a Land Patent (Title) itself are not permitted in such a case (as noted in the quotes above) as the court well ruled: “It is also the settled doctrine of this court, that no action of ejectment will lie on such an equitable title, notwithstanding a state legislature may have provided otherwise by statute.

Of course, the issue the court is making clear is that once the claim on the land is made (filed and the certificate is issued) the claimant is entitled to the Land Patent [i]so long as there was no fraud committed in the process of making the claim
; that is to say, that though the Certificate is not the title (it having no power over the land at all) it gives evidence that its holder has the right to the Title (land patent) even if the government fails to timely issue the patent. At times, ejectments took place before the land patent was issued; but, the courts were quite clear, if the certificate holder was actively on the land, ejectment was not ever lawfully allowed in spite of State statutes to the contrary.

Your musing that the Certificate was something other than what we described was without merit.
Also, in most states, there is no presumption that State has any interest in the land at all.

Beyond that you will have to be a Team Law beneficiary to get further support on this topic.

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