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Addressing an attorneys comments on land patents.

The mystery of Land Patents unveiled.

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Addressing an attorneys comments on land patents.

Postby Admin » Tuesday October 24th, 2006 8:54 pm MDT

A beneficiary asked the following question in a private message:
Admin, I am forwarding a link to you as general interest. This is from a local law firm here in Michigan. If you care to comment, I'd be interested. Thanks.
<div align="center">Land Patents: a Real Myth
OCBA Laches Real Estate Law Issue May 1999
by William E. Hosler, Esq.
</div>
You may have seen signs staked in someone’s front yard or thumbtacked to the front door reading, "Warning: This property protected by a U.S. land patent. Beware." If you are a revenuer, you have had problems collecting tax from the owner of this house. The person inside probably thinks a little like Fox Mulder. But, for most of the rest of us, reference to a land patent sounds too esoteric, too outdated, or simply too confusing to worry about. In fact, land patents are still enforceable in Michigan, but typically not for the reasons normally hoped for by those who would post these signs.

History
As the population of the United States grew, the federal government was interested in moving people off the east coast, into the woods out west. To that end, the Land Office was created to sell land. At various intervals throughout the 1800s, the Land Office sold land to those daring souls, not by deed or other conveyance of a fee, but by patents. These land patents served as the early forms of title through which people could then assert their ownership as against all others. The territory of Michigan, upon admission to the Union as a State, acquired sovereign jurisdiction and police powers over all lands within its boundaries not then in federal custody. With this grant of power, the Michigan legislature gradually developed the state’s regulation over the use of property within its boundaries.

Effect on Land Patents
So what did this do to the land patents from the federal government? Today, some people believe that being able to trace the title to their property to a U.S. land patent somehow exempts their land from various forms of governmental regulation. Unfortunately for these libertarian idealists, this is a myth.

In Michigan, land patents are still statutorily protected, and are still useful to establish ownership interests in real property. However, land patents do not affect the manner in which someone may use their property.

The United States Supreme Court has plainly stated that land transferred by a federal land patent is subject to the same limitations as any other lands under state jurisdiction:
We hold the true principle to be this, that whenever the question in any court, state or federal, is whether a title to land which had once been the property of the United States has passed, that question must be resolved by the laws of the United States; but that whenever, according to those laws, the title shall have passed, then that property, like all other property in the state, is subject to state legislation, so far as that legislation is consistent with the admission that the title passed and vested according to the laws of the United States.
In Michigan, the Michigan Supreme Court has taken the same position:
[T]he power of sale and disposition of the public lands, and of prescribing the rules, regulations, officers, agencies and the whole course of proceedings, for effecting such sales is vested exclusively in the federal government, until the sale is consummated by the issuing of a patent to the purchasers, which alone (in ordinary cases like the present, at least) divests the title of the United States and vests it in the purchasers, when, for the first time, it becomes in all respects subjects to the local laws of the state, like the great mass of other property within its limits.
In Klais v Danowski, the property owner sued to establish the boundaries of his real property, which had been partially submerged by Lake St. Clair. the landowner objected to the state asserting rights to his submerged land, claimed by the state under the Submerged Lands Act. The Michigan Supreme Court agreed with the landowner. the Court found that the property conveyed in the land patent, which had a clear legal description, was not lost to the landowner despite the fact that it was now lake bottom under a public body of water. The property owner’s interests in this regard were superior to the state’s.

The relevance of most Michigan court cases interpreting land patents has largely been confined to that issue, i.e., land owned by individuals which becomes submerged by a water course that is then subjected to the public’s navigable use. The reference to land patents in such matters can be helpful in preserving property title rights to the submerged land, which incorporates a variety of related interests including minerals, oil and gas rights, and the right to construct piers, bridges or other structures within the patented area.

Popular Misconception
A land patent is useful to help define the extent of real property ownership. Unfortunately, a land patent will not anoint the property owner with the sovereignty of a king, nor establish the patch of land as a private fiefdom. You cannot dodge taxes with a land patent. You cannot avoid land use regulation with a land patent.

This seems to be the goal of many proponents of land patent rights. Unfortunately, that is one of those urban myths – like sending a letter to the IRS renouncing all federal benefits in order to avoid paying income taxes. Nice try, but don’t bet the farm.
<hr>:h: Our response follows:
First of all, whenever we are asked to review someone else’s opinion regarding any subject, our response is the same:
Admin wrote: Team Law only reviews its own materials, history and the actual law as they may apply to any respective matter. This also means that it is not our responsibility to responded to other’s material or opinions.
Thus, our response to such reports should be obvious to you from your own experience reading our materials. We agree with the Court Rules of Evidence, which say a document speaks for itself. Thus, if anyone wants to refute the value or power of a land patent, let them contest their opinion against the history of the matter. We make it plain and clear what the value of land patents is, and their value is plainly ruled in the documents themselves and the piles of court cases that 100% support them. We expect this is exactly why this law firm plainly admits:
William E. Hosler, Esq. wrote: In fact, land patents are still enforceable in Michigan
To say anything else would be ludicrous. From our experience we also agree with their next statement:
William E. Hosler, Esq. wrote: typically not for the reasons normally hoped for
We would finish that statement with, “by most of the ignorant people that have not read the history, documents or law related to such documents and have rather spent their time listening to 3rd party marketers of the ‘patriot and protest communities’”.

We also completely agree with the case law that the attorney provided and point out that they are attempting to limit the value of the land patent too much by focusing on the wrong part of those cases. The cases plainly show that the land patent does not change the rights of the people dealing with the land they properly acquired and secured patents on. That is not what land patents do; rather, they restrict government from any rights privleges or immunities from the land that is so land patent secured. Also we note they use the case law to imply that the land patents do not exclude the State from usurping control over the land, which is false. Just as they cited, state legislation is only applicable:
United States Supreme Court wrote:so far as that legislation is consistent with the admission that the title passed and vested according to the laws of the United States. (citation omitted)
They then quoted from the Michigan Supreme Court alleging that it had taken the same position. We agree, but we disagree to their innuendo regarding that position and again focus on the final part of that quote:
Michigan Supreme Court wrote:it becomes in all respects subjects to the local laws of the state, like the great mass of other property within its limits (citation omitted)
Again, we point out that the only way the land patent secured land comes under that State’s subjugation is by contractual relations the property owner enters into with the State. The proof of this fact is given in their final case, interestingly enough it is the only case they gave citations to:
In Klais v Danowski the Michigan Supreme Court wrote: the property owner sued to establish the boundaries of his real property, which had been partially submerged by Lake St. Clair. the landowner objected to the state asserting rights to his submerged land, claimed by the state under the Submerged Lands Act. The Michigan Supreme Court agreed with the landowner. the Court found that the property conveyed in the land patent, which had a clear legal description, was not lost to the landowner despite the fact that it was now lake bottom under a public body of water. The property owner’s interests in this regard were superior to the state’s.
This plainly shows that the land owner’s rights were superior to the States and that the State’s subsequent legislation had no effect on the landowner’s land patent secured rights. There are several cases like this one in Michigan and we do not recall if this was the case or not but one of the key cases of this type was fought and so ruled by the court, the real issue at the base of the case was not simply whether the man owned the land or not, rather it was the issue of the State compelling the man to secure a fishing license and boat registration or a permit to build his dock. The court ruled exactly the same in those cases and noted the man needed no such licenses, registrations or permits because the fish were his own, the boat was his own used on his own land and the dock was his own on his own land.

The bottom line: land patents secure land ownership, they are the base document on any abstract of title as the title proving document at the base of all properly secured land rights. Land patents do not limit the ability to contract from landowners or respective property owners. And that is where people start getting off track. That is exactly why we published our Land 101 article.

So far as the allegation that land patents do not
anoint the property owner with the sovereignty of a king, nor establish the patch of land as a private fiefdom.
We also agree, the land patent does no such thing. In fact sovereignty comes from God, not from government; and a “fiefdom” comes from the separation of ownership of the Land from the property appurtenant to the land. Thus, if one were to separate the ownership of the land from the property appurtenant to the land they would hold a feudal title instead of a fee simple (allodial) title. Thus, though we agree with the documents themselves, the courts and the law we note the spin these attorneys attempt to apply to the facts seems to imply they do not understand the full value of the land patent. However, they are certainly right on the mark when they say people trying to use land patents for some purpose other than to prove their title to the land and to the rights, privileges and immunities such ownership specifically encompasses.

We hope this information is helpful to you.
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