- Land patent
In the original 13
American Colonies, a proprietor would grant land patents. Besides " patent", other terms for the certificate that grants such rights include "first-title deed" and "final certificate". In the United States, all property can be traced back to the first title deedand to claims document titles for land originally owned by France, Spain, United Kingdom, Mexico, or Russia.
A land patent is known at law as "
letters patent" and usually issues to the original grantee, and their heirs and assigns forever. The patent does not constitute title but is mere evidence of right to title existing in law.
Brief History and Effect
Depending on which part of the country, land in the United States of America was acquired by purchase, war, or treaty from United Kingdom, France, Spain, Mexico, Russia, the
Republic of Hawaii, and the Native American Indians.
colonial America, the Crownmade large grants of territory to individuals and companies. In turn, royal colonial governors later made smaller grants of land based on actual surveys of the land. Thus, in colonial America on the Atlantic seaboard, a connection was made between the surveying of a land tract and its "patenting" as private property.
Many original colonies land patents came from the corresponding country of control (i.e. United Kingdom, Spain, France, etc.). Those patents are still in force; the United States Government honors those patents by treaty and they can not be changed.
American Revolutionand the ratification of the Constitution of the United Statesfor the United States of America, the United States Treasury Departmentwas placed in charge of managing all public lands until 1812 when the General Land Officewas created to asume that duty.
The General Land Office issued more than 2 million patents that passed evidence of title to individual parcels of public land. Some patentees bought their land for cash, others homesteaded a claim, and still others came into ownership via one of the many donation acts that Congress passed to transfer public lands to private ownership. Whatever the method, the General Land Office followed a two-step procedure in granting a patent. First, the private claimant went to the land office in the land district where the parcel was located. The claimant filled out "entry" papers to select the parcel, and the land office register (clerk) checked the local books to make sure the parcel was still available. The receiver (bursar) took the claimant's payment, because even homesteaders had to pay administrative fees. Next, the district land office register and receiver sent the paperwork to the General Land Office in Washington. That office double-checked the accuracy of the claim, its availability, and the form of payment. Only then did the General Land Office issue a patent relative to the particular land in question.
The first United States land patent was issued March 4, 1788 to John Martin.Fact|date=June 2007 That patent reserves to the United States one third of all
gold, silver, [lead (metal)| [lead] and copperwithin the same.
Usage restrictions placed on the land and are spelled out in the patent, i.e. oil and mineral rights, road ways, ditches and canals, etc. or later by private contract. The rights inherent in patented land are carried from heir to heir, heir to assignee, or assignee to assignee (buyer to buyer) and cannot be changed (except by private contract (warranty deed) particularly relative to statutory regulation by a State, e.g., zoning, building codes, etc.). In most cases the law of a particular piece of patented land will be governed by the congressional act or treaty under which it was acquired or by terms spelled out in the patent, e.g., a Homestead Act or reservations placed on the face of the patent [or] reference the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidago which [at law] governs a proportional amount of jurisdictional dicta relative to large amounts of land in California and adjoining territories (if envoked).
In the territory states, the territory agrees to enter the Union of the United States of America, an Enabling Act is agreed to as a
condition precedentof statehood (Republic of Texas is an exception as it retained its unappropriated lands, and Hawaiias it was a conquered territory). The Enabling Act requires that all of the unappropriated (unpatented) lands be forever disclaimed by the people of the territory, to the United States for its disposition. For example, the enabling act of the Washington Territorydeclares, in part:
"...that the people inhabiting said proposed States do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within the boundaries thereof, and to all lands lying within said limits owned or held by any Indian or Indian tribes; and that until the title thereto shall have been extinguished by the United States, the same shall be and remain subject to the disposition of the United States. .."
After the right and title to land was disclaimed by the people of the territory it was held in trust by the United States until someone proved a claim to it; typically by
homesteadingthe land for a certain period of time. Once a proper claim is filed, the General Land Office(now the Bureau of Land Management) certifies that a survey was paid for along with another sum of money. Then pursuant to the various land acts of Congress, such as the Homestead Acts, the land was then granted to the private domain by letters patent under the signature and seal of the President of the United States of America.
An excerpt from [a]
Homestead Act- “"The purchaser shall acquire "absolute title" by the purchase, and be entitled to a patent from the United States, on payment of the office fees and sum of money…"” Thirty-Seventh Congress, Session II. Cu. 75 Section 2 (1862). All land patents are supported by one or more acts of Congress.
Definition - "Absolute Title": “As applied to title to land, an exclusive title, or at least a title which excludes all others not compatible with it. An absolute title to land cannot exist at the same time in different persons or in different governments.” Black’s Law Dictionary 6th Edition.
Fictitious entities, like trusts, corporations, etc. cannot obtain land patents except by express act of Congress. An example of Congress granting land through patents to fictitious entities is the railroad grants made to compensate the railroad companies for building railroads across America.
The Land Patentis permanent and cannot be changed by the government after its issuance except in case of fraud or clerical error, and a statute of limitations apply.
The following court cites demonstrate the operation and effect of a land patent.
“A patent of the United States… [A] s a deed its operation is that of a
quitclaimor rather of a conveyance of such interest as the United States possessed in the land… [T] his record, [the patent] so long as it remains unvacated, is conclusive.” Beard v. Federy, 70 U.S. 478, 3 Wall, 478, 18 L.Ed.88. (1865).
“A patent to land, issued by the United States under authority of law, is the highest "evidence of title", something upon which its holder can rely for peace and security in his possession. It is conclusive evidence of title against the United States and all the world. ..” 2 The American Law of Mining, § 1.29 at 357. Nichols v. Rysavy, (S.D. 1985) 610 F. Supp. 1245.
"Congress has the sole power to declare the dignity and effect of titles emanating from the United States… and [Congress] [D] eclares the patent the superior and conclusive evidence of legal title." Langdon v. Sherwood, 124 U.S. 74 (1888).
In the history of the United States no Land Patent has ever lost an
appellate reviewin the courts. In Summa Corp. v California, 466 US 198 the Supreme Court ruled that the Land Patent would always win over any other form of title. In that case the land in question was tidewater land and California's claim was based on California's constitutional right to all tidewater lands. The patent stood supreme even against California's Constitution, to wit:
[The patent] “ [P] assing whatever interest the United States has in the premises and thereby settling any question of sovereign ownership….” Pueblo of Santa Ana v. Baca (CA10 NM) 844 F2d 708; Whaley v. Wotring (Fla App D1) 225 So 2d 177; Dugas v. Powell, 228 La 748, 84 So 2d 177. [quote at 28 Am. Jur. 2D, F. 2 § 49] . Note: In this case a particular individual assignee.
Contrasted with Warranty Deeds; most people today obtain
Real Estateby contract, then on fulfillment of the contract they transfer control of land by Warranty or some other form of Deed.
The "Warranty Deed" is merely a "color of title". Color of Title means: "That which is a semblance or appearance of title, but not title in fact or in law." Howth v. Farrar, C.C.A. Tex.; 94 F.2d 654, 658; McCoy v. Lowrie, 42 Wash. 2d 24, Black's Law Sixth Ed.
Records for land patents that issued to the colonies can be found in the corresponding state archives. Some states archive the patents in the Secretary of States office, and in the territory States, the Bureau of Land Management. Hawaii does not have United States land patents because it was a country when it became a territory.
* Land Patent information available from [http://www.glorecords.blm.gov Bureau of Land Management]
* Land Patent information from [http://www.landpatent.com LandPatent.com]
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Look at other dictionaries:
land patent — an official document by which title to a portion of public land is conveyed from the government. [1835 45, Amer.] * * * land patent, Law. a deed that gives a private citizen possession of public land … Useful english dictionary
land patent — A conveyance to an individual of that which is the absolute property of the government and to which, but for the conveyance, the individual would have no right or title. A transfer by the government to the entryman of land covered by a homestead… … Ballentine's law dictionary
land patent — an official document by which title to a portion of public land is conveyed from the government. [1835 45, Amer.] * * * … Universalium
patent — 1. adj /peytant/ Open; manifest; evident; unsealed. Used in this sense in such phrases as patent ambiguity, patent writ, letters patent. noun /pabtsnt/ A grant of some privilege, property, or authority, made by the government or sovereign of a… … Black's law dictionary
Patent — A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to an inventor or his assignee for a fixed period of time in exchange for a disclosure of an invention.The procedure for granting patents, the requirements placed on the patentee and the… … Wikipedia
land — In the most general sense, comprehends any ground, soil, or earth whatsoever; including fields, meadows, pastures, woods, moors, waters, marshes, and rock. State v. Coffee, 556 P.2d 1185, 1193, 97 Idaho 905. In its more limited sense, land… … Black's law dictionary
patent — 1. noun /ˈpeɪtənt,ˈpætənt,ˈpætənt,ˈpeɪtənt/ a) A declaration issued by a government agency declaring someone the inventor of a new invention and having the privilege of stopping others from making, using or selling the claimed invention; a letter … Wiktionary
land grant — A donation of public lands to a subordinate government, a corporation, or an individual; as, from the United States to a state, or to a railroad company to aid in the construction of its road. See also land patent under Patent … Black's law dictionary
patent — pat·ent 1 / pat ənt3 also pāt / adj [Anglo French, from Latin patent patens, from present participle of patēre to be open] 1 a: open to public inspection see also letters patent at letter 2 … Law dictionary
patent — [pat′ nt; ] for adj. 2 4 & 8 [ pāt′ nt, pat′ nt; ] Brit usually [ pāt′ nt] adj. [ME < MFr & L: MFr patent < L patens, prp. of patere, to be open: see PATELLA] 1. a) open to examination by the public: said of a document granting some right… … English World dictionary