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tion. Assessments are shown as appendices in connection with statements of unpaid taxes and tax sales. Sometimes the entire sum of an assessment is divided into fractional parts and the payment extended over a series of years. When such is the case, the fact should be noticed and the installments paid and unpaid should find appropriate mention.


SECTION 30. ADVERSE TITLES. In examinations of title it is not uncommon to find two, or even more, conflicting claims of title evidenced by deeds or other matter of record, while inquiries in pais may further disclose claims of title and ownership founded upon actual occupation and possession, under claims of right resting upon unrecorded deeds, undisclosed descents, or prescriptive

In some cases the adverse titles have a common origin, and all flow from the same source; in others they originate through tax sales, or by reason of independent conveyances from individuals. Sometimes the adverse titles are only seeming, being the results of mistakes in the drafting of conveyances. The questions raised by these conflicting claims are numerous and sometimes very difficult of solution.

Under a separate head of “Adverse Conveyances" are usually grouped all conveyances emanating from independent sources and not connected with the original grantor or forming a part of the regular course of title. These conveyances may consist of tax deeds and resulting conveyances which have not been merged into the common ownership; an assertion of title by one having no record evidence; and deeds which by erroneous descriptions do not convey the property intended, but cover other and different parcels. Where an adverse title appears of record, followed by mesne conveyances, and eventually merging into the original title, the deeds constitute a part of the chain and are shown in the regular course.

An adverse title need not depend on documentary evidence, but may rest wholly on occupation coupled with other circumstances. This, of course, the abstract will not show, and the facts which constitute such title are ascertained by inquiries in pais.

It is a general rule, that where one enters upon land under a recorded deed, his entry and claim must be referred to that deed and measured by it. Such deed, although void in fact, yet gives a "colorable title” to the purchaser, and where it professes to convey the entire estate, a claim and occupation under it creates an adverse possession as against all the world. Possession under a claim of title, without a deed or other written instrument, limits the person so asserting his claim to his actual enclosure or occupancy,'' but when founded on a claim and color of title, a constructive possession of the entire tract will follow the actual occupancy of any portion,“o provided the deed or other matter be of record.

A valid title is not required in order to enable a party to rely upon adverse possession under the statute of limitations, nor is it necessary that he should trace title through a chain to any source.71 A deed which purports to convey a complete title will be sufficient to give color of title, and, generally, when followed by a continuous and uninterrupted possession for the 07 Stevens vs. Brooks, 24 Wis., 326.

70 Scott vs. Elkins, 83 N. C., 424; 88 Edgerton vs. Bird, 6 Wis., 527;

Coleman vs. Billings, 96 II., Brooks vs. Bruyn, 35 Ill., 394;

577; Webb vs. Richardson, 42 Hamilton vs. Boggess, 63 Mo.,

Vt., 465.

11 Rawson vs. Fox, 55 III., • Dills vs. Hubbard, 21 II.,




entire statutory period, it will constitute an adverse holding, effective for all purposes,

however groundless the supposed title may be.72

An actual continued occupation of lands under a claim of title exclusive of any other right, although not founded on a written instrument, is yet sufficient, if extending through the entire statutory period, to confer title to the part so actually occupied. It is immaterial to support title thus claimed whether there be a deed valid in form, or whether there be no deed, but there must be a claim of title, and there must be an actual occupation measured by a distinct, visible and marked possession. Permissive user can never, by any lapse of time, and even though continuous and exclusive, ripen into a title to the fee. Hence it is that mere "squatters," or intruders upon lands, acquire no rights by reason of their possession, for the gist of every adverse holding, as above explained, is, that it is accompanied by a claim of right, and a mere trespass can never resolve itself into a right, so as to set the statute in motion, however long continued.

When the title offered is adverse in its character, special efforts should be made by inquiries in pais to demonstrate its validity before accepting same. The highest and best record proof that could be adduced would be the judgment of some court of competent jurisdiction, either in an action of ejectment or a suit to quiet title. A deed purporting to convey title is next in order, while the payment of taxes and the like still further tend to strengthen it. Many of the facts which go to confirm an adverse title are not capable, however, of affirmative showing in an abstract, and 19 Ford vs. Wilson, 35 Miss., 504; 13 Dills vs. Hubbard, 21 Ill., 328; Grant vs. Fowler, 39 N. H.,

Doe vs. Eslava, 11 Ala., 102.

evidence concerning them must, of necessity, be disclosed aliunde.


Title is frequently affected by proceedings in insolvency and bankruptcy. Where the action is had in the State courts the proceeding is usually denominated insolvency, and the effective means whereby title is transferred is by an “assignment.” Though voluntary assignments are founded in common right, yet, to prevent fraud they must be attended by the prescribed legal formalities of the State where made, or where the property to be affected is situated. Unless executed in conformity with such laws they are inoperative and void. The assignment should be executed with the same solemnities that characterize ordinary deeds, and defects of form and substance should be noted by the examiner with the same care as in other conveyances between individuals.

No particular form of instrument is needed to constitute an assignment, and any valid transfer, intelligibly indicating the trusts, will suffice. The statutory requirements relate mainly to the acceptance of the trust by the assignee, filing of bond, notice to creditors, etc., and in these respects a literal compliance is usually necessary. The abstract should show a full synopsis of the proceedings; the operative parts of the instrument of transfer, including the trusts, and such portions of the inventory or schedule as cover the real estate in question.

At the date of this writing, a national bankrupt law, passed in 1898, is in force, under which many transfers have been made. Numerous transfers under the operation of past laws will also be found. Pro

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ceedings by virtue of the law of 1841 require but slight notice, the rights of all parties thereunder having become permanently established by the effluxion of time. Proceedings and conveyances under the act of 1867 should be shown in greater detail, yet even here only a brief synopsis seems necessary. The operation and effect of the law of 1898 being recent and continuous, more attention to details will be required. During the continuance of the national bankrupt law the operation of the State laws regarding insolvency is suspended.

Only a brief outline of the procedure of the ankruptcy court can well be shown in the abstract, which, in cases of this nature, is rather an index than a transcript. Sufficient, however, should be given to show the apparent regularity of the proceedings, and the assignee's or trustee's deed, where there has been a sale, should follow in proper sequence. These deeds like other conveyances by trustees, are usually long and prolix, and considerable discrimination must be exercised in preparing the abridgment.

The title conveyed by the assignee or trustee is no better than that held by the bankrupt, and the purchaser takes it charged with all the equities to which it was subject in his hands, and burdened with all liens which existed at the time of the adjudication.

The effect of an adjudication in bankruptcy being to deprive the person adjudged a bankrupt of his power to take or convey property while resting under such sentence, it is proper that his restoration to civil rights should also be shown whenever the abstract discloses him in the character of grantor or grantee after such adjudication. This may be accomplished by a simple note of the fact.

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