[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he issues today regarding property rights are much bigger than the average person realizes these days.
I have a twenty-year back ground in dealing with real property for the oil Industry. Real property is the term used for land and real estate issues of property and its ownership. This is a very brief article on some basic principles of real property ownership in the western world. Handed down from 1215 AD the days of the Magna Carta.
Real Property rights can be grouped into several categories, some of which are Surface Rights and Mineral Rights when it comes to dealing with property rights.
The concept referred to as “heaven to hell,” is a legal concept that basically address ownership of property beginning from above the land, heaven or the airspace above the property to Hell, the center point of the planet.
The Government has already excluded much of this property from your title, and you didn’t even realize it. They claim the airspace above you, at least from 500 feet and above as the nation’s domain. They have also long ago separated much of the minerals from your titles, and most of the property titles in North America. Making the minerals controlled more and more by the state and the corporate entity.
As a surface owner, you may indeed own the dirt to the center of the earth, but the minerals have been in most cases long ago excluded from your title. This is something most large scale land owners should check on, and secure if they still have mineral title ownership on their lands.
Year by year and piece by piece, your property rights have been whittled away over the history of this nation and, even as your read this article, they are legislating ways to remove more property rights from you.
Allow me to elaborate on this.
I would like to address first what I term as your “Bundle of Rights,” these rights, whenever it comes to property ownership are what we all possess as our real property owners rights. Rights that we control exclusively as property owners. Especially as real property owners, as there are different forms of property besides real estate.
Most people, after signing their mortgage or purchase property, rarely ever look at the title again. A property title is a dynamic document, it is ongoing, a testament and encumbers to the property as long as the government that governs the land remains in force, it is certainly the registered paper work held by the government describing the property in question. Your property as it is described on the title, details the said land, its owners name and address, as well as the breakdown of the different rights held by each party registered on title usually as caveats, writs or attachments.
These other third party owners, are divided on the title and are considered rights, parts of the entire “Bundle of Rights” you as property owner control these separate rights as a whole, and they encompass the total ownership of the property, or the entire “Bundle of Rights”.
For instance, “Fee simple ownership” is a term used by many title registry departments to indicate the highest ownership of the property by a person or corporation. Meaning other than the sovereign government of the nation in which the real property is located. This Fee Simple is total ownership. These title term such as “fee simple” can vary from state to state, and country to country, however most commonly having the same legal meaning.
“The greatest possible estate in land, wherein the owner has the right to use it, exclusively possess it, commit waste upon it, dispose of it by deed or will, and take its fruits. A fee simple represents absolute ownership of land, and therefore the owner may do whatever he or she chooses with the land. If an owner of a fee simple dies intestate, the land will descend to the heirs.
The term fee used independently is an adequate designation of this type of estate in land. The term simple is added to distinguish clearly this estate from other interests in real property.”
source: West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2
This term, Fee Simple, means that the only higher form of ownership is the governing body of the country in which it is held.
However, this is not the end of the story, the government can still take from you your property by means such as Eminent Domain, Expropriation or simply tie up its interest in the land by means of registering an uncontested Writ or Caveat on your title.
Caveats are the primary way states or governing bodies or interested third parties acquire interest in your property. This is more regarding parts of the “Bundles of Rights,” I spoke of earlier.
Many times the acquisition of property rights is done without the expressed consent of the owners, due to the subtlety, and the use of caveats.
[Latin, Let him beware.] A warning; admonition. A formal notice or warning given by an interested party to a court, judge, or ministerial officer in opposition to certain acts within his or her power and jurisdiction.
Originally, a caveat was a document that could be served on either a judge or a public official to give him or her notice that he or she should discontinue a certain proceeding until an opposing party was given an opportunity to be heard.
Used in the past by someone objecting to the appointment of an executor or administrator of an estate or to the granting of a patent for an invention, the term caveat is rarely used by modern attorneys.
source: West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2
The moral majority as it were, is unaware or conditioned to believe that these caveats are necessary and in fact are touted as absolutely harmless toward your ownership of the said property. They are however that proverbial snake in the grass when it comes to losing portions of that “Bundle of Rights” that I spoke of.
Caveats are how land is legally tied up, even foreclosed on, and/or your rights are taken by expropriation for such issues such as public or corporate Easements, Right-of-Ways (i.e., pipelines, power lines, sidewalks, bicycle paths, fire hydrants, property boundaries, etc.), and also the land rights due to environmental concerns such as (i.e., wild life preserves, green belts, civic parks, endangered species, breeding grounds, etc.), or even the total loss of property due to back taxes owing, or forfeiture out of public necessity regarding public-use or for the greater good of the public at large.
Therefore, a land owner should pay careful attention to the Caveats registered on title prior to purchasing and transferring the property in his or her name, as well as review any new or proposed caveats on title.
The government has the power …given to it by the people, to take back land rights from the Fee Simple owner of any property, especially if it deems necessary under law, and considers it for the greater good of the people. They have various means at their disposal for doing this, and here are just a few.
“The power to take private property for public use by a state, municipality, or private person or corporation authorized to exercise functions of public character, following the payment of just compensation to the owner of that property.
Federal, state, and local governments may take private property through their power of eminent domain or may regulate it by exercising their Police Power. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires the government to provide just compensation to the owner of the private property to be taken. A variety of property rights are subject to eminent domain, such as air, water, and land rights. The government takes private property through condemnation proceedings. Throughout these proceedings, the property owner has the right of due process.
Eminent domain is a challenging area for the courts, which have struggled with the question of whether the regulation of property, rather than its acquisition, is a taking requiring just compensation. In addition, private property owners have begun to initiate actions against the government in a kind of proceeding called inverse condemnation.”
source: West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2.
Other ways of losing your property or forfeiting your rights to the said property, are by the fee simple owner conducting illegal activities on the premises or, likewise if it can be proven in court that the monies that purchased the said property were obtained by ill-gotten gains. (Meaning bought with illegally obtained funds.)
However, here is a recent fly in the ointment… the government can simply use the Department of Justice, and their “Asset Forfeiture Program”, allowing government seizure of assets even when the owner is merely suspected of being associated with criminal activities and has not yet been convicted of any crime. These are the different departments that use this program.
This broad and vague language of law has led to some corrupt law enforcement agencies using the so-called legal means to obtain funds to further their own personal interest at the expense of the public. Sometimes at the expense of innocent parties caught up in the department’s greed. Whether this new law enables these justice departments to shut down criminal activities is one thing, but when they are used as a way to finance department budgets is another. Here is a video on this topic:
The real criminals are more difficult to discern after a while aren’t they? The line between legal and the color of authority gets grayer and grayer.
Here are just a few laughable yet necessary law enforcement items purchased to help them with their fight against crime. Here is a short video regarding this new wave of asset forfeiture:
The long and the short of it, people, is there are many ways the government can come and take your property from you. The scariest thing is, every day we allow them to layer on more and more laws giving them the right to enforce this legal theft of your rights. We agree to allow them to steal these rights from us and our “Bundle of Rights” as property owners.
For instance, with ever new property tax, or new right-of-way granted, any local and municipal by-laws restricting housing and construction conditions enacted. All of these title caveats, writs and attachments take away some of these rights as a human being and a property owner. Bear in mind property rights extend far beyond real property into many forms of property ownership.
- anything that is owned by a person or entity. Property is divided into two types: “real property” which is any interest in land, real estate, growing plants or the improvements on it, and “personal property” (sometimes called “personalty”) which is everything else. “Common property” is ownership by more than one person of the same possession. “Community property” is a form of joint ownership between husband and wife recognized in several states. “Separate property” is property owned by one spouse only in a community property state, or a married woman’s sole ownership in some states. “Public property,” refers to ownership by a governmental body such as the federal, state, county or city governments or their agencies (e.g. school or redevelopment districts). The government, and, in particular, the courts are obligated to protect property rights and to help clarify ownership. (See: real property, personal property, personalty, common property, community property, separate property, public property)
source: Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill.
These laws and bi-laws are not ILLEGAL, unless they are contested by the owner. They fall under the terms of basic contract law. Referred to as an offer made under contract law, they are binding in a court if confirmed and uncontested. Therefore, when you receive a notice of registration from the land authority in your country, the law states basically you are bound by the terms of the caveat unless contested, or at least renegotiated. Meaning you are under a legal obligation as soon as you accept the notice of registration (usually in writing or by signing it).
Thus signing the deed, which allows the legal transferring of the caveats to your property along with the title, or by paying an administration fee (allowing the registration of an attachment), in this way you are basically saying you are in agreement with the attachment. You have accepted or paid the fee and therefore do not contest the terms or registration of the caveat on your title.
These are the legal means of binding you to the caveat holder’s agreement that is registered with the caveat on your title, and you have agreed to give up more of the rights of that “Bundle of Rights” you hold as an owner. Relinquishing them to these third party caveat holders.
This concept of Offer, Acceptance, and Consideration are the basic principles of a contract law. A written contract between two consenting parties is legally binding in a court.
(For your personal information, as many are confused about this term, “a verbal contract” is also binding but unenforceable in court unless witnessed by an independent third party, willing to testify in court of the verbal exchange. Even then it holds far less weight than a written contract. The old saying goes like this: “a verbal contract is worth the paper it is written on”.)
Paying your taxes is a sort of legal, “catch twenty-two,” it means you agree to have the government take your property in lieu of not paying those taxes. This type of contract in civil circles is dubious at best, but somehow, when the government does it, it becomes totally legal. Take this hypothetical contract: I send you a written notice saying if you do not pay me monies, I will take your property. The problem here is there is no consideration for this money, you are offered nothing in return for your payment.
Some would argue that people without family in school are being asked to pay property taxes for education and/or for a war that they do not agree with and for schools they do not need. The counter argument is that education makes for a better society that benefits us all, and the defense of the country is for the benefit of all the people. You decide if they have been using these age-old arguments for nefarious political gains for too long…
The absolute legal precedent of property taxes goes back many years, and will not be argued in the lower courts, due to the precedents of them going back to the long-standing precedence of using it for revolutionary war in the beginning of this country.
Basically, property tax turned all Fee Simple Land owner’s into renters under the eyes of the US government by implementing this one simple act of Congress. The mandatory property tax was introduced as a temporary solution for the funding of the revolutionary war, and later used to fund education, schools etc. This tax has become the biggest infringement of your sovereign rights to own l property and live peacefully in this country.
The uninitiated among us cannot see the true nature behind this simple legal act, called property tax.
This one act is the way all governments have taken man’s, God given rights …to live freely on this earth, and turned these freemen, back into slaves to the state.
I ask you, what difference is property tax than taxes paid to a monarchy?
I suggest that all property taxes should be paid voluntary, or at the very least, should NOT be used to expropriate a man’s home from him. The Bill of Rights guarantees the right to own property, and it is only the usurpation of these God given rights by a judicial sleight of hand that they have stolen them once again from the American people.
My advice to all property owners, is to get a copy of your recent property title and see for yourself who or what has been filing caveats, writs or attachments of any kind on your title without your consent.
Determine what is properly filed, and notify the others that you are having them removed as erroneous caveats. Then, by application, notify the registry of these erroneous caveat by filing notice using registered post with the holders and thus give the third party caveat-ors 30 days (in most cases) to respond to the release and, in lieu of a proper response, ordering the removal of said attachment from your title by the registry office.
In this way, the easiest method of removing most of these attachments in the first place can be used against them, as many caveats have been without your knowledge sent and registered by post to the address on title. If you or the other third party haven’t updated the registered mailing address on your title (perhaps because and change or incorrect postal or zip code address), then any legally sent notifications will not arrive properly and will be returned unopened.
The most common fraudulent way to register a caveat on a property title is by mailing it registered post to the legal address of notification registered on title. (Even if incorrectly written on title) Therefore, any post sent to an unused or incorrectly registered address is returned as unclaimed, and regarded as uncontested by the owner or caveat holder within a certain period, usually 30 days after receipt. (This is simply due to the obligation as owner/caveat holder at providing the correct address for notices on the title or in the case of a caveat the registered third party notices). The property registrar or title office, is then obligated to automatically remove the caveat or register the instrument as the case may be, upon expiration of the offer/notice.
By doing this, you can remove erroneous caveats from your title without the need of a lawyer.
On the other hand; back in the 80s, and 90s there was a rash of property scams across the nation mostly in California, where the criminals were transferring titles into third party names shortly before or soon after, fraudulently selling the property to an unsuspecting buyer.
Title fraud is even easier nowadays with electronic title registration being implemented in North America. Here is a document outlining different aspects of title fraud being used today in the U.S.
I have shown several ways to protect your “Bundle of Rights” and your real property from title theft. Other ways of protection is posting the perimeter of your property warning of trespassing consequences. There are many misconceptions regarding trespassing in North America. Mostly, these concepts have been perpetuated by movies and old westerns.
Trespass is defined by the act of knowingly entering another person’s property without permission. Such action is held to infringe upon a property owner’s legal right to enjoy the benefits of ownership. Criminal charges, which range from violation to felony, may be brought against someone who interferes with another person’s legal property rights. Criminal trespasses, depending on the venue of jurisdiction and case circumstances, fall under different subsets of law. When a trespass is carried out against another person, rather than against his/her property, the trespasser is likely to be charged with assault or battery. Actions violating the real property of another are handled as Trespasses to Land. Violations to personal property are handled as torts.
Under Tort Law, a property owner may bring a Civil Law suit against a trespasser in order to recover damages or receive compensatory relief for injury suffered as a direct result of a trespass. In a tort action, the plaintiff must prove that the offender had, but knowingly violated, a legal duty to respect another person’s right to property, which resulted in direct injury or loss to the plaintiff.
The laws governing trespass vary from state to state and country to country. As well as the legal methods of posting your “No Trespassing,” signs on your property. Anyone interested in posting these signs must pay close attention to the method and ideology behind posting proper sign-age in their state. Here is a decent guide to your state trespassing laws.
The best reason for posting your property is it gives you legal recourse in the event you have been trespassed upon by civilians or government officials acting outside of law. The more your rights have been infringed on, the better chances you have of winning a case against trespassing.
Property owners must also bear in mind, that without proper posting of trespassing sign-age they, the land owner can be civilly liable for the injuries to others who may have stumbled upon their land and succumbed to some sort of harm.
This is another way the state has been taking the individual’s responsibility for their own actions and personal welfare and shifted the liability to another person (the land owner) thus completely disregarding the truth of it being the individuals own fault, and responsibility for their actions as a freeman.
This simple act of releasing them of their personal responsibility and shifting the blame onto the land owner is the state’s way of eliminating their liability for the trespassers actions, and forcing the land owner to forfeit their rights of ownership to pay for the illegal entry of their property. There have even been cases where the land owner has been forced to sell the said property simply to pay for the illegal entry and/or injury of a trespasser.
Property owners have what they term as “Duty to Care”. This means they are responsible for protecting the public from dangers on their property, and also means you as a land owner may not set traps for trespassers, as this will make you liable for compensation due to the harm they cause.
Please bear in mind that signs like “Trespassers will be prosecuted” are legally meaningless as one cannot be prosecuted for trespass under criminal law. It, however, is a civil wrong doing, therefore, it is somewhat better to have a sign that reads as such: “Keep out – private property. You are trespassing.” This is better than to threaten legal action.
Regardless of whether someone trespasses on your property despite these warnings, the practical way to deal with this is to ask them to leave your property immediately, and if they refuse, you are legally entitled to use NO MORE force than is legally reasonable to eject them from your land using minimal force. (Bear in mind the term “reasonable” is subjective under the law.)
You may not detain a trespasser either, as this is referred to as, “unlawful confinement,” and is a far more serious crime than trespassing. (For obvious reasons it is equivalent to kidnapping.)
I hope this article clarifies a few issues regarding real property rights and trespassing, as well as the few ways to protect yourself against these new threats to you and your property.
Your humble servant Silence Dogood