legal title – evidences apparent ownership but not necessarily full and complete title or a beneficial interest; must be marketable to be considered legally sufficient

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legal title:

1. A title that evidences apparent ownership but does not necessarily signify full and complete title or a beneficial interest.  *  Before the Statute of Uses (1536), a legal title was enforceable only in a court of law, not Chancery. [1]

1. A title under rules of law as distinguished from a title recognized in equity according to equitable principles.
     See legally sufficient title. [2]

1. Title that evidences apparent ownership, as distinguished from equitable title, which indicates a beneficial interest.  EXAMPLE: Smith owns the Lay-Z Ranch and has record title; Smith conveys the Lay-Z to Jones under a contract for sale of land, but has not yet executed a deed to Jones.  in these circumstances, Smith has legal title to Lay-Z and Jones has equitable title. [3]

legally sufficient title – A marketable title. Cowdery v Greenlee, 126 Ga 786, 55 SE 91. [2]

1. Marketable title. [3]

legally insufficient title – A title which, not being free from a reasonable doubt, is not a marketable title. 55 Am J1st V & P §§ 157, 158. [2]


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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations Third Edition by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.


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