Title –


l. The union of all elements (as ownership, possession, and custody) constituting the legal right to control and dispose of property; the legal link between a person who owns property and the property itself <no one has title to that land>. Cf. OWNERSHIP; POSSESSION.

2. Legal evidence of a person s ownership rights in property; an instrument (such as a deed) that constitutes such evidence <record your title with the county clerk>.

     Excerpt from Kent McNeil’s Common Law Aboriginal Title (1989):

     “Though employed in various ways, [title] is generally used to describe either the mannerin which a right to real property is acquired, or the right itself. In the first sense, it refers to the conditions necessary to acquire a valid claim to land; in the second, it refers to the legal consequences of such conditions. These two senses are not only interrelated, .but inseparable: given the requisite conditions, the legal consequences or rights follow as of course; given the rights, conditions necessary for the creation of those rights must have been satisfied. Thus, when the word ‘title’ is used in one sense, the other sense is necessarily implied. [2]

Types of Title:

aboriginal title – (18c) 1. Land ownership, or a claim of land ownership, by an indigenous people in a place that has been colonized. — aka native title2. INDIAN TITLE.

, absolute title. (17c) An exclusive title to land; a title that excludes all others not compatible with it. See fee simple absolute under FEE SIMPLE.

, adverse title. (18c) A title acquired by adverse possesI sion. See ADVERSE POSSESSION.

, after-acquired title. (1810) Title held by a person who bought property from a seller who acquired title only after purporting to sell the property to the buyer. See AFTER-ACQUIRED-TITLE DOCTRINE. Cf. title by estoppel.

, allodial title. Real-property ownership without a duty of service to, control by, or acknowledgment of any superior landlord. -Also termed radical title.

y apparent title. See COLOR OF TITLE. y bad title. 1. See defective title. 2. See unmarketable title.

p clear title. (17c) 1. A title free from any encumbrances, burdens, or other limitations. 2. See marketable title. -Also termed good title.

> defeasible title. (17c) A title voidable on the occurrence of a contingency, but not void on its face.

r defective title. (17c) A title that cannot legally convey the property to which it applies, usu. because of some conflicting claim to that property. -Also termed bad title.

> derivative title. (17c) l. A title that results when an already existing right is transferred to a new owner. 2. The general principle that a transferee of property acquires only the rights held by the transferor and no more.

b dormant title. (17c) A title in real property held in abeyance.

> doubtful title. (17c) A title that exposes the party holding it to the risk of litigation with an adverse claimant. See unmarketable title.

“Doubtful titles are those which turn upon some question of law or fact which the court considers so doubtful that the purchaser will not be compelled to accept the title and incur the risk of a lawsuit by adverse claimants.” Chapman W. Maupin, Marketable Title to Real Estate 2 (2d ed. 1907).

> equitable title. (17c) A title that indicates a beneficial interest in property and that gives the holder the right to acquire formal legal title. 0 Before the Statute of Uses (1536), an equitable title was enforceable only in a court of chancery, not of law. Cf. legal title.

> good title. (16c) 1. A title that is legally valid or effective. 2. See clear title (1). 3. See marketable title.

“A good title consists in the rightful ownership of the property and in the rightful possession thereof, together With the appropriate legal evidence of rightful ownership. The rightful owner of an estate may be in the rightful pos~ session thereof, but unless he is supplied with the documentary evidence of title, where he holds by purchase, or can prove his right by the testimony of witnesses or other instruments of evidence, where he holds as heir, that is, by descent, his title cannot be said to be good. Sir William Blackstone declares that a perfect title consists in the union of the possession, the right of the possession and the right of property in one and the same person. This is true in a general sense, but the definition scarcely embraces all the elements of a good title, as that term is employed between vendor and purchaser. A purchaser in possession who has paid the whole purchase money, but who has not received a conveyance, may be said to have the possession,

the right of possession and the right of property, but not having received a deed, the indispensable evidence of legal title in such a case, his title cannot be said to be good.’ Chapman W. Maupin, Marketable Title to Real Estate 1-2

(2d ed. 1907).

b imperfect title. (18c) A title that requires a further exercise of the granting power to pass land in fee, or that does not convey full and absolute dominion.

> Indian title. See INDIAN TITLE.

> just title. Civil law. In a case of prescription, a title that the possessor received from someone whom the possessor honestly believed to be the real owner, the title having been intended to transfer ownership of the

property. La. Civ. Code art. 3483. Also termed jastus titulus.

> legal title. (17c) A title that evidences apparent ownership but does not necessarily signify full and complete title or a beneficial interest. 0 Before the Statute of Uses (1536), a legal title was enforceable only in a court of law, not Chancery. Cf. equitable title.

> lucrative title. (17c) Civil law. A title acquired without giving anything in exchange for the property; title by which a person acquires anything that comes as a clear gain, as by gift, descent, or devise. 0 Because lucrative title is usu. acquired by gift or inheritance, it is treated

as the separate property of a married person. Cf. onerous tit e.

> marketable title. (18c) A title that a reasonable buyer would accept because it appears to lack any defect and to cover the entire property that the seller has purported to sell; a title that enables a purchaser to hold property in peace during the period of ownership and to have it accepted by a later purchaser who employs the same standards of acceptability. Also termed good title; merchantable title; clear title.

“One deiinition of a marketable title which has been put forward repeatedly is one free from all reasonable doubt. Stated another way, a marketable title is one which does not contain any manner of defect or outstanding interest or claim which may conceivably operate to defeat or impair the interest which is bargained for and is intended to be conveyed. This negative concept of marketability has become an implied invitation for courts to declare titles unmarketable if an examiner has entertained any doubt whatever with respect to them. The digests attest the painful truth that claims of a bygone era cling like barnacles to land titles and encumber them long after they should have been scraped clean. . . . We need to replace this negative approach by a positive one which will make the marketability of titles depend solely upon their state during some recent interval of time rather than upon their entire history.” Paul E. Basye, Clearing Land Titles 5 371,

at 539 (1953).

> native title. See aboriginal title (1). > nonmerchantable title. See unmarketable title.

, onerous title (on-ar-as). (17c) 1. Civil law. A title acquired by giving valuable consideration for the property, as by paying money or performing services. 2. A title to property that is acquired during marriage through a spouse’s skill or labor and is there ore treated as community property. Cf. lucrative title.

I original title. A title that creates a right for the first time.

“The catching of fish is an original title of the right of ownership, whereas the purchase of them is a derivative title. The right acqurred by the fisherman is newly created; it

did not formerly exist in any one.” John Saimond, Jurisprudence 345 (Glanvilie L. Williams ed., 10th ed. 1947).

r paper title. See record title.

I» paramount title. (18c) l. Archaic. A title that is the source of the current title; original title. 2. A title that is superior to another title or claim on the same property.

> particular title. Civil law. A title acquired from an ancestor by purchase, gift, or inheritance before or after the ancestor’s death.

> perfect title. (16c) 1. FEB SIMPLE. 2. A grant ofland that requires no further act from the le al authority to con. stitute an abSolute title to the lan . 3. A title that does not disclose a patent defect that ma require a lawsuit to defend it. 4. A title that is good oth at law and in equity. 5. A title that is good and valid beyond all reasonable doubt.

>presumptive title. (17c) A title of the lowest order, arising out of the mere occupation or simple possession of property without any apparent right, or any pretense of right, to hold and continue that possession.

> radical title. See allodial title.

> record title. (18c) A title as it appears in the public records after the deed is properly recorded. Also termed title of record; paper title.

> singular title. (17c) The title by which one acquires property as a singular successor. *

5 tax title. (1831) A title to land purchased at a tax sale.

> title by descent. (17c) A title that one acquires by law as an heir of the deceased owner.

D title by devise. (1819) A title created by will.

> title by estoppel. ( 17c) Title acquired from a person who did not have title at the time of a purported conveyance with a warranty but later acquired the title, which then inures to the benefit of the grantee. Cf. after-acquired

title. *

D title by prescription. (17c) A title acquired by prescription. See PRESCRIPTION (5).

> title defective in form. (1836) A title for which some defect appears on the face of the deed, as opposed to a defect that arises from circumstances or extrinsic evidence. 0 Title defective in form cannot be the basis of prescription. See PRESCRIPTION (5).

> title of entry. (16c) The right to enter onto lands. r title of record. See record title.

., universal title. (17c) A title acquired by a conveyance causa mortis of a stated portion of all the conveyor’s property interests so that on the conveyor’s death the recipient stands as a universal successor.

> unmarketable title. (18c) A title that a reasonable buyer would refuse to accept because of possible conflicting interests in or litigation over the property. -Also termed bad title; unmerchantable title; nonmerchantable title.

> voidable title. (17c) A valid title that may be annulled by a person with an earlier claim to the property, usu. because title was fraudulently transferred.

P wild title. A title that is false or questionable validity.

zombie title. (2013) Slang. Title to a property that} the subject of an incomplete and usu. long ital ed {on

closure process, leaving legal title and all ownerthi responsibilities for the property, including m inlc nance and taxes, on the delinquent debtor, even If it debtor vacates the property in anticipation of evrctu

0 An entity that gives notice of foreclosure need (,1 proceed to foreclose promptly and regain owners p of the property, preferring to leave the debtor legallyl , for the property’s expenses whether or not the dc m”

enjoys its ownership.

3. The heading ofa statute or other le l doc me it title of the contract was “Confidentia ity A greeme >

> general title. A statute’s name that broadly and a prehensively identifies the subject matter addresse the legislature. Cf. restrictive title.

> long title. The full, formal title of a statute, usu. co a ing a brief statement of legislative purpose.

“The first Acts of Parliament did not have titles. The first time that an Act of Parliament was given a title was abom 1495. Even when the long title came to be added to each Act of Parliament as a matter of course, as it did from about 1513, the long title was not regarded as part of the Act of Parliament itself. Today, however, the position is different: the long title is part of the Act of Parliament.” D.J. Gifford & John Salter, How to Understand an Act of Parliament 1‘)


“Because Parliament’s clerks, rather than Parliament, provided the titles of acts, the traditional rule has been that the title could not be used for interpretive purposes. . . . This is no longer the practice in most English-speaking jurisdictions, for the long title, and often a short title as well, are part of the legislative bill from the very beginning. In the United States, most state constitutions require the legislative enactment to have a title that gives accurate notice of the contents of the law.” William N. Eskridge Jr., Philip P. Frickey & Elizabeth Garett, Cases and Materials on

Legislation 831 (2001).

> short title. The abbreviated title of a statute by which it is popularly known; a statutory nickname.

> title of an invention. Patents. A short, specific description of an invention on the first page of a patent or patent

application. 4. A subdivision of a statute or code <Tit1e IX>.

> restrictive title. A statute’s name that narrowly identifies the particular subject matter addressed by the leg

islature. Cf. general title.

5. The name by which a court case or other legal proceeding is distinguished from others; STYLE (1). 6. An appellation of office, dignity, or distinction <after the election. he

bore the title of mayor for the next four years>.

title, abstract of. See ABSTRACT OF TITLE. title, action to quiet. See action to quiet title under ACTION


title, chain of. See CHAIN OF TITLE. title, cloud on. See CLOUD 0N TITLE. title, color of. See COLOR OE TITLE. tide) covenant for. See covenant for title under COVENANT


“title, document of. See DOCUMENT OE TITLE. title, indicia of. See INDICIA OE TITLE. title, muniment of. See MUNIMENT OF TITLE.

title, root of. See ROOT OF TITLE. title, warranty of. See warranty of title under WARRANTY


title abstraction. See ABSTRACT OF TITLE.

title-and-headings canon. The doctrine that the title and headings Of legal instruments, esp. statutes, are permissible indicators of meaning. -Also termed (more narrowly) headings canon.

title clause. A legislative provision setting forth the official name of a statute, and sometimes also a shortened or informal version of its name.

“Statutes, for the most part, follow traditional lines of form and structure. . . . There is usually a title clause describing more or less accurately the content of the enactment; this clause is made mandatory by constitutional provisions of

many of the states.” Burke Shartel, Our Legal System and How It Operates 5 4-19, at 290 (rev. ed. 1971).

title clearance. (1916) The removal of impediments to the marketability Of land, esp. through title examinations.

title company. See COMPANY.

title covenant. See covenant for title under COVENANT (4). title deed. See DEED.

title division. Archaic. A common-law system for dividing property acquired during marriage upon the dissolution of the marriage, the divisions being based on who holds legal title to the property. 0 Under title division, when a marriage ends in divorce, property purchased during the marriage is awarded to the person who holds title to the property. Cf. COMMUNITY PROPERTY; EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION.

Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. See FAIR HOUSING ACT.

title examination. See ABSTRACT OP TITLE.‘ title-guaranty company. See title company under COMPANY.

title insurance. See INSURANCE. title jurisdiction. See TITLE THEORY.

title loan. See LOAN. title member. See name partner under PARTNER.

Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972. A federal statute generally prohibiting sex discrimination and harassment by educational facilities that receive federal funds. 0 This term is Often referred to simply as Title IX. 20 USCA §§ 1681 et seq.

title-object clause. See CLAUSE. title of an invention. See TITLE (3). title of entry. See TITLE (2).

title of record. See record title under TITLE (2).

title of right. (1917) A court-issued decree creating, trans~ ferring, or extinguishing rights. 0 Examples include a decree of divorce or judicial separation, an adjudication of bankruptcy, a discharge in bankruptcy, a decree of foreclosure against a mortgagor, an order appointing or removing a trustee, and a grant of letters of administra~ tion. In all the examples listed, the judgment Operates not as a remedy but as a title of right.

title opinion. See OPINION (2).

title registration. (1971) A 8 stem of registering title to land with a public registry, suc as a county clerk’s office. See


title retention. (1936) A form of lien, in the nature Of a chattel mortgage, to secure payment of a ban given to purchase the secured item.

title search. (1965) An examination of the ublic records to determine whether any defects or encum rances exist in a given property’s chain of title. 3 A title search is typica 1y conducted by a title company or a real-estate lawyer at a prospective buyer’s or mortgagee’s request.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A federal statute that prohibits employment discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, sex, pregnancy, religion, and national origin, as well as prohibiting retaliation against an employee who Opposes illegal harassment or discrimination in the workplace. O This term is often referred to simply as Title VII. 42 USCA §§ 2000c et seq.

title standards. (1938) Criteria by which a real-estate title can be evaluated to determine whether it is defective or marketable. 0 Many states, through associations of conveyancers and real-estate attorneys, still adhere to title standards. ‘

title state. See TITLE THEORY.

title theory. (1907) Property law. The idea that a mortgage transfers legal title Of the property to the mortgagee, who retains it until the mortgage has been satisfied or foreclosed. 0 Only a few American states known as title states, title jurisdictions, or title-theory jurisdictions -have adopted this theory. Cf. LIEN THEORY.

title transaction. (1939) A transaction that affects title to an interest in land.

title unity. See unity of title under UNITY.

titulo lucrativo, qui titulus est post contractum debitum (tich-a-loh loo-kra-tI-voh, kWI tich-e-las est pohst kantrak-tam deb-i-tam). [Law Latin] Hist. By a lucrative title, which occurs after the contracting of debt.

titulo singulari (tich-a-loh sing-gya-lair-I). [Law Latin] Hist. By a singular title. 0 Those acquiring property by means other than succession held the property under a titulus singularis.

l titulo universali (tich-a-loh yoo-ni-var-say-ll). [Law Latin] Hist. By a universal title. 0 An heir succeeding to an ancestor’s estate held title titulo universali.

titulus transferendi (tich-a-las trans-far-en-dl). [Law Latin] Hist. The legal title for transferring. «Also spelled titulus transferrendi. Cf. MODUS TRANSFERENDI.




Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is pertinent to people everywhere, and is being utilized in accordance with Fair Use.

[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]: Kent McNeil, Common Law Aboriginal Title 10 (1989).

[3]:  Categorized and arranged by Wild Willpower PAC.


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