Allodial Title - Law - Property Ownership. by Arthur Cristian
Although this is a US based story, it still relates to Australia under the colour of law we have been duped by. See what has happened with removal of fee-simple on Queensland and the changes to the QLD constitution.
Letters to the Editor:
This segment was inspired by Steve, who writes: ;
Answer: Of course not. You rent it. You are merely a tenant.
The ins and outs of property ownership can be complex. A so-called owner is usually referred to as possessing a "bundle of rights." The metaphor refers to a bundle of sticks. All of the sticks making up the bundle collectively represent all the possible rights which can be owned in a property. If one person owns all the sticks in the bundle, then he has absolute ownership. Another term for this is allodium.
Black's Law Dictionary defines:
Allodium. Land held absolutely in one's own right, and not of any lord or superior; land not subject to feudal duties or burdens. An estate held by absolute ownership, without recognizing any superior to whom any duty is due on account thereof.
Allodial. Free; not holden of any lord or superior; owned without obligation of vassalage or fealty; the opposite of feudal.
Land held in allodium is called allodial. Black's says in part that allodial is the "opposite of feudal." Black's defines feud in part:
Feud. An estate in land held of a superior on condition of rendering him services. An inheritable right to the use and occupation of lands, held on condition of rendering services to the lord or proprietor, who himself retains the property in the lands. [synonymous with ...] "fief", or "fee".
Another interesting definition from Black's:
Feudal possession. The equivalent of "seisin" under the feudal system.
Leads us to this definition in part:
Seisin. Possession of real property under claim of freehold estate. The completion of the feudal investiture, by which the tenant was admitted into the feud, and performed the rights of homage and fealty.
If I have piqued your interest thus-far, then I highly suggest you look up definitions for the words homage and fealty.
FEE-SIMPLE. In English, law. A freehold estate of inheritance, absolute and unqualified. It stands at the head of estates as the highest in dignity and the most ample in extent;
FEALTY. In feudal law. Fidelity; allegiance to the feudal lord of the manor; the feudal obligation resting upon the tenant or vassal by which he was bound to be faithful and true to his lord, and render him obedience and service.
HOMAGE. In feudal law. A service (or the ceremony of rendering it) which a tenant was bound to perform to his lord on receiving investiture of a fee, or succeeding to it as heir, in acknowledgment of the tenure. It is described by Littleton as the most honorable service of reverence that a free tenant might do to his lord. The ceremony was as follows: The tenant, being ungirt and with bare head, knelt before the lord, the latter sitting, and held his hands extended and joined between the hands of the lord, and said: "I become your man [homo] from this day forward, of life and limb and earthly honor, and to you will be faithful and loyal, and bear you faith, for the tenements that I claim to hold of you, saving the faith that I owe unto our sovereign lord the king, so help me God." The tenant then received a kiss from the lord. Homage could be done only to the lord himself.
Question: I have a warranty deed to my land. If I don't own it, who does?
Answer: Good question. The answer is a matter of conjecture. One thing is sure though, it's not you.
The quickest way to cut through the B.S. and find a culprit, is usually by following the money.
Depending upon which State your land is in, property taxes are initially collected by the Township, the Parrish, or sometimes directly by the County. Delinquent taxes are usually collected by the County. That tells me that the Townships are acting as agents for the Counties. But the Counties are sending most of the money to the States.
The States even tell the Counties how much to collect. A lot of people think it's the County Assesssor who does that, but it's not. The State tells the County how much money it should pay. The Assessor decides how to spread it around so everyone pays their "fair share."
When a parcel of land is foreclosed for back-taxes, it's the State that does it, not the County. I've seen many examples of the paperwork they use. For example, in Michigan, the Auditor General certifies that taxes have been unpaid for a certain period of time, and quotes a statute which supposedly applies. In the same document, he quits-claim to the State Department of Natural Resources.
Later, after some time passes, said Department issues a quit-claim deed to the State of Michigan. A clause in the deed always declares that an officer of the DNR has examined the property and found it to be abandoned. The state takes possession of the land, and either keeps it or resells it, which would seem to be the end of things.
It's important to realize that a quit-claim deed does not even pretend to convey clear title to land. The grantor in a quit-claim deed (that's the person signing the deed, the one who is granting the land away) does not claim he owns any interest in it. He simply says, "if I own any interest, then I grant it to the grantee (person receiving the interest)."
It's all good for appearances. It looked as though you owned the land, until the state took it from you. It looks as though the state owns the land. But who owns the state? Certainly not the people. The states are sub-corporations of the United States. Any vestage of the original independent sovereign states are long gone. Further, we know that the United States went bankrupt in 1933, and is owned by the same groups of families who own the Federal Reserve Banks.
The list of possible claims seems to go on and on. Fortunately there is a principal in law which states "Notice to agent is notice to principal."
How Did We Lose Our Land?
Here, I call your attention to an interesting definition, again from Black's:
Escheat. A reversion of property to the state in consequence of a want of any individual competent to inherit. [...snip] The word "escheat" in this country, merely indicates the preferable right of the state to an estate left vacant, and without there being any one in existence able to make claim thereto.
It seems to me, the million dollar question is:
When the state takes land on which back-taxes are due, is the operating principle of law delinquent taxes, or abandonment?
Answer: You be the judge. But I'm guessing it's abandonment.
I have a friend named Art, who has the distinction of having held on to a parcel of land longer, without paying the taxes, than anyone I've ever known of. How long? Eight years. Art thinks he could have held it forever, if it hadn't become too much trouble. I think he's probably right.
How did he do it? Art refused to abandon the property. This was Art's home. He stopped paying the taxes, and as you would expect, the State filed their paperwork. Art didn't leave. The sheriff came and told Art to leave, but Art didn't leave. So the sheriff took Art to jail for about thirty days. When he let Art out, he told him, "Don't go back to that house, or I'll put you back in jail." Art went back anyway. After about a year, the sheriff put Art back in jail for another thirty days, and gave him the same speech on the way out. Art went back anyway. He kept going back, for eight years, and enjoyed eight vacations courtesy of the county. Finally Art got tired, and abandoned the place.
Abandonment. That's how we lost our land. That's how we lost our government too. It's how we lose our families; our children; our God. We walk away. We get tired. I don't blame Art. He held out longer than anyone else I know. He did it to prove it could be done, and then he went on to other battles.
Can I Have Allodial Land?
Sure. If you want it bad enough. If you haven't seen it before, go to the video store and rent Braveheart. William Wallace was fighting for allodium. Thanks to him, his people had it-- for a time.
It's not just about taxes, it's about all rights. The right to use the land as you please. Even the right to make your own laws, and name or create your own jurisdiction, goes with the allodial rights to land. As far back in history as you can study, a man's freedom is tied to the land. Without land to call your own, you have no place to freely exist.
If your land is zoned, then you don't have the freedom to do with your land as you please.
Environmental codes, restrictive covenants, county health regulations, all dilute your rights in the land. Many of these so-called laws are enacted unlawfully and unconstitutionally, but when people fail to object, they abandon their rights.
Here are the steps I would take to establish allodium in land, if I were to choose this battle:
• Acquire a parcel of land which you are willing to walk away from if the battle becomes too much for you.
• Send a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the authority which collects property taxes for your land. Ask them to provide evidence of title for all lands in which they claim an interest of any nature whatsoever. If you manage to get them to respond at all, they will produce deeds for land which they own by commonly recognized standards. Such as the township hall. They will not produce title for your land, or make any claim on it. That which they do not claim to own, is abandoned by them.
• Send a similar FOIA request to the county, if they were not the same local authority mentioned above. Ask them for any evidence of title they have in your particular land.
• Same with the state. Make sure you send all these requests by registered mail, with a return card, so you have proof of service. If you don't get answers, send notices of fault and default at appropriate time intervals.
• Construct a public notice to the effect that you have requested all these entities to produce evidence of interest in your land, but that they have produced none. Include the land description. Post the notice on the public bulletin board at the county courthouse, and publish it for three consecutive weeks in a local newspaper of record. Be sure to include the phrase "Notice to agent is notice to principal."
• Construct a public notice, in affidavit form, which includes copies of all your publications, postings, FOIAs and proofs of service. Make a claim for all rights, in allodium, in your land. Include a metes and bounds description. Be sure the affidavit states that you withhold jurisdiction, and are recording only for the purpose of giving notice to the public. Record your notice with the county Register of Deeds.
• When you receive tax bills, return them refused with a notice that they produce evidence of title superior to yours. Do not pay them.
• Refuse all subsequent tax and foreclosure notices, and counter with demands to show cause.
• Post visible notices at all attempted tax sales, stating that you do not abandon your rights in the land.
• During all this time, either continuously occupy, or at least maintain continued custodial care of the land. Never abandon it.
• When you get out of jail, keep going back.
Will you succeed? Probably not, but you'll never know unless you try. Do I recommend this? No. But then I don't recommend anything along these lines. It's up to each of us to choose our own battles.
Obviously, if everyone did this, the game would be over. There aren't enough cells for everyone.
People are ruled like cattle and sheep, except that the fences which hold us are constructed in our minds.
I hope this will be a foundation for further study and action.