Color of Title

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Color of Title

The appearance of a legally enforceable right of possession or ownership. A written instrument that purports to transfer ownership of property but, due to some defect, does not have that effect. A document purporting to pass title to land, such as a deed that is defective due to a lack of title in the grantor, passes only color of title to the grantee.

It has been held that in order to pass color of title, the instrument appearing to pass title must be in good form, duly executed, and profess to pass good title.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

color of title

n. the appearance of having title to personal or real property by some evidence, but in reality there is either no title or a vital defect in the title. One might show a title document to real property, but in reality he/she may have deeded the property to another; a patent to an invention may have passed to the inventor's widow, who sells the rights to one party and then, using the original patent documents, sells the patent to a second party based on this "color of title."

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
They have suggested that Texans can use the obscure federal Color of Title Act, a law meant to resolve confusion over public land that others believed was private, to buy back their land, potentially for a low price.
John Cornyn of Texas are pushing fixes that would require surveys of the entire disputed stretch, expand Color of Title Act provisions and prevent any contested lands from being included in the federal resource management plan.
A deed, no matter what type or kind, is only "color of title." These are terms and concepts that have been adjudicated and are long settled facts of law.
Finally, particularly in claims of constructive possession, where an occupier with color of title can adversely possess the entire parcel referred to in the title, (12) an adverse possession may neither increase nor decrease regularity:
(12.) Some states allow an adverse possessor with color of title to claim constructive possession of the entire parcel referred to in the title, even if actual possession only took place on a small portion.
The Notice Functions of Fencing, Color of Title, and Trademark Registration D.
Part I.C describes how trademark registration acts like color of title or fencing the property incentivizing activity that enhances notice to the public without stripping the productive use requirement.
In one of its earliest color of title decisions, Alaska National Bank v.
(39.) It would be onerous for the federal government, however, to prevent private encroachments on its vast public domain; perhaps for this reason, the Color of Title Act has a good faith requirement.
Meantime, said Paul McGuire, a spokesman, the bureau is encouraging landowners to use the 87-year-old Color of Title Act to secure the property.
In Texas, the law requires the adverse possessor be in continuous and exclusive possession for three years if they have claimed possession under "color of title." As long as the adverse possessor believes they have some sort of document which gives them title (legal or not), the requirement is satisfied.