Ok… Jack and the rest of you who belongs to the good old boys club. Try to top this title opinion. It is my private belief that this opinion is applicalbe to all parcels of land in Tamsui:
Don’t buy the God Damned land.
It has been my sorrow and burden to look over several horrible examples of a title-examiner’s nightmare, but this alleged title takes the cutglass flyswatter. It is my private belief that you couldn’t cure the defects if you sued everybody from the Spanish Government (who started this mess) on down to the present possessor of the land, who is in there by virtue of a peculiar instrument optimistically designated by the abstractor as a “General Warranty Deed.”
We might rely on limitation here except that I am reliably informed that nobody has succeeded in living on this land for a longer period than two years, before dying of malnutrition. Laches might help out, but anybody who undertakes to buy land under a title acquired by laches is (to paraphrase Mark Twain) setting out like the man who set out to carry the cat home by the tail – he is going to acquire experience that will be of great value to him and never grow dim or doubtful.
This land has been sold for taxes eight times in the last 40 years. Nobody has ever redeemed one of these tax sales – glad to be rid of it, no doubt. The last purchaser sued the tax collector a month after he bought it for cancellation of the sale for fraud and misrepresentation. He doubtless had grounds, but the incident will give you a rough idea of what kind of muzzle-loading smooth-bores have been fritzing with the title.
The next and most serious defect is a “quit-claim deed containing a general warranty” executed by Ellis Gretzberg (who just appears suddenly out of no where) in the chain of title to one Peter (Prolific) Perkinston.
Unfortunately, Perkinston died, leaving two wives and 17 children, the legitimacy of two of them being severely contested. Fortunately, a shooting match between the two sets of claimants assisted the title slightly by reducing the original number to six and substituting eleven sets of descendants.
It is executed by a fair majority of one set of the offspring of Peter (Prolific) Perkinston, and is acknowledged in a manner sufficient to pass a County Clerk with his fee prepaid. Outside of the fact that it doesn’t exactly describe the property under search, the habendum clause is to the grantors, the covenant of general warranty doesn’t warrant a thing and it is acknowledged before it is dated, I suppose it is all right.
I would advise you to keep the abstracts, if you can. They are a speaking testimonial to the result of notaries public drawing instruments, county clerks who would put a menu on record if a fee was tendered, and jacklegged jugheads posing as lawyers.
You can buy the land if you so desire. There are 573 people who can give you as good a title as your prospective vendor has, not counting the heirs of the illegitimate son of Prather Linkon who died in the penitentiary in 1989 while serving a term for sodomy.