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PRIVATE LAND AND SMALL HOLDING CLAIMS.
330 331 331
Revised Statutes.-Section 2447—Patents to issue for confirmed claims.
tion-Procedure_Cost of survey-Patents-Mineral lands—Termina
tion of court
verse possession for 20 years in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Colorado,
General Land Office -
Private land claims originated, for the most part, under grants by foreign governments prior to the cession to the United States of the territory involved. They have been: confirmed by Boards of Commissioners acting under authority of Congress, by Acts of Congress, and by the courts. Patents are issued whenever the present owners of the land make applications for the same, accompanied by affidavit as to ownership.
UNITED STATES REVISED STATUTES.
Patents to issue
Dec. 22, 1851,
Sec. 2447. In case of any claim to land in any State or for claims Territory which has heretofore been confirmed by law, tofore contirmed. and in which no provision is made by the confirmatory 10 s. 599. statute for the issue of a patent, it may be lawful, where surveys for the land have been or may hereafter be made, to issue patents for the claims so confirmed, upon the presentation to the Commissioner of the General LandOffice of plats of survey thereof, duly approved by the surveyor-general of any State or Territory, if the same be found correct by the Commissioner. But such patents shall only operate as a relinguishment of title on the part of the United States, and shall in no manner interfere with any valid adverse right to the same land, nor be construed to preclude a legal investigation and decision by the proper judicial tribunal between adverse claimants to the same land.
ACTS OF CONGRESS PASSED SUBSEQUENT TO THE
An Act To establish a court of private land claims, and to provide
for the settlement of private land claims in certain States and Territories.
Tate land claims
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa
tives of the United States of America in Congress assemCourt of pri- bled, That there shall be, and hereby is, established a established.
court to be called the court of private land claims, to consist of a .chief justice and four associate justices, who shall be, when appointed, citizens and residents of some of the States of the United States, to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to hold their offices for the term expiring on the thirty-first day of December, anno Domini eighteen hundred and ninety-five;t any three of whom shall constitute a quorum. Said court shall have and exercise jurisdiction in the hearing and decision of private land claims according to the provisions of this Act.
Sec. 6. That it shall and may be lawful for any person der certain un confirmed grants or persons or corporation, or their legal representatives, muie, petition claiming lands within the limits of the territory derived
by the United States from the Republic of Mexico and now embraced within the Territories of New Mexico, Arizona, or Utah, or within the States of Nevada, Colorado, or Wyoming by virtue of any such Spanish or Mexican grant, concession, warrant, or survey as the United States are bound to recognize and confirm by virtue of the treaties of cession of said country by Mexico to the United States which at the date of the passage of this Act have not been confirmed by Act of Congress, or otherwise finally decided upon by lawful authority, and which are not already complete and perfect, in every such case to present a petition, in writing to the said court in
the State or Territory where said land is situated and Institution of where the said court holds its sessions, but cases arising cases otherwise.
in the States and Territories in which the court does not hold regular sessions may be instituted at such place as may be designated by the rules of the court.
SEC. 8. That any person or corporation claiming lands claimants claim. in any of the States or Territories mentioned in this Act plete title may under a title derived from the Spanish or Mexican Gov. malonior confi ernment that was complete and perfect at the date when
the United States acquired sovereignty therein, shall have the right (but shall not be bound) to apply to said court in the manner in this Act provided for other cases for a
+ Continued under different acts of Congress until June 30, 1904.
confirmation of such title; and on such application said court shall proceed to hear, try, and determine the validity of the same and the right of the claimant thereto, its extent, location and boundaries, in the same manner and with the same powers as in other cases in this Act mentioned.
Certification of final decree ot
Sec. 10. That whenever any decision of confirmation shall become final, the clerk of the court in which the confirmation to final decision shall be had shall certify that fact to the General Land Commissioner of the General Land Office, with a copy of Office. the decree of confirmation, which shall plainly state the location, boundaries, and area of the tract confirmed. The said Commissioner shall thereupon without delay cause the tract so confirmed to be surveyed at the cost of the United States.
When any survey is finally approved by the court, it to issue of patent shall be returned to the Commissioner of the General Land Office, who shall as soon as may be cause a patent to be issued thereon to the confirmee. One-half of the One-half of suinecessary expenses of making the survey and plat pro- paid by claimant. vided for in this section, and in respect of which a patent shall be ordered to be issued, shall be paid by the claimant or patentee, and shall be a lien on said land, which may be enforced by the sale of so much thereof as may liehnoor samen he necessary for that purpose, after a default of payment thereof for six months next after the approval of such survey and plat; and no patent shall issue until such payment.
Sec. 13. That all the foregoing proceedings and rights Provisions shall be conducted and decided subject to the following provisions as well as to the other provisions of this Act, namely:
Third. No allowance or confirmation of any claim shall
eral lands not confer any right or title to any gold, silver, or quicksilver confirmed. mines or minerals of the same, unless the grant claimed Exceptions. effected the donation or sale of such mines or minerals to the grantee, or unless such grantee has become otherwise entitled thereto in law or in equity; but all such mines and minerals shall remain the property of the United States, with the right of working the same, which fact shall be stated in all patents issued under this Act. But no such mine shall be worked on any property confirmed under this Act without the consent of the owner mines. of such property until specially authorized thereto by an Act of Congress hereafter passed.
Consent owner to Wok
Approved, March 3, 1891 (26 Stat. 854).
An Act To quiet title to certain land in Dona Ana County, New
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa
tives of the United States of America in Congress asApa sembled, That in all cases where persons have made a
claim or claims to land in Dona Ana County, New Mexlands excluded from Refugio ico, by virtue or under color or bona fide claim of right
or title derived from the Mexican land grant, known as stead patents. the Refugio Colony grant, in said county, and which
grant was confirmed by the final decree of the Court of Private Land Claims, rendered in nineteen hundred and two, and where such person or persons in good faith and for a valuable consideration have purchased such lands and occupied and improved the same prior to the rendition of said decree, in the bona fide belief that said lands were embraced in and a part of said grant and which lands were excluded therefrom by the final survey of said grant ordered by said court, and where said persons, their assigns, and successors in interest have used, improved, and continued in the actual possession of the same as according to the lines of the original purchase, and where no valid adverse right or title (except of the United States) exists, such occupants, claimants, or purchasers may make entry and the Commissioner of the General Land Office shall cause patents to issue for the same, after having such lands surveyed under existing laws, on payment of the fees and commissions required on original homestead entries, upon first making proof of the facts as required in this section, under regulations to be provided by the Commissioner of the General Land Office, joint entries being admissible by coterminous pro
prietors to such an extent as will enable them to adjust Mineral, etc., their respective boundaries: Provided, That the right to
make entry herein given shall not extend to lands con
taining deposits of gold, silver, copper, oil, coal, or other Existing subdi- valuable minerals: And provided, That whenever it shall ognized. be made to appear by petition from the occupants of such
land that injury to permanent improvements would result from running the lines of the public survey through such permanent improvements, the Commissioner of the General Land Office may recognize existing lines of sub
divisions. Assistance to Sec. 2. That the Commissioner of the General Land claimants.
Office is hereby authorized to render to the claimants under this Act such assistance as he may deem necessary in the matter of the preparation and submission of proofs hereunder, and all actual expenses incurred by clerks of the General Land Office or other detailed by the commis
sioner in rendering the necessary assistance to such Expenses. claimants, including per diem allowance in lieu of sub
sistence, may be paid from the appropriation for expenses of inspectors, General Land Office.
Approved, February 3, 1911 (36 Stat. 896).
vision lines rec
An Act To amend section six of an Act to expedite the settlement of
title to lands in the State of California.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatices of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section six of the Act of Congress approved July first, eighteen hundred and sixty-four, being an Act entitled “An Act to expedite the settlement of title to lands in the State of California,” being chapter one hun- California. dred and ninety-four of volume thirteen of the Statutes claims in. at Large, page three hundred and thirty-four, is hereby amended to read as follows:
“Sec. 6. That it shall be the duty of the surveyor general of California to cause all the private land claims finally confirmed to be accurately surveyed and plats thereof to be made whenever requested by the claimants: Surveys on reProvided, That each claimant requesting a survey and quest. plat shall first deposit with the Secretary of the Interior Deposits for a sufficient sum of money to pay the expenses of such a pinbele. m a de survey and plat, and of the publication required by the first section of this Act, and the money so deposited shall be available for expenditure by the surveyor general in payment of the expenses of such survey and plat, including all the expenses incident thereto, and of the required publication. Whenever the survey and plat requested shall have been completed and forwarded to the Commissioner of the General Land Office, as required by this Act, the surveyor general shall state an account showing Statement the exact cost of the survey, plat, and publication, and any excess deposited over such cost shalì be returned to the claimant."
Approved, March 2, 1917 (39 Stat. 995).
An Act For the relief of settlers and entrymen on Baca Float Num
bered Three, in the State of Arizona.
No. 3, Arizona.
the area of lands lost.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa- Baca Float tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That where, prior to December 13, 1917, patents or evicted from, pripatent certificates have issued under the homestead laws may select twice or preemption laws for land within the limits of a tract known as Baca Float Numbered Three, in the State of Arizona, and the patentees, their assigns, and legal representatives have been evicted by the local courts by reason of the prior grant to the legal representative of Luis Maria Baca, the patentee, his assigns or his legal representative, who under the laws and regulations would have been entitled to the return of the purchase money, fees, and commissions, shall be entitled to select in lieu thereof not exceeding twice the area of the lands lost, of any nonmineral unoccupied surveyed public lands in the State of Arizona subject to homestead entry.