Issue No. 226, June 2, 2021

Look For NEW Events Posted Since The Last Issue!
The 2021 ALTA/NSPS Survey Standards Impact On Renewable Energy Projects
Earlier this year, the American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) implemented the revised 2021 Minimum Standard Detail Requirements (“2021 Standards”) for surveys. If a contract to provide an ALTA/NSPS survey is executed after February 23, 2021, the survey must comply with the updated 2021 Standards.

NY Amends Executive Law to Allow Remote Notarization
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law on April 27, 2021, an amendment adding section 142.b authorizing remote notarization. The changes took effect April 27, 2021.

In SE Minn., legal dispute over an old cemetery raises questions about who owns the past
“The cemetery is like a museum. There are stories at every single grave,” said Sara Holger, a naturalist for the nearby Whitewater State Park in Winona County. The more than 150-year-old cemetery is a routine stop on the tours she gives to visitors of the valley, which in the late 1800s was home to the town of Whitewater Falls. 

No action could have adverse results
Oklahoma has a fifteen (15) year statute of limitations on adverse possession; meaning that if someone usurps dominion and control of real property for more than that period they may have a legal claim to the land.

How RLUIPA Protects the Right To Use Land for Religious Purposes
Last December, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the Village of Airmont, in Rockland County, New York, asserting that the village applied the provisions of a new zoning code in a discriminatory manner to make it impossible for Orthodox Jewish residents to win zoning approval for home synagogues and a school.

Goodbye Covenants, Hello Free Use of Land
The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently issued a landmark opinion regarding the North Carolina Real Property Marketable Title Act (the "Act"). The case is C Investments 2, LLC v. Auger et al., 2021-NCCOA-209 ("C Investments"), and it is almost certain that it is heading to the Supreme Court of North Carolina.

GANJE: Easements and the trouble they bring
Easements are different than restrictive covenants. An easement is a conveyance, that is a transfer, of some real property rights. – usually to a neighboring property. A restrictive covenant is not a transfer of rights but is a legal promise to do or not do a particular act concerning the property. A restrictive covenant creates a limitation on the use of one’s land so that the value and enjoyment of another party’s land is protected.

What’s the “Beef” With Conservation Easements?
The donation of a permanent conservation easement on farm or ranch land can provide a significant tax benefit to the donor. The rules are complex and must be carefully complied with to obtain the tax benefits that are possible – qualified farmers and ranchers can deduct up to 100 percent of their income (i.e., the contribution base).  

Relying on a Void Quiet Title Judgment
Under California’s Quiet Title Act, a third party who acts in reliance on a quiet title judgment retains its property rights even if that quiet title judgment is later declared void as long as the third party qualifies as a bona fide purchaser or encumbrancer — i.e., “without knowledge” of the quiet title judgment’s defects. 

Insurance – Title – Condominium development
Defendant Chicago Title Insurance Company (“Chicago Title”) issued a title
insurance policy (“Policy”) to Plaintiff IDC Properties, Inc. (“IDC Properties”) in
connection with IDC Properties’ acquisition of rights, title, and interests in Goat
Island South, a waterfront condominium development in Newport, Rhode Island. This real estate has spawned many cases and controversies. 

What’s the fuss about Julian Felipe Reef?
They are given sovereign rights to develop and exploit the marine resources therein like fish, oil, and minerals, but not ownership and sovereignty. This is akin to the right to enjoy the trees, plants, and fruits borne of a lease over a piece of land adjacent to one’s home, but not to the Torrens title thereto.

Blockchain startup Propy plans first-ever auction of a real apartment as a collectible NFT
We previously wrote about Propy using blockchain technology to smooth real-world real estate sales by introducing the concept of smart contracts. Propy was the first blockchain startup to make that work. Now the company is pushing the boundaries again, by auctioning a real apartment as an NFT.

HGTV’s Nicole Curtis Wins Detroit Home Ownership Case, Will Complete House Rehab
A court has ruled that HGTV Rehab Addict Rescue star Nicole Curtis is the proper owner of a house whose title has been in dispute.

Woman Stole $1.3M Through Brooklyn Real Estate 'Ponzi Scheme': DA
A woman is facing grand larceny charges for a $1.3 million real estate scam that involved more than a dozen properties in Brooklyn, prosecutors announced.

2021 Senior Prank Lists NCHS For Sale on a Real Estate Site
For the Natrona County High School senior prank, the students enlisted the help of The Michael Houck Real Estate Team to post a realistic, but hilarious FAKE real estate listing, stating the school was available for sale.

In a galaxy far far away: 'Darth Vader House' lists for $4.3M
If you’ve ever wanted to live inside Darth Vader’s helmet, now’s your chance. A Houston house modeled after the iconic “Star Wars” villain has hit the market with an asking price of $4.3 million.
1899: Harry Cat, the Lazy, Husky Hero of Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights
Harry Cat was a large and lazy solid white cat. He lived with a woman named Mrs. Lester and his twin feline brothers, Tom and Dick, in a wood frame boarding house at 8 Remsen Street.

How forgiving are your neighbors?
A survey by, a resource and research firm that’s focused on neighborhood safety and security, quizzed more than 1,000 Americans recently to find out what they will, and won’t, tolerate from their neighbors.

Marianne Mathieu, NTP
Vice President/National Agency Accounts
Fidelity National Financial
(347) 987-0677