California Legislative Counsel Bureau California. Secretary of State.

Amendments to the Constitution and proposed statutes : with arguments ... online

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be forever barred; provided, that if at the time the rigbt of
action accrued, the person entitled to bring such action is a
minor, or insane, (m* imprisoned, such persoa or any one claim-
ing under him may commence such action within two years
after the removal of such disability.

See. 106. In the case of fraud, any person defrauded sball
have all rights and remedies tirnt he would have had if tbe
lands were not under the m'ovislons of tills act; provided, that
nothing contained in this section shall affect Uie title of a
registered owner who lias taken bona fide for a valuable con-
sideration, or of any person bona fide claiming through or
under him.

Sec. 107. In case of an appeal from 'any proceeding under
this act, or from any judgment, order, or decree affecting regis-
tered lands, the clerk of the court in whicli the notice of appeal
is filed shall forthvrith notify the registrar thereof, and there-
upon the registrar shall enter upon the register a memorial of
such appeal

Sec. 108. The county recorders or registrars in the several
counties shall have and they are hereby granted the power to
appoint, whenever the business in their respective offices under
this act shall, in their opinion, justify the same, one or more
deputies, each of whom shall be an attorney admitted to prac-
tice before the supreme court of the State of California for at
least five years prior to ills appointment, in good standing. I
skilled in the examination of titles and in proceedhigs under ,
this act. The compensation of such attorneys shall be such as
may be agreed upon between them and ttie registrar subject to
the approval of the board of supervisois of the county and sball
be paid in the same manner that the salaries of other deputies
are paid. Such attorneys, so appointed, shall be competent
to act as referees when appointed by Uie court in proceedings
under this act. It shall be^tl^ duty oL said attenieys to
Digitized by VjOOQ IC |

assist the registrar in all matters id and arising out of proceed-
ings under this act

Sec 109. The owner of registered land may plat the same
and snbdiTide It into lots and blodis in like manner as in case
of onreglstered land. All laws with reference to the subdi-
vision and platting of unregistered land shall apply with lilce
force and effect to registered land. Owners of subdivisions
traosferring lots which are subject to building or other restric-
tions, may, at their own expense, furnish the registrar with
printed forms of certificates of title for use by the registrar.
Socfa printed forms must conform to the adopted size, quality
of paper, worimianship and form and must first be submitted
t« the registrar for his approval; provided, however, the regis-
trar shall have no authority over what restrictions shall be

Sec 110. It shall be the duty of the registrar to require
that all documents offered for filing ccmceming registered land,
dull be made out with a view to permanency. Ihe registrar
■ay refuse to accept any document for filing which in bis
jnlgiiient is wholly or partly written, made out or filled in
vith inferior Ink or faded typewriter ribbon and likely to fade
rapidly and may require such documents to be redrawn in
India or indelible ink to insure permanency. Begistrars must
in every instance in making out new certiQcates of title, memo-
rials or entries of any kind in connection with registered land,
ose India ink for handwriting and indelible ink for typewriter
or rubber stamps.

Sec 111. Whoever fraudulently procures, assists in fraudu-
lently procuring, or is privy to the fraudulent procurement of
any certificates of title or other instrument, or of any entry in
the register or other book kept in the registrar's office, or of
any erasure or alteration in any entry in any said book, or in
any instrument authorized by this act, or knowingly defrauds
or is privy to defrauding any persw by means of a false or
fraoduknt instrument, certificate, statement, or affidavit affect-
ing registered lands, shall be guilty of a felcmy, and fined not
aceeding five thousand dollars, or be imprisoned not exceeding
five years nor less than me year, or either or both such fine
and imiHisonment.

Sec 112. Whoever (1) forges, or procures to be forged,
or assists in forging the seal of the registrar, or the name, sig-
natore, or handwriting of any officer of the registry office in
cases where such officer is expressly or impliedly authorized to
affix his signature; or (2) fraudulently stamps, or procures to
be stamped, or assists in stamping any document with any
forged seal of said registrar; or (3) forges, or procures to be
forged, or assists in forging the name, signature, or hand-
vrlting of any person whomsoever to any instrument which is
expr^sly or impliedly authorized to be signed by such perstm;
or (4) uses any document upon wtoidi any impression, or part
of the impression, of any seal of said registrar has been forged,
knowing the same to have been forged, or any document, the
signature to which has been forged, knowing the same to have
bttn forged; or (5) swears falsely concemhig any matter or
procedure made and done in pursuance of this act, shall be
guilty <^ a felony and fined not exceeding five thousand dollars
or be imprisoned not exceeding ten years nor less than one
year, or either or both such fine and imprisonment.

Sec 113. No proceeding or conviction for any act hereby
declared to be a felony shall affect any remedy which any
posoQ aggrieved or injured by such act may be entitled to at
law or in equity, against the person iHio has committed such
act, or against his estate, or against the registrar, or upon
his bond.

Sec 114. Registrars shall not make any rules or regulations
that work a hardship or inconvenience upon owners or others
desiring to avail themselves of the provisions of this act who
live at a distance from the office of the registrar and shall in
writii^ consent to accept notice of all proceedings, of which
notice is required, by mail and in such cases registrars shall
assist those who desire to use the mails in connection with
registered lands in every way possible. Such documents as are
sent by mail shall be entirely at the risk of the ovmer and if
lost, the entire expense of replacing same shall be borne by
the owner.

Sec 115. This act shall be construed liberally so far as
may be necessary for the purpose of effecting its general intent.


The Torrens law is a modern system of regis-
tering titles to land. It does away with the
endless fees of title companies for repeated
examinations of title. The entire expense of
transfer and registration of title to real estate
under the Torrens law will be one dollar.

Under the proposed system, the recorder en-
ters the certificate in a bound volume kept in
his office, which names the owner and shows all
mortgagres, liens, etc. A duplicate certificate

given the owner constitutes, with owner's sig-
nature, absolute evidence of title.

To find the real owner or the condition of the
title of any piece of property under the Torrens
system, it will be necessary to examine only one
document — the Torrens certificate. No encum-
brance Is valid against Torrens property unless
noted on the certificate.

When property is sold or mortgaged, the du-
plicate must be produced and the Signature of
the owner taken and compared, making fraud
almost Impossible under the Torrens system.

A state title assurance fund is created, not
by taxation, but from fees paid by those using
the system, and the state insures the title for-
ever. It substitutes state title insurance for
private title insurance.

A transfer of title or a loan can be made In
one hour's time, making an escrow in most cases
unnecessary. When necessary, it can be placed
with a bank or trust company and a note made
on the Torrens certificate that such an escrow Is
being held.

There is special provision in this bill for re-
ducing the initial cost of placing property under
the Torrens act.

In Australia there is $700,000,000 worth of
property under the act and the claims against
the assurance fund have been less than the one-
hundredth part of one per cent of the value. It
is also In successful operation in Canada, Massa-
chusetts, Minnesota, Colorado, Chicago, London
and many other jurisdictions.

A Torrens title requires a judicial decision
when the property Is first placed under the act,
giving the best foundation for the beginning of
the system and reducing losses and fraud to a
minimum. If the bill becomes a law, it will
make "tax titles" practically unknown, because
the owner will be notified when taxes or assess-
ments are due and thus prevent the sale of the
property for payment.

The present system furnishes no means by
which the real owner of the property may be
recognized and the buyer must simply take the
risk even though he is investing the earnings
of a lifetime. Under the Torrens system tliere
Is absolute evidence of ownership.

These amendments were drawn by Walter H.
Robinson of San Francisco, an authority on the
subject. If approved at the polls the system be-
comes optional. Those satisfied of its superi-
ority may use It, and those who wish to con-
tinue under the present costly, slow and inse-
cure system may do so.

Mrs. Wilbur D. Campbell,
President Torrens Land Law League.


Although, personally, I strongly favor the
adoption of a method by which a defective title
could be cleared and made incontestable under
the provisions for original registration, the par-
ticular initiative statute now presented to the
people seems to be open to the following import-
ant objections:

First — The proposed amendments contain
nothing that in any degree removes or corrects
the causes that have made our present Torrens
law a dead letter. On the contrary, the new law
for no apparent reason contains provisions greatly
facilitating the registration of state tax titles.

Second — The act provides that the registrar
(county recorder) shall only be liable for gross
or wilful negligence, neglect or mismanagement.
No careful lender would risk losing his mortgage
where the liability of the recorder Is so slight.
No valid reason for Inserting such a provision
can be conjectured, and its Insertion will surely


tend to prevent the general use of the statute if

Third — The statute provides that no evidence
of title need be filed where the applicant swears
that he has been in actual adverse possession of
the land or any part thereof for more than five
years. Accordingly a person occupying one par-
cel could describe as much other land (including
his neighbor's lot) as he saw fit, and only by
accident would the neighbor know of the pro-
ceeding. The court would be deprived of the
evidence of title required to be furnished to the
court under every other Torrens act in the United
States, so that the court may know that all
proper parties have been notified.

Fourth — The fees charged are made so low
that it is an imposition on the general body of
taxpayers. Seemingly as a means merely of
making the law popular, the state undertakes to
do the work for very much less than its actual
cost. While favoring poor people, this would
also greatly favor tax title speculators, who
would probably be the greatest beneficiaries from
the act

Fifth — ^The statute contains no provisions for
withdrawing the land from registration In case

the proceedings subsequent to the original regis-
tration become burdensome or the subsequent
title be deemed dangerous and unmarketable be-
cause registered. In other words, the proceed-
ings for original registration can not be enjoyed
without subjecting the title to the provisions re-
garding registration as to subsequent transfers
and incumbrances. And in view of the fact that
while original registration is undoubtedly valid,
subsequent registration is subject to so much
doubt as to its validity, and if valid Is accent
/panied by so many legal proceedings as to make
It onerous, the benefit on the whole will be much
less than the burden.

Sixth — ^In view of our complicated laws and
many public oflEices, the purported revision is so
superficially done and accomplishes so little as
to make it almost useless so far as the general
public, other than tax speculators, are concerned.
Instead of facilitating the popularity of the Tor-
rens or registration idea It would tend to still
further delay the people in enjoying its benefits,
for the reason that being so poorly and super-
ficially revised, it is sure to fail in accomplishing
any beneficial public purpose.

Chas. L. Batchellbb.


Initiative act providing for the issuance and sale of state bonds in the sum of $1,250,000 to
create a fund for the acquisition of a site in the city of Los Angeles, for the constraction thereon
of a state building and for equipment thereof to be used by the oflScers and departments of the state
maintaining offices in said city, said bonds to bear interest at four per cent and to mature at differ-
ent periods until July 2, 1965.

The electors of the State of California pre-
sent to the secretary of state this initiative peti-
tion, asking that the proposed law hereafter set
forth be submitted to the electors of the State
of California at the next general election for
their approval or rejection.

An act to provide for the selection, location, pur-
chase or acquisition of a site for a state
building in the city of Los Angeles; to
provide for the construction, equipment and
furnishing of a state building thereon, and
for the improvement of said site; to pre-
scribe the use or occupancy of said build-
ing; creating a commission to locate and
acquire said site and to construct said
building, with power to determine the re-
spective amounts to be paid for said site,
for the improvement thereof, for the con-
struction of said .building and for furnish-
ing or equipping the same; providing for
the issuance and sale of state bonds to be
known as "Los Angeles state building
bonds," to provide a fund therefor ; estab-
lishing said fund, appropriating the pro-
ceeds thereof for said purpose and directing
the manner in which the same shall be
expended; creating a sinking fund for the
payment of said bonds and Interest thereon;
making an appropriation therefor, defining
the duties of state officers in relation thereto,
and providing for the collection of revenue
for said purpose; making an appropriation
of two thousand five hundred dollars for the
expense of preparation of said bonds and
providing for the submission of this proposed
act directly to the electors as an initiative
measure at the next general election.

The people of the State of California do enact
as follows:

Section 1. For the purpose of creating and
providing a fund for the payment of the indebt-
edness hereby authorized to be incurred as
hereinafter provided, the state treasurer shall,
immediately after the taking effect of this act,
if the same be approved by a majority of the
electors voting thereon, as evidenced by the
oflficial declaration by the secretary of state
showing the result of the election had thereon,
prepare two thousand five hundred suitable

bonds of the State of California in the denom-
ination of five hundred dollars each, to be num-
bered from one to twenty-five hundred inclusive
and to bear date the second day of July, 1915;
the total issue of said bonds shall not exceed
the sum of one million two hundred fifty thous-
and dollars and said bonds shall bear interest
at the rate of four per cent per annum from the
date of issuance thereof, to be evidenced by
coupons attached thereto, as hereinafter pro-
vided, and both principal and interest shall be
payable in gold coin of the present standard of
value at the office of the state treasurer upon
the presentation and surrender for cancellation
of said bonds and interest coupons, as they
respectively become due and payable and at
the times and in the manner following, to- wit:
The first fifty of said bonds shall be due and
payable on the second day of July, 1916, and
fifty of said bonds in consecutive numerical
order shall be due and payable on the second
day of July in each and every year thereafter
until and including the second day of July, 1965.
The interest accruing on all of said bonds that
shall be sold shall be due and payable at the
oflfice of the state treasurer on the second day
of January and on the second day of July of each
and every year after the sale of the same, imtll
the maturity of said bonds, provided that the
first payment of interest shall be made on the
second day of January, 1916, on so many of
said bonds as shall have been theretofore sold.
Interest on all bonds Issued and sold shall cease
on the day of their maturity and the said bonds
so Issued and sold shall, on the day of their
maturity, be paid as herein provided and can-
celled by the state treasurer. All bonds re-
maining unsold shall, at the date of the ma-
turity thereof, be by the state treasurer can-
celled and destroyed. A permanent record shall
be kept by the state treasurer of the payment
and redemption of all such bonds sold and also
of the destruction of any such unsold bonds.
All bonds issued pursuant to the provisions of
this act shall be signed by the governor of the
State, countersigned by the state controller and

endorsed by the state treasurer and the said bonds shall be
go signed, countersigned and endorsed by the officers who are
in office on the second day of July, 1915, and each shall have
Uie great seal of the State of California impressed thereon.
The said bonds signed, countersigned, endorsed and sealed as
herein provided, when sold, shall be and constitute a valid and
bindhig obligation upon the State of California, though the
sale thereof or the sale of a portion thereof be made at a
date or dates after the persons so signing, countersigning and
endorsing or either of them shall have ceased to be incum-
bents of said office or offices.

Sec. 2. Interest coupons shall be attached to each of said
bonds so that said coupons may be detached without injury
to or mutilation of said bond. Said coupons shall be con-
secutively numbered and shall bear the lithographed signa-
ture of the state treasurer who shall be in office the
second day of July, 1915. All such interest coupons shall,
upon payment thereof, be cancelled by the state treasurer.
No hiterest shall be paid on any of said bonds for such
time as may intervene between Uie date of said bond and
the day of sale thereof, unless such accrued interest shall
have been by the purchaser of said bond paid to the state
at the time of such sale.

Sec 3. The sum of twenty-five hundred dollars or so
much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated
out of any moneys in the state treasury, not otherwise
24)propriated, to pay the expense that may be incurred by
the state treasurer in the preparation of said bonds.

Sec. 4. When the bonds authorized to be issued under this
act shall have been duly executed, as in section one pro-
vided, they shall be sold by the state treasurer to the
highest bidder for cash in such parcels and numbers as shall
be directed by the governor of the state, but the state treasurer
must reject any and all bids for said bonds or for any of
them which shall be for an amount below the par value of
said bonds so offered for sale plus the Interest which has
accrued thereon between the date of sale and the last pre-
ceding interest maturity date, and he may, by public an-
nouncement, at the time and place fixed for the sale, conttoue
such sale, as to the whole of the bonds offered, or any
part thereof offered, to such time and place as he may then
designate. When a sale is continued as hereinabove pro-
vided no notice thereof need be given other than the public
announcement of such continuance. Before offering any of
said bonds for sale, said treasurer shall detach therefrom
and cancel all coupons which liave matured or will mature
prior to the date fixed for such sale. The state treasurer
shall give notice of the time and place fixed for the sale
of any of said bonds by publication in one newspaper pub-
lished in the city and county of San Francisco and in one
newspaper published in the city of Los Angeles and in one
newspaper published in the city of Sacramento, once a week
for four weeks next preceding the date fixed for such sale.
In addition to the notice last above provided the state treas-
urer may give such further notice as he may deem advisable,
but the expense and cost of such additional notice shall not
exceed five hundred dollars for each sale so advertised. The
cost of such publications and notice shall be paid out of
any moneys in the state treasury not otherwise appropriated
on controller's warrants duly drawn for said purpose. The
proceeds of the sale of such bonds, except such amount as
may liave been paid as accrued interest thereon, shall be
forthwith paid by said treasurer into the state treasury and
must be by him kept in a separate fund, to be known and
designated as "Los Angeles state building fund," which fund
is hereby established. The amount that shall have been paid
as accrued interest shall be forthwith paid by said treasurer
into the state treasury, and must be by him kept in a separate
fund to be known and designated as "Los Angeles state
building sinking fund," hereinafter provided for.

Sec. 5. The amount placed in the Los Angeles state build-
ing fund pursuant to the provisions of section four of this
act !s hereby appropriated and shall be used exclusively for
the following purpose, to-wit:

The selection, purchase or acquisition of a site for a state
building In the city of Los Angeles, the improvement thereof
and the construction, equipment and furnishing of a state
building thereon. A commission Is hereby created to consist
of the governor of the state, the president of the state railroad
commissioD and the presiding judge of the district court of

appeals in the second appellate district, who shall constitute
a commission to locate and acquire said site md to construct
said building, with power to determine the respective amounts
of said appropriation to be paid for said site, for the im-
provement thereof, for the construction of said building and
for furnishing or equipping the same. Such commission shall
receive no compensation for services, but necessary traveling
expenses of the members thereof stiall be paid out of the
moneys herein appropriated. Immediately after the taking
effect of this act, said commission shall proceed to select,
locate, purchase or acquh'e a suitable site in said city of Los
Angeles for the erection thereon of a state building for the
use and occupancy of such office's, departments, boards or
commissions of the state as now are or hereafter may be
authorized or required by law to maintain offices or depart-
ments in said city of Los Angeles. Said commission shall
have the power to receive in the name of the State of Cali-
fornia gifts or donations of any such site or toward the pur-
chase thereof, together with any and all appurtenances con-
nected therewith. Title to any property so purchased or ac-
quired shall be taken in the name of the State of California.
When said commission shall have selected said site and deta*-
mined the amount to be paid therefor, if the same is to be
purchased, such commission shall present a claim therefor to
the state board of control and upon the approval- thereof the
state controller shall draw a warrant for the amount thereof,
payable out of the sum hereby appropriated, in favor of the
owner at owners of such property selected and agreed to be
purchased as herein provided, such warrant or warrants when
so drawn to be delivered to such commission and the same
shall be used for the purchase of such site, taking a deed
therefor to the State of California, said deed to be delivered
to the secretary of state of the State of California and to be
placed of record in the office of the recorder of the county of
Los Angeles and thereafter filed in the office of the secretary
of state.

Immediately after the acquisition of such site said com-
mission shall provide for the construction of a state buUding
thereon adequate for said purpose and shall have power to
expend the funds available therefor under this act, provided
that the plans and specifications for the erection of such

Online LibraryCalifornia Legislative Counsel Bureau California. Secretary of StateAmendments to the Constitution and proposed statutes : with arguments ... → online text (page 23 of 36)