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RSNL1990 CHAPTER Q-3
QUIETING OF TITLES ACT
1991 c36 s74; 2001 cN-3.1 s2; 2004 cL-3.1 s61; 2013 c16 s25
AN ACT RESPECTING THE QUIETING OF TITLES
1. This Act may be cited as the Quieting of Titles Act.
2. In this Act
(a) "court" means the Trial Division;
(b) "petitioner" means the person who applies by petition under section 5 to have his or her title judicially investigated; and
(b) "Rules of Court" means the Rules of Court made under the Judicature Act.
Investigation and declaration of title to land
3. (1) A person claiming to be the owner of land shall be entitled to have his or her title judicially investigated and declared, whether he or she has the legal estate or not, and whether his or her title is or is not subject to a charge or encumbrance.
(2) Another person who claims an estate or interest in land may apply for an investigation, ascertainment and declaration, but it shall be in the discretion of the judge before whom the proceedings are taken to grant or refuse the application, and that discretion may be invoked and exercised at any stage of the proceedings, and the decision of the judge in exercising that discretion shall be subject to appeal.
Labrador Inuit rights
3.1 This Act shall be read and applied in conjunction with the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act and, where a provision of this Act is inconsistent or conflicts with a provision, term or condition of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act, the provision, term or condition of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act shall have precedence over the provision of this Act.
4. (1) The Attorney General may apply for an investigation of the title of the Crown to land, and a declaration as to the validity of the title.
(2) The practice and procedure for an application by the Attorney General under subsection (1) shall be the same as for applications by other persons.
Application to court
5. An application shall be made to a judge of the Trial Division and shall be by petition in Form I of the Appendix to this Act.
Particulars to be given with application
6. The application shall be supported by the following particulars, which, where possible, shall be filed and provided with the application:
(a) the title deeds and evidences of title in the possession or power of the petitioner;
(b) certified copies of registered instruments, or registered memorials of instruments, affecting the land, or of conveyances, since the last judicial certificate under this Act;
(c) an abstract of title certified by the Registrar of Deeds unless it is dispensed with in whole or in part;
(d) a concise statement of facts which are necessary to make out the title which do not appear in the produced documents, but an abstract of produced documents shall not be required except on special grounds;
(e) proof of a fact which is required to be proved in order to make out the title and which is not established by the produced documents, unless the judge dispenses with that proof until a future stage of the investigation;
(f) an affidavit or deposition by the petitioner and a certificate of his or her lawyer as required by this Act, unless the judge for special reason dispenses with it;
(g) a land surveyor's diagram of the land claimed, showing the metes and bounds of the land, verified by affidavit; and
(h) a schedule of the particulars produced under this section.
Affidavit by applicant
7. (1) The affidavit or deposition of the petitioner shall state that to the best of his or her knowledge and belief he or she is the owner of the estate or interest subject only to the charges and encumbrances set out in the petition or in a schedule to the petition, or that there is no charge or encumbrance affecting the land; that the deeds and evidences of title which the petitioner produces, a list of which is contained in the schedules under the preceding section, are all the title deeds and evidence of title relating to the land in the petitioner's possession or power, and that he or she is not aware of the existence of a claim, adverse to or inconsistent with his or her own to a part of the land or to an interest in it; or, where the petitioner is aware of an adverse claim he or she shall set it out and shall declare that he or she is not aware of other adverse claims.
(2) The affidavit or declaration shall also set out whether anyone is in possession of the land and under what right and shall state that to the best of the petitioner's knowledge and belief the affidavit or declaration and the papers produced fully disclose facts material to the title claimed by the petitioner, and contracts and dealings which affect the whole or a part of it or give a right against him or her.
(3) The affidavit or declaration may be dispensed with or may be made by some other person instead of the petitioner or an affidavit or declaration as to part may be made by 1 person, and as to part by another, in the discretion of the judge to whom the application is made, and in that case the affidavit shall be modified accordingly.
Certificate of lawyer
8. The certificate of the lawyer shall state that he or she has investigated the title and believes the petitioner to be the owner of the estate which the petitioner claims in the land, subject only to a charge or encumbrance set out in the petition or in the schedule to the petition, or that he or she so believes, subject to a condition, qualification or exemption set out in the certificate and that the lawyer has conferred with the person making the declaration on the subject of various matters set out in the affidavit or declaration referred to in the preceding sections, and believes the affidavit or declaration to be true.
9. (1) The judge in investigating the title may receive and act upon evidence that is received by the court on a question of title, or other evidence, whether the evidence is or is not receivable or sufficient in point of strict law where the evidence satisfies the judge of the truth of the fact intended to be established.
(2) It shall not be necessary to produce or account for the originals of registered deeds, documents or instruments, unless the judge otherwise directs.
(3) The proof may be by affidavit or certificate or may be given orally or in another manner satisfactory to the judge.
Taxes, etc., to be paid before application
10. Before a certificate of title is granted, satisfactory evidence shall be given by certificate, affidavit or otherwise, that taxes, rates and assessments for which the land is liable have been paid, or that all except those for the current year have been paid.
Respecting further evidence
11. Where the judge is not satisfied with the evidence of title produced in the first instance he or she shall give a reasonable opportunity to produce further evidence or to remove defects in the evidence produced.
Publication of notice
12. (1) Before a certificate of title is granted or a conveyance is made under this Act, the judge shall direct to be published in the Gazette , and where he or she thinks it is appropriate in 1 or more newspapers, and in a form, and for a period that the judge considers expedient, or by printed notice conspicuously posted on the land in question, that the judge may direct, a notice either of the application having been made, or of the order or decision of the judge on that application.
(2) The notice shall state the time within which adverse claims may be filed, and the certificate or conveyance shall not be signed or executed until after the expiration of at least 4 weeks from the 1st publication of that notice, or other period that the judge appoints.
(3) Where the value of the land is proved to be not more than $1,000 the judge may dispense with the publication of the notice and instead of notice may direct that for a period that the judge thinks appropriate a printed or typewritten notice of the application, or of the order or decision of the judge on it, be posted up in 1 or more conspicuous places on the land, and in another place that the judge considers appropriate, and the certificate or conveyance shall not be signed or executed until the period limited by that notice for filing adverse claims has expired.
(4) The judge may direct that the notice to be published or posted under this section shall have annexed to it a copy of a land surveyor's diagram of the land referred to in the notice, showing the metes and bounds of the land.
(5) Where the judge does not direct that the notice under subsection (3) shall have a copy of the diagram annexed to it, the judge may, where he or she considers it advisable, give directions concerning the viewing of that diagram by interested persons or the providing to those persons of copies of that diagram.
Court may grant certificate of title
13. (1) Where the judge is satisfied respecting the title, and considers that the certificate of title can be safely granted or the conveyance can be safely executed without another notice of application than the published or posted notice, the judge may grant the certificate or direct the execution of the conveyance.
(2) Where the judge considers that the applicant is entitled to the land, he or she may grant a certificate to that effect or grant a conveyance, and that certificate or conveyance will apply against all persons except the Crown.
(3) A certificate or conveyance granted under subsection (2) may be made against the Crown where the judge is satisfied, following proper service of the application by the applicant on the Minister of Environment and Lands and after affording the Crown an opportunity of making representation and of being heard,
(a) that the title of the applicant stems from a grant or conveyance made by or on behalf of the Crown; or
(b) that subsection 36(2) of the Lands Act applies to the lands affected by the application.
RSN1970 c324 s12; 1975-76 No19 s2; 1987 c41 s18; 1991 c36 s74
Respecting adverse claims
14. Where it appears that there is a person who may have a claim adverse to or inconsistent with that of the petitioner to or in respect of a part of the land, the judge shall direct that notice as he or she considers necessary to be mailed or served on that person, his or her agent or solicitor.
15. (1) Where it appears that a minor or an unborn person may be interested in opposing the claim of the petitioner, the judge may appoint a guardian under the Rules of the Supreme Court to represent that minor or unborn person.
(2) The minor or unborn person under subsection (1) shall be bound by the decision of the judge.
(3) The judge may order that the costs of the guardian appointed for the purposes of the action be paid by the petitioner.
Respecting further notice
16. Before granting the certificate or directing the execution of the conveyance the judge may require further publication to take place, or another notice to be mailed or served which he or she considers necessary.
Statement of adverse claim
17. (1) A person having an adverse claim or a claim not recognized in the petition may before the certificate is granted or the conveyance is executed, file and serve on the petitioner, his or her solicitor or agent, a statement of his or her claim in Form 2 of the Appendix to this Act.
(2) The claim shall be verified by an affidavit to be filed with the statement of claim.
Security for costs
18. The judge may at any stage of the proceedings order security for costs to be given by the petitioner, or by a person making an adverse claim.
19. The judge may order costs either between party and party, or between solicitor and client, to be paid by or to a party to a proceeding and may give directions as to the fund out of which costs shall be paid.
Withdrawal of application
20. The petitioner may by leave of the judge withdraw his or her application before final adjudication, on payment of costs incurred in the investigation, either by himself or herself or by an adverse claimant.
21. Subject to the Rules of Court, the judge may refer a petition on a question arising in the course of a proceeding to an officer of the court or counsel named by the judge, who shall proceed as the judge would have, had the reference not been made, and shall have the powers of the judge, except the power to grant a certificate or to direct the execution of the conveyance.
Exceptions and qualifications
22. (1) A claim of title under this Act shall be presumed to be subject to the following exceptions and qualifications unless the petition expressly states the contrary:
(a) reservations contained in the original grant from the Crown;
(b) municipal charges, rates or assessments imposed for local improvements and not yet due and payable;
(c) a title or lien, which, by possession or improvements or other means, the owner or person interested in an adjoining land has acquired to or in respect of the land;
(d) a lease or agreement for a lease or other holding for a period yet to run, where there is actual occupation under it; and
(e) a public highway, right of way, watercourse and right of water and other easement.
(2) Where the petitioner wishes the certificate to declare the title to be free from exception or qualifications the petitioner shall state this, and the investigation shall proceed accordingly, but this subsection shall not apply to the exception or qualification as to a public highway.
Certificates of title
23. The judge may give a certificate of title comprising the lands mentioned in the petition or may give separate certificates as to separate parts of the land.
Certificates of title
24. The certificates of title shall be in Form 3 of the Appendix to this Act, and shall be under the seal of the court, and signed by or on the order of a judge, and it, and a schedule to the certificate, or a duplicate or counterpart of it, shall be registered in full in the Registry of Deeds without further proof of the certificate.
25. A certificate of the registration shall be endorsed on the certificate of title or a counterpart or certified copy of it, and shall be evidence of the registration.
Certificate conclusive evidence of title
26. The certificate of title sealed, signed and registered as required by section 24, shall be conclusive and the title mentioned shall be considered absolute and indefeasible on and from the date of the certificate as regards the Crown and all persons, subject only to charges or encumbrances, exceptions, or qualifications mentioned in it or in the schedule and shall be conclusive evidence that an application, notice, publication, proceeding, consent, and Act which ought to have been made, given and done before the granting of the certificate, has been made, given and done by the proper person.
Certified copy admissible as evidence
27. After a certificate of title is registered a copy certified as a copy by the Registrar of Deeds shall be admissible evidence of the certificate without further evidence of that copy, and without accounting for the non-production of the certificate.
28. In case of a sale by the court, the court may investigate the title with a view to granting an indefeasible title and in that case a conveyance in accordance with Form 4 of the Appendix to this Act, executed to the purchaser, under the seal of the court and purporting to be under the authority of this Act, shall have the same effect as a certificate.
Respecting indefeasible titles
29. (1) Where judgment is given for the specific performance of a contract for the sale of land, and it is provided by the contract that the vendor shall give an indefeasible title, the court may investigate the title in order to grant an indefeasible title.
(2) The conveyance under this section may be according to Form 4 of the Appendix to this Act and shall be executed by the purchaser under the seal of the court and have the same effect as a certificate.
Conveyances to be registered in Registry of Deeds
30. (1) A conveyance referred to in section 28 or section 29 shall be registered in full in the Registry of Deeds without further proof it.
(2) A certificate of registration shall be endorsed on a conveyance referred to in subsection (1) and shall be evidence of the registration mentioned in it.
Investigation into personal status
31. Where a person living or claiming land in the province wishes to establish that
(a) he or she is the child of his or her parents,
(b) the person is the next of kin of a deceased person,
(c) he or she is the next of kin of a deceased person, or
(d) he or she is a Canadian citizen,
the person may, where the court thinks it appropriate, have those matters judicially investigated and declared.
32. (1) The application shall be by petition supported by an affidavit of the petitioner verifying the statement of the petition, and stating that his or her claim is not disputed or questioned, or, where the claim is to the petitioner's knowledge disputed or questioned, the facts in relation to that dispute or question, and that he or she is not aware of a dispute or question except as has been set out, and stating other facts which may satisfy the court of the propriety of proceeding with the investigation.
(2) The proceedings upon the petition shall be the same as possible as in cases under section 3 and the certificate granted on the investigation shall be registered in the same way, and may be proved in the same way by as a certificate granted under section 13.
(3) The registered certificate shall be conclusive and indefeasible in favour of the person to whom it was granted, and all persons claiming through him or her as regards the Crown and all other persons.
(4) The registered certificate shall be, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, evidence in favour of the person to whom it was granted and all other persons claiming through him or her as against the Crown and all other persons of the truth of the fact declared in that registered certificate.
Avoidance of certificate for fraud
33. Where in the course of a proceeding a person acting either as principal or agent knowingly, and with intent to deceive
(a) makes or joins in the making of a material false statement or representation,
(b) suppresses, withholds, conceals, or helps to suppress, withhold or conceal from the court a material document, fact or matter of information,
a certificate or conveyance obtained by means of that fraud, shall be void except as against a purchaser for valuable consideration without notice.
34. (1) After a certificate is granted or a conveyance is executed an aggrieved person may, on petition, and after satisfactorily accounting for his or her delay, by leave of the court or a judge, have a title or claim re-investigated on terms that may be considered just.
(2) A certificate of the presentation of the petition shall be registered in the Registry of Deeds.
(3) A proceeding on the petition shall not affect the title of a person, who, after the date of the certificate or conveyance under this Act and before the registration of the certificate or the presentation of the petition has without notice acquired by sale, mortgage or contract, for valuable consideration, an estate or interest in the land described in the certificate or conveyance.
(4) A proceeding on the petition shall not affect the title of a person where the certificate was granted under section 32, in land or other property, the title to which was delivered, through the person named in the certificate, in the character which is declared to belong to him or her.
(5) The court or judge may make an order on the petition as he or she considers just, having regard to subsection (3) and section 33.
35. An appeal lies from an order or decision of a judge under this Act to the Court or Appeal in the same manner and subject to the same restrictions as in the case of an appeal from an order or decision of a judge in a proceeding.
Respecting applicants under disability
36. (1) Where a person who, if not under disability, might have made an application, given consent, or done an act, or been party to a proceeding under this Act, is an infant, or person with a mental disability, the guardian of the infant, or committee of the estate of the person with a mental disability may make application, give consent, do an act, and be party to a proceeding as that person might if free from disability, and shall otherwise represent that person for the purposes of this Act.
(2) Where the infant has no guardian or the person with a mental disability has no committee of his or her estate, the court or a judge may appoint a person with the same power to act for the infant or person with a mental disability.
Order for possession
37. An objection to a petition shall not be allowed upon the ground that the petitioner should first have brought an action and where it appears upon the determination of the investigation that the petitioner is entitled to the possession of the land, he or she may obtain an order against another party to the proceeding for the delivery of possession of the land.
Proceedings not suspended by death, etc., of parties
38. Proceedings shall not be discontinued or suspended by a death or transmission or change of interest, but in that event, the court or a judge may require notices to be given to persons becoming interested, or may make an order for discontinuing or suspending, or carrying on the proceedings or otherwise in relation to it that may seem just.
Proceedings not invalidated by informalities
39. A petition, order, affidavit, certificate, registration or other proceeding shall not be invalid because of an informality or technical irregularity, or of a mistake not affecting the substantial justice of the proceeding.
Application of Judicature Act
40. Subject to the Rules of Court, unless where otherwise provided, the practice and procedure under the Judicature Act and Rules made under that Act shall apply to proceedings under this Act.
RSN1970 c324 s40; 1986 c42 Sch B
Petition to Quiet a Title
In the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and
In the matter of that piece or parcel of land (briefly describe the property).
To the Trial Division or a Judge of the Trial Division
The petition of
That your petitioner is absolute owner in fee simple in possession (or as the case may be) of the following land (describe it).
That there is no charge or other encumbrance affecting your petitioner's title to the land (except, etc., or that your petitioner's title is subject only to the charges or encumbrances indicated in the attached Schedule, and that the only persons having or claiming a charge, encumbrance, estate, right or interest in the land are set out in the attached Schedule, and that the charge, encumbrance, estate, right or interest belonging to or claimed by each is set out in that Schedule).
Your petitioner requests that his or her title to the land be investigated and declared under the Quieting of Titles Act.
Dated at ................., this (month, day) 19 .....
C.D., Solicitor for A.B.
In the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and
In the matter of that piece or parcel of land (briefly describing the property).
G.H. of...................... etc., claims to be the owner of the land (or as the case may be stating briefly the nature and grounds of the claim).
Dated at................, this (month, day) 19.....
E.F., Solicitor for G.H.
In the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and
This is to certify under the authority of the Quieting of Titles Act that A.B., of ......................., is the legal and beneficial owner in fee simple in possession (or as the case may be) of all, etc., (here describe the land) subject to the exceptions and qualifications mentioned in section 22 of the Act (or as the case may be), and to (specifying either by reference to a schedule or otherwise the charges or encumbrances, exceptions or qualifications to which the title of A.B. is subject) but free from other rights, interests, claims and demands, (or that stating the facts found and declared under section 30 and stating on whose application the facts are declared).
In witness of the above statements ...................... (a clerk of the Supreme Court has signed and the seal of the Court has been affixed to this certificate this (month, day) 19 .....
By order of ........(a judge)
Clerk of the Supreme Court
CONVEYANCE BY THE SUPREME COURT
The Supreme Court of Newfoundland and
In witness of the above statements ....................., a clerk of the Supreme Court has signed and the seal of the Court has been affixed to this certificate this (month,day) 19 .....
By order of (a Judge)
Clerk of the Supreme Court