Co-author Max Brown
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. International Development Corporation resolved the question, In a 100 year old Pennsylvania deed is a “subject to” provision an exception to a grant or a warranty disclaimer?
- 1894: 2,094 acres are sold by deed from Proctor and Hill to Union Trading Company; Proctor and Hill reserve all minerals. This reservation is not reported to the taxing authority, and the property is assessed and taxed as a whole following the sale.
- 1903: Union deeds the surface to CPLC.
- 1908: Property is sold in a tax sale to McCauley. This effectively “washes” the title and reunifies the two estates; McCauley owns the surface and the minerals.
- 1910: McCauley conveys the property back to CPLC.
- 1920: CPLC sells the property and other land to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The deed had two key clauses.
The “First Clause”: The conveyance was “subject to” the mineral interests “as fully as said minerals and mineral rights were excepted and reserved in [the 1894 deed].”
The “Second Clause”: The conveyance was “also subject to all the reservations, exceptions, covenants, and stipulations contained in [the 1894 deed] … and in the [1903 deed].”
CPLC quitclaims the mineral rights, the minerals were resold multiple times, in 2000 International Development Corporation (IDC) purchases the property.
Who owns the mineral rights, IDC or Commonwealth?
Continue Reading The Meaning of “Subject To” in a Deed