Property Conveyance – And Why It’s Important

So why is this important? Commonly known as “deeding” property, it is done for a variety of reasons, from the elderly wanting to give a piece of property to one or more heirs prior to death, to individuals wanting to put a piece of property into the name of their business. Property gets conveyed throughout Alabama hundreds of times a day.  And the only want to transfer ownership of a property is to sign over a deed to that property.

Since a deed is required, this also means that once a property has been conveyed, you can’t undo the conveyance by simply tearing up the deed or making a quick alteration to it.  It would need to be “deeded” back to the original person, or “deeded to” another person. So, its important to get it right the first time.

Once a deed has been signed and delivered, the deed itself is usually recorded in the local Probate office. This allows the rest of the world to know that the conveyance has actually occurred.  This helps prevent a person from selling the same property to multiple people at multiple times.  The original, then, loses most of its importance, as the world relies not on it, but upon the copy at the Probate office to determine who owns what.

There are several types of deeds that be created.  The two primary types of deeds are a warranty deed and a quitclaim deed.  The warranty deed, as the name indicates, includes a variety of promises, or warranties, with it, and helps ensure that the property you are buying will be yours to use and enjoy.  If people break their promises, then you may have to address that with them. For example, a common promise as part of a warranty deed would be that the seller actually owns the property.  One would think that would be obvious, but alas, it isn’t always that way. A quitclaim deed, on the other hand, doesn’t include those same promises. Instead, it simply says that the seller is conveying any interest he or she has in the property to someone else.

There are many nuances with conveying properties, so we recommend you speak with an attorney (preferably us) to discuss those issues.  Though not the most complicated thing in the world, there are enough issues that come up with these types of transactions, that it would be well worth your time (and money) to seek counsel with this in order to ensure things work well.

Please contact our office if you need to convey a piece of property, whether it’s personal/residential or commercial. We are here to help!

Federalist Society – Montgomery – Friday, June 17, 2016

Stop Human TraffickingThe June luncheon will be on Friday, June 17th at 11:30 a.m. at the Capital City Club. Our speaker will be Professor Tessa Dysart of Regent University School of Law. Her topic will be the law and human trafficking. Human trafficking is a serious problem in Alabama, as this article from just this week demonstrates.

Professor Dysart received her B.A., magna cum laude, from Willamette University in 2001, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2005. Between her undergraduate and law degrees she studied in Moscow, Russia, on a Fulbright Scholarship. She joined the Regent University School of Law faculty in 2012.

Prior to coming to Regent, Professor Dysart worked on important public policy issues, including human trafficking and judicial nominations at the Department of Justice Office of Legal Policy, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the American Center for Law & Justice. She clerked on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for the Honorable Dennis W. Shedd.

-Allen Mendenhall, President, Montgomery Chapter of The Federalist Society

An Oath of Office

The oath of office for a judge in the State of Alabama goes something like this:

I solemnly swear (or affirm as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Alabama, so long as I continue a citizen hereof; and that I will faithfully and honestly discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter, to the best of my ability. So help me God.

Of important note in the oath of office is the object of the support…the various constitutions.  Remarkably absent from the oath are the words, “the other justices above me”, or “the justices of the United States Supreme Court”.  Ah, you say, but the United States Constitution requires that.  Right?  Wrong.  Read Article III again.  It isn’t in there.  You can find a semblance of it in Marbury vs. Madison, but the last time I checked, case law wasn’t a constitution…even when it is as old as Marbury.  Even Article VI of the U.S. Constitution requires that any laws that the federal government were to pass must be “in pursuance” of the Constitution.  Thus, that is our law. Everything else…laws, opinions, and the like, MUST be in conformity with the constitution in order to be lawful.  That’s why our officers in the military have a DUTY to disobey an unconstitutional order.

So, why do so many insist that judges and other elected officials have to fall in line and just do what they are told from the top down? In part, some of that comes from a judicial theory known as stare decisis, or “let the decision stand”.  That’s the judicial theory that espouses that as a judge, you shouldn’t rule in a manner contrary to the ruling of the superior courts.  But people often leave out the reason “why”. The “reason” that judicial doctrine exists is not because a constitution mandates it, or a law mandates it, but because things, in general, get pretty chaotic when every judge does what is right in his own eyes. If you go to court, it can be helpful to know that in all likelihood, other wise, prudent judges have already heard things that are very similar to your scenario, and thus, in general, you should have a good idea of how things should go with your day in court.

But, what has happened to our courts today is that we’ve turned a legal principle into a rigid law. Many, if not most, judges are unwilling to “judge”, and instead choose to rely upon previous cases to make their decision. Ironically, it is only the more liberal judges in America today who have figured out that they don’t have to rule on stare decisis. Other lesser magistrates such as the elected officials in San Francisco have done similar things in regards to allowing “sanctuary cities”.  That’s why you can have judges throw out hundreds of years of law because they reason a different way.  When stare decisis becomes law, we then see that, “Law, primarily a rule of reason, becomes a rule of precedent.” -W. F. Kuzenski, Stare Decisis, 6 Marq. L. Rev. 65, 69 (1922).  The only ones currently receiving so much attention in the media today are the magistrates who uphold the constitution in a manner that differs from the liberal agenda.

I’m not advocating that we eliminate all forms of stare decisis. Instead, I’m advocating we apply it truly as a legal principle and give it the proper recognition it deserves…well below constitutions, oaths, and law. Judges and executive branch officials can look to what various judges have decided and use those “opinions” to help shape their actions. If an official is not obeying the constitution, there are grounds and procedures for the removal of that official. But, not obeying stare decisis is not a ground for removal from office. Disobeying the constitution is. Thus, when an elected clerk in Kentucky or an elected Supreme Court justice in Alabama rules or acts contrary to what some judge (or justices) decides, we have to remember that they haven’t violated any law. In fact, they are the only ones who are actually obeying the law and acting with integrity, by maintaining their oath of office and supporting the constitution that they swore to uphold.

Blind obedience to the will of any particular judge, 5 justices, or a superior officer is not a system of “Rule of Law”.  It is a system of tyranny.


A poem, by Sam Walter Foss.Calf Path

One day, through the primeval wood,
A calf walked home, as good calves should;

But made a trail all bent askew,
A crooked trail as all calves do.

Since then three hundred years have fled,
And, I infer, the calf is dead.

But still he left behind his trail,
And thereby hangs my moral tale.

The trail was taken up next day,
By a lone dog that passed that way.

And then a wise bell-wether sheep,
Pursued the trail o’er vale and steep;

And drew the flock behind him too,
As good bell-wethers always do.

And from that day, o’er hill and glade.
Through those old woods a path was made.

And many men wound in and out,
And dodged, and turned, and bent about;

And uttered words of righteous wrath,
Because ’twas such a crooked path.

But still they followed – do not laugh –
The first migrations of that calf.

And through this winding wood-way stalked,
Because he wobbled when he walked.

This forest path became a lane,
that bent, and turned, and turned again.

This crooked lane became a road,
Where many a poor horse with his load,

Toiled on beneath the burning sun,
And traveled some three miles in one.

And thus a century and a half,
They trod the footsteps of that calf.

The years passed on in swiftness fleet,
The road became a village street;

And this, before men were aware,
A city’s crowded thoroughfare;

And soon the central street was this,
Of a renowned metropolis;

And men two centuries and a half,
Trod in the footsteps of that calf.

Each day a hundred thousand rout,
Followed the zigzag calf about;

And o’er his crooked journey went,
The traffic of a continent.

A Hundred thousand men were led,
By one calf near three centuries dead.

They followed still his crooked way,
And lost one hundred years a day;

For thus such reverence is lent,
To well established precedent.

A moral lesson this might teach,
Were I ordained and called to preach;

For men are prone to go it blind,
Along the calf-paths of the mind;

And work away from sun to sun,
To do what other men have done.calfpath2

They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in, and forth and back,

And still their devious course pursue,
To keep the path that others do.

They keep the path a sacred grove,
Along which all their lives they move.

But how the wise old wood gods laugh,
Who saw the first primeval calf!

Ah! many things this tale might teach –
But I am not ordained to preach.

Selling Bodies: What We Have Learned

In the recent weeks, we have seen a lot of media coverage and debate regarding the sale of fetal tissues for, according to StemExpress, the use of “science” and to “gain new insight, ask new questions and provide hope”.

What we see however is that when their methods are scrutinized and called into question, their message of hope and discovery turns into a scramble to hide what they do and cover up the facts of killing and using human babies for their own profit and contorted gain.

As David Daleiden, the man who interviewed/posed as a buyer to top officials at StemExpress said in an interview on July 31st:

David Daleiden

StemExpress is trying to suppress a specific video recording of a meeting with their top leadership where their leadership admitted that they sometimes get fully intact fetuses shipped to their laboratory from the abortion clinics that they work with – and that could be prima facie evidence of born-alive infants. So that’s why they’re trying to suppress that videotape – and they’re very scared of it.

The two sides of the case are on the one hand, the plaintiffs case states that California law does not allow private conversations to be recorded without both parties consent. On the other hand, the defendant has stated that if the court does incurs a restraining order, it would be a violation of their first amendment rights.

While these are both legitimate concerns, Constitutional rights come before state law, and especially in a case of moral abasement with regards to the sale and use of murdered human tissue, the law has a moral responsibility to allow the freedom of speech so that the public can know of the atrocities perpetuated by StemExpress.

Also keep in mind that the main accomplice to StemExpress, and the company who supplied many of the bodies they use for research, is Planned Parenthood. StemExpress did however cut ties with Planned Parenthood after the allegations from CMP were released.

What the takeaway so far for us at Lex Christi Law is that whenever you try to perpetuate a wrong worldview, especially, but by no means limited to one that includes the murder of babies, you will be exposed eventually. And when looking at such demeaning acts performed by unrighteous companies such as StemExpress, we really should not be surprised. When we have become used to the daily murder of babies in our local towns and states, or at least numb to the fact that it exists, why are we surprised when they make the best use of the leftover parts from their operations? What we should do however, is to continue to stand strong, and let this glimpse into the world we do not often have contact with spur us on to renew our fight against the evil perpetuated in the name of science.

Alabama Tax Talk – April 23, 2015

Property Tax Liens

***IMPORTANT – this has been postponed by one week to April 23rd. *** With Tax Day approaching, what better way to spend your day week-after than learning about the legal side of property tax certificate and property tax deed investing. These property tax liens, placed on properties by the local counties of Alabama, are eligible to be purchased, and the statutory interest rate on these liens is currently 12% (as of April 1, 2015…this number changes over the years). Gary Boyd, of Alabama Tax Properties, will be the keynote presenter at this free event, but Chris King will be there as well to present the legal side of things and answer some legal questions about the process. Gary has over three decades of experience in this field, and is a true expert when it comes to investing in these liens. The talk will be at 6:30pm on April 16, 2015 April 23, 2015, at the Tech Loft in Birmingham, Alabama. Come on out and enjoy the learning opportunity. We hope to see you there!

Alabama Amendments for November 4, 2014

VoteHere is a rundown of the various amendments for the November 4, 2014 elections in Alabama.

Amendment 1 – The purpose of this seems to be two-fold. First, it should prevent the application of Islamic law to cases here in Alabama. Additionally, it should prevent acknowledging gay marriage from other states via judicial methods here in Alabama. Similar laws have been struck down by the Federal courts in other districts, but apart from that, it should be a good amendment.

Amendment 2 – This amendment would allow the state to borrow an additional $50M for the national guard. An additional drawback is that it will decrease county funding from the Alabama Trust Fund. Thus, not recommended.

Amendment 3 – This one is tricky. It sounds great on its face. Strict scrutiny is the legal lingo for the highest level of scrutiny that the U.S. Supreme Court uses when assessing whether a law is constitutional. Thus, say someone passes a law in Alabama that prohibits the purchase of all ammo. The courts would then apply high level of scrutiny to this and in theory, strike that ban on ammo down. Thus, that could be a good thing, right? The only problem is that it then implies that some level of scrutiny is allowable and as long as it is strict, then it is OK to scrutinize/remove rights. Thus, it opens a door for liberal courts to scrutinize in a liberal way. Thus, the unintended consequences may be worse that the intended fix. I don’t recommend this one.

Amendment 4 – This makes is harder for the legislature to pass a unfunded mandates to the local level. The plus side to passing this, even for folks not involved in the government run school system, is that it makes is harder for the State to force the County to spend money (thus mandating local tax increases). What that will do is push the local levels to pass more tax bills which will have to be voted on locally. However, the language of the amendment does put boards of education on the same level as counties and cities, and some believe this could be used a back door to allow boards of education. Additionally, 100% of all legislators voted for this amendment, which makes me highly suspect of the motives. Thus, based on that, I recommend not supporting this amendment.

Amendment 5 – Same rationale as Amendment 3 above. I’m very leery of the “subject to reasonable regulations” language in the amendment, thus I would recommend not supporting this one as well.

Thus, in summary, the only one I am in favor of is Amendment 1.

I hope that helps! Sample ballots can be found at the Alabama Secretary of State site. That should allow you to see in advance everything you will be voting on tomorrow.

Fight for Freedom – Ashville, Alabama Burn Ordinance

BonfireThere is a proposed burn ordinance in Ashville, Alabama that will be discussed this coming Monday night, November 3rd, at 6:00pm.  In a nutshell, it criminalizes starting a fire on your own private property without the government’s permission.

First off, for those of you outside the city limits of Ashville…this may or may not apply to you…yet.  But rest assured, it will in the future.  In addition to the corporate limits of Ashville, it also extends throughout the police jurisdiction, which per state law is within 1.5 miles of cities less than 6,000 people (and bumps up to 3 miles for cities of 6,000 people or more).  Thus, take the farthest point of Ashville, add 1.5 miles, and you’re in.  If Ashville continues to annex more property, you may eventually get sucked in.

The law is whittling away at freedom in Ashville.  It would require you to get permission to simply have a backyard bonfire, burn pile, or the like.  Currently, for residential properties, they do not have a fee associated with it, but for construction, demolition, or clearing of land, they will charge you $25/day, and only give you 7 days.  You would not be able to burn, even on your own property after 6:00pm (say goodbye to bonfires and smores).  Any neighbor can turn you in, and the penalty for a violation is around $400 for the first offense (don’t be fooled…court costs are typically around $250, plus the $150 fine).   Additionally, each and every time you want to burn a pile of leaves, you have to go to the fire department and get a written permit.  For construction, demolition, and clearing, it is even more onerous, and you have to have the fire department inspect it, plus you have to go to the city hall to pay your tax.

I would encourage families not to attempt to lessen the penalties, but to simply oppose the measure altogether.  There are already legal remedies in place to protect against nuisance and careless burning, and this law doesn’t provide any more protection for that.  It simply criminalizes the mere act of failing to ask for permission.  To give you an idea of what you can be fined $400 for:

– Failing to ask for permission to burn
– Burning at 7:00pm on a Saturday afternoon in broad daylight in the summer (even if you plan on putting the fire out before you go to bed)
– Having your 17 year old (or younger) do the burning
– Not having a hose next the fire, even if it is in a fire pit
– Burning a paper plate (yes, that could be considered “trash”)
– Even if you have a hose next to your little bonfire, if any neighbor is within 200 feet
– Your pile of leaves was 37 inches high when you lit it
– You burn a limb that is 4 inches in diameter (unless you pay $25/day)
– Any neighbor doesn’t like it (and thus calls it a nuisance)

The message to the city council needs to be to at a minimum, reform this proposed ordinance to deal with the actual problem, not the potential problem.  Biblically, if you start a fire, you should make restitution (see Exodus 22:5-6).  If you do it intentionally (verse 5), the restitution is higher (from the best of the field/vineyard), compared to if it is accidental/negligent (verse 6).  The civil magistrate should punish the evil doer, not tax/fine/punish the potential evil doer.

Please get the word out to show up this Monday, November 3rd, at 6:00pm at the Ashville City Hall, and make your voice heard.  The City Hall is at 262 8th Street in Ashville.  Try to be there 15 minutes early.  I hope to see you there, and yes, please share this with others, put it on Facebook, Tweet it, Pin It, and get the word out!  Bring a friend, bring your entire family, and bring your friend’s family, too!

Registered Agent in Alabama for Out-of-State Businesses

Registered AgentAlabama requires all registered businesses to maintain (1) a registered agent, and (2) a registered office in the State of Alabama.  This applies whether you have a Corporation (C-Corp., S-Corp., Non-Profit, Professional), LLC, LP, LLP, RLLP, REIT, or other state-registered limited liability entity.  In a nutshell, the State requires that you have someone here in Alabama who can receive important state documents and legal service of process.

Even if not required, it can often times be very beneficial so as to ensure documents are received and processed in a timely manner as well as ensure employees on site are not exposed to the potentially embarrassing situation of being served with a lawsuit.  Additionally, this helps ensure employees at lower levels in your business don’t mishandle or possibly lose important documents coming from the State.  The Registered Agent becomes the single point-of-contact for the State agencies and even the State courts.

At Lex Christi, we offer these services.  Please contact us for more details on how we can help you by being your registered agent!  We can also help with becoming incorporated, or forming an LLC or other limited liability entity.

Alabama Expungement Bill

EraserAlthough not ideal, the Alabama legislature has now passed a bill that will allow for certain records to be expunged, or in layman’s terms, removed from the public record.  The good part is that you can have your record expunged when you were found not-guilty, the charges were dismissed, or in certain cases, you complied with the court’s deferred prosecution program (drug court, mental health court, etc.).  The only drawback is that the court doesn’t do all of this for you on their own initiative.  Thus, you have to apply for this and with that comes the court costs.

Why would you want your record expunged?  Many employers may use your criminal record when they make a determination as to whether to hire you.  And often times it doesn’t make a difference to them whether you were convicted or not…simply being arrested can affect your employment.  In Alabama, your record is not cleared over time.  Thus, if you were arrested early on, that arrest can haunt you for the rest of your life.

So, if you have something in your record that you need expunged, please contact us for a free consultation to see if your situation qualifies under the new expungement law.  The new law takes effect in July of 2014, but we can consult with you today!

We expect the final bill to include the following:

  • Misdemeanor criminal offenses
  • Violations
  • Traffic violations
  • Municipal ordinance violations
  • Non-violent felonies

The law will not completely destroy the records, but it will make them only accessible to a very limited number of entities.  Please contact us so we can help get these unjust marks off of your record!