Muniment

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Iron covered muniment chest, 14th century, used by the English Exchequer to store documents

A Muniment or Muniment of Title is a legal term for a document, or other evidence, that indicates ownership of an asset. The word is derived from munimentum, the Latin word for a defensive fortification. In other words, "muniments of title" means the written evidence which a land owner can use to defend title to his estate.[1]

An example of Muniment of Title would include but is not limited to using a death certificate of a joint tenant to prove that Title resides with living joint tenant.

The definition of "muniment" may differ in statutes state by state.

For example, states often have their own version of a Marketable Record Title Act (MRTA) which will extinguish various interests, restrictions, or claims to a property within a certain time period unless renewed during that time period by muniments.

"A muniment of title is any documentary evidence upon which title is based. Muniments of title are deeds, wills, and court judgments through which a particular land title passes and upon which its validity depends. Muniments of title need not be recorded to be valid notwithstanding that the recording statutes give good faith purchasers certain rights over the rights of persons claiming under unrecorded muniments of title. Muniments of title do more than merely "affect" title; they must carry title and be a vital link in the chain of title."[2]

In the medieval period, muniments would often be stored in dedicated chambers (for example, above the warming house within a monastery) and in chests designed specifically to aid preservation.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Black's Law Dictionary 1019 (6th ed. 1990)
  2. ^ Cunningham v. Haley, 501 So. 2d 649 (Fla. 5th DCA 1986)

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