U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: May 27, 2020
Subsection (b) of section 321, Part II, Title III, of the Transportation Act of September 18, 1940 (54 Stat. 934; 49 U.S.C. 65), authorizes the issuance of patents for the benefit of certain innocent purchasers for value of land-grant lands from railroad carriers which have released their land-grant claims.
Notices of releases of land grant claims by railroad carriers listing the carriers, the date of the approval of the release and the land-grant predecessors involved dated Dec. 17, 1940, May 17, 1941, and June 29, 1942, appear at 6 FR 449, 2634, and 7 FR 5319.
Subsection (b) of section 321, Part II, Title III, of the Transportation Act of 1940 provides that in the case of a railroad carrier, or a predecessor, which received a land grant to aid in the construction of any part of its railroad, the laws relating to compensation for certain Government transportation services shall continue to apply as though subsection (a) of section 321 had not been enacted unless the carrier shall file on or before September 18, 1941, with the Secretary of the Interior, in the form and manner prescribed by him, a release of any claim it may have to lands, interests in lands, compensation, or reimbursement on account of lands or interests in lands so granted, claimed to have been granted or claimed should have been granted. Section 321 provides further that nothing therein shall be construed as preventing the issuance of patents confirming the title to such uncertified or unpatented lands as the Secretary of the Interior shall find have been sold prior to September 18, 1940, to innocent purchasers for value. Subsection (b) of section 321 authorizing the issuance of such patents is not an enlargement of the grants, and does not extend them to lands not already covered thereby and, therefore, has no application to lands which for various reasons, such as mineral character, prior grants, withdrawals, reservations, or appropriation, were not subject to the grants. It does apply, however, to lands selected under remedial or lieu acts supplemental to the original grants as well as to primary and indemnity lands. Classification under section 7 of the Taylor Grazing Act of June 28, 1934 (48 Stat. 1269), as amended by the Act of June 26, 1936 (49 Stat. 1976; 43 U.S.C. 315f), will not be required where the sold land is such as the company was authorized by law to select.
Application, and supporting evidence, must be filed by the carrier in the proper office, accompanied by a nonrefundable application service charge of $10. The lands listed in any one application must be limited to those embraced in a single sale upon which the claim for patent is based. The application should state that it is filed under the railroad land grant act involved, properly cited, and subsection (b) of section 321, Part II, Title III of the Transportation Act of 1940 (54 Stat. 954). The application must be supported by a showing that the land is of the character which would pass under the grant involved, and was not by some superior or prior claim, withdrawal, reservation, or other reason, excluded from the operation of the grant. Full details of the alleged sale must be furnished, such as dates, the terms thereof, the estate involved, consideration, parties, amounts and dates of payments, made, and amounts due, if any, description of the land, and transfers of title. The use, occupancy, and cultivation of the land and the improvements placed thereon by the alleged purchaser should be described. All statements should be duly corroborated. Available documentary evidence, including the contract or deed, should be filed, which may be authenticated copies of the originals. An abstract of title may be necessary, dependent upon the circumstances of the particular case. No application for a patent under this act will be favorably considered unless it be shown that the alleged purchaser is entitled forthwith to the estate and interest transferred by such patent. Evidence of a recorded deed of conveyance from the carrier to the purchaser may be required. Where the company has on file an application in which the sold lands embraced, it need not file a new application, but may file a request for amendment of the pending application to come under the Transportation Act of 1940, together with the showing, supra, required as to the bona fide sale.
The authorizing officer shall direct the publication of notice of the application. The notice will be published at the carrier's expense in a newspaper of general circulation in the vicinity of the land. If a daily newspaper be designated, the notice should be published in the Wednesday issue for five consecutive weeks; if weekly, for five consecutive issues; and if semiweekly, in either issue for five consecutive weeks. The carrier must furnish evidence of such publication in due course. Notice need not be published, in case of amendment of a pending application, where publication has already been had.
The carrier must pay the cost of the survey of the land, paying also one-half the cost of any segregation survey in accordance with the laws and regulations pertaining to the survey and patenting of railroad lands. (See 43 U.S.C. 881 et seq.; also subpart 1822 of this chapter.)