COLOR OF TITLE - Black's Law Dictionary

What is COLOR OF TITLE? Definition of COLOR OF TITLE in Black's Law Dictionary - Legal dictionary - Glossary of legal terms.

The appearance, semblance, or simulacrum of title. Also termed "apparent title." Any  fact, extraneous to the  act  or mere will of the claimant, which has the appearance,  on its face, of supporting his claim  of a present title to land, but which, for some defect, in reality falls short  of establishing it. Howth v. Farrar, C.C.A. Tex., 94 F.2d 654, 658; Saltmarsh v. Crommelin, 24 Ala. 352.

Anything in writing purporting to convey title  to the land, which defines the extent of the claim, it being immaterial  how defective or imperfect the writing may be, so that it is a sign,  semblance, or color  of title.  Theisen v. Qualley, 42 S.D. 367, 175 N.W. 556, 557. A title that is i mperfect,  but not so obviously  so that it would be appar- ent to one not skilled  in the law. Ipock v. Gaskins, 161 N.C. 673, 77 S.E. 843, 847.

A writing upon its face professing to pass title but which does not, either through want of title in the grantor  or a defective mode of conveyance. Philbin v. Carr, 75 Ind.App. 560, 129 N.E. 19, 24; Glass v. Lynchburg Shoe Co., 212 N.C. 70, 192 S.E. 899.

That which  the law considers prima facie a good title, but which, by reason of some defect, not appearing  on its face, does not in fact amount to title. An absolute nullity, as a void deed, judgment,  etc., will not constitute  color of title. Causey v. White, 143 Ga. 7, 84 S.E. 58; Stearns Coal & Lumber Co. v. Boyatt, 168 Ky. 111, 181 S. W. 962, 964. That which is title in appearance but not in reality.  Ffts- chen Bros. Commercial Co. v. Noyes' Estate, 76 Mont. 175, 246 P. 773, 779; Boland v. Heck, 179 Okl. 403, 65 P.2d 1213, 1215.

"Any instrument having a grantor and grantee, and containing a description of the lands intended to be conveyed, and apt words for their conveyance, gives color of title to the lands described.  Such an instrument  purports to be a conveyance of the title, and because it does not, for some reason,  have that effect,  it passes  only color or the semblance of a title." Brooks v. Bruyn, 35 Ill. 392.

"Color  of title" is not synonymous with "claim  of title." To constitute "color  of title"  there  must  be a paper  title to give color to the adverse  possession, whereas,  a "claim of title" may be shown  wholly  by parol.  Walton  v. Sikes, 165 Ga. 422, 141 S.E. 188, 190.

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