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Kilty's Land-Holder's Assistant, and Land-Office Guide
Volume 73, Page 434   View pdf image (33K)
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executive. They are officers charged and entrusted, directly,
under the constitution and laws, with the care and
administration of the land office, and the authority of the judges
operates only upon cases in which there is, or may be, some
dispute. In cases of actual dispute, the matter always comes
before the judge in the form of a caveat, for every such
dispute issues in the question whether a certificate, lying in the
office, shall be admitted to patent or not. Where a case is
merely doubtful in itself, or requires to be settled by the
application of rules of law before it is acted upon in the office,
the matter is presented to the judge by a petition: his order
is given on the particular case, and the proceeding is
conformable to it. I have however observed, in a former place, that
the power of the judges may be construed to reach to any
matter requiring a special direction, as not being embraced by
any general instructions or rules, established by rightful
authority. Among these, the late chancellor has considered the
right and the mode of entering caveats, and has regulated
them accordingly by orders, which, though not formally
recorded, are minuted among the proceedings on caveat; are
put up in the office for general information, and are there
observed and obeyed. I presume that these orders, although
they relate to caveats, which, from the moment of their being
entered, are unquestionably under the sole direction of the
judges, until finally disposed of, might be overruled by
instructions from the executive: but it would be needless; as
the judge, if he could not prevent the entry of a caveat, on an
irregular application, might at least, dismiss such caveat
immediately after it was entered; and it is, upon the whole,
reasonable that the judge should regulate every thing that has
relation to caveats. These remarks are made to explain the
appearance of the two orders concerning the entry of caveats.
They will be accompanied by some orders of a general nature
respecting the continuance of caveats, which is a matter
undoubtedly under the direction of the judges. These orders
have spent their operation, but will serve as a specimen, to
shew what may be done under special and extraordinary
circumstances. As to particular orders, they are too numerous
even to have admitted of a full examination. A selection of
them would undoubtedly have been useful towards explaining
the course of proceeding in trials in the land office; but the
difficulty of making them intelligible when taken out of their
places, and the impossibility of exhibiting any important case
with all its attendant orders, returns, proofs, &c. have
prevented me from publishing any thing but the final decrees, or
rather a part of them, and the few orders abovementioned.
An order of the governor and council, respecting location in
special warrants, which will also appear at the end of this

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Kilty's Land-Holder's Assistant, and Land-Office Guide
Volume 73, Page 434   View pdf image (33K)
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