Bulletin: NE2007001

Date:
June 21, 2007
To:
All Nebraska Stewart Title agents
RE:
Restriction on Corporate Ownership of Agricultural Land in Nebraska/Alien Ownership

Dear Associates:

In 1982, an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Nebraska was enacted to prohibit ownership of agricultural land by corporations and other legal entities in Nebraska.  This amendment, commonly referred to as "Initiative 300" was recently challenged in the federal court system, where it was found by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit to be unconstitutionally discriminatory against non-Nebraskans.  This finding was appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which recently refused to review the lower court's decision, thus effectively negating Initiative 300.

Agents are reminded that Nebraska Revised Statutes Sections 76-402 through 76-415 prohibit ownership of Nebraska real estate by aliens and corporations not incorporated under the laws of the State of Nebraska.  There are a number of "exemptions" to the provisions of the statute, which should be consulted before insuring title to real estate owned by, or to be owned by, an alien or a corporation not incorporated under the laws of the State of Nebraska.

Nebraska Land Title Examination Standard No. 3.2 contains a good explanation and summary of these statutory provisions.

Please consult with Stewart underwriting personnel before insuring title in an alien or non-Nebraska corporation.

THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None