- January 04, 2012
- All New Jersey Issuing Offices
- Riparian Claims
We have recently seen an increase in claims arising from the failure to take exception for riparian lands that have not been granted by the State of
The State of New Jersey holds fee simple title to all lands now or formerly flowed by tidal waters. Beyond the more obvious interest in lands adjacent to the ocean, bays or tidally flowed rivers, this interest may include lands that have been filled, as well as dormant streams and creek beds that have been dry for years. There may be property that is "claimed" by the State of
Maps exist that delineate the lands in which the State of
The general rule is that a tideland search should be ordered with respect to every file written on Stewart in New Jersey unless the property lies within one of the four counties that do not have any tideland claims (Morris, Sussex, Warren and Hunterdon counties) or if based upon a review of the claim maps you are certain that the property being insured does not fall within a claimed area. A copy of the tidelands key map is attached. A tideland search should be ordered if your property falls within or anywhere near a red "box." Many agents seek to superimpose their property location on the attached Tidelands Key Map and pass without ordering a search if they find that the property is nowhere near an area now or formally flowed by the tide. The key here is to make sure that properties with tidelands claims are identified and appropriate exceptions taken. Bear in mind that even when relying on back title, an analysis of tidelands must still be done. Issuing offices that insure a property containing a tidelands area, without appropriate exception, would be at fault should the Company suffer a loss.
If your search comes back "unclaimed," there are no further exceptions to be set up. If your property is "claimed," a grant search should be ordered to determine if the State has released its claim. If there is a riparian grant or a lease issued by the State, it needs to be examined to determine if the claimed area is covered by the grant or lease. In the event that there is no grant or lease, or if the grant or lease does not cover the entire claimed area, an exception for the rights of the State of
Sample exceptions are attached to this bulletin. If there is a grant that covers the entire claim area, the only exception to be set up would be for the terms and conditions of the grant. It should be noted that the grantee in the grant must be the owner of the upland at the time the grant is issued.
If the property being insured lies adjacent to a navigable body of water, the
Finally, if the property abuts a beach, an exception should be set up for rights of the public to gain access to the beach for recreation. These rights stem from New Jersey Supreme Court decisions upholding the public's rights to beach access. Sample exception language is attached to this bulletin.
If you have any questions relating to this or other bulletins, please contact a Stewart Title Guaranty Company underwriter.
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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.
- Bulletins Replaced:
- Related Bulletins:
- Underwriting Manual:
- 22.00 Waters
- Exceptions Manual: