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Opinions Thru Brown

Misapplication of Brown v. State of Washington (1996)
by Federal and State Judges in Construing the 1887 Hilchkanum Deed to the SLS&E:

by John Rasmussen

Please read a disclaimer for the statements I make on this website accusing judges, politicians and activists of criminal actions.



How Federal and State Judges Intentionally Misapplied the Precedent in Brown in the Construing of the Hilchkanum Right-of-Way Deed.
         The federal and state opinions which construed the Hilchkanum deed to the SLS&E are completely dishonest. All of the judges abused the rules of summary judgment by deciding the lawsuits in the face of disputed material facts. All of the judges denied the constitutional right of due process to King County's opponents. The reason for their dishonest actions can be understood by the effect of their opinions. Their opinions covered up the East Lake Sammamish federal tax fraud scheme and protected powerful folks in King County who participated in the crime. The primary justification for the judge's dishonest opinions was found in a misrepresentation of Brown v. State of Washington (1996), an opinion by the Washington State Supreme Court. The following dishonest tactics will be discussed. This list is presented as hyperlinks. Use the links as a "Jump Menu". (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

        * Tactic: Change the words in the Hilchkanum granting clause so that the precedent established in
                       Brown v. State of Washington would apply to the Hilchkanum deed.

        * Tactic: Ignore one hundred years of common law precedent which holds that the grant of a
                       "right-of-way" to a railroad conveys an easement.

        * Tactic: Refuse to compare the Hilchkanum deed to the Squire deed which was construed in
                       King County v. Squire (1990).


Tactic: Change the words in the Hilchkanum granting clause so that the precedent established in Brown v. State of Washington would apply to the Hilchkanum deed.

         The grant of a "right-of-way" to a railroad has always been found to grant an easement in Washington State/Territory. This was legal precedent for over one hundred years, until the Hilchkanum decisions. The Hilchkanum judges needed to find a way around this Railroad Right-of-Way Granting Rule. Their solution was to change the words in the 1887 Hilchkanum right-of-way deed so that they could apply the Railroad Land Granting Rule. They did this by finding that the Hilchkanum deed granted a "strip of land". Of course, one simply needs to read the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed to the SLS&E in order to see that the deed grant grants a "right of way". The critical issue in determining whether a railroad deed conveys an easement or fee simple title is whether a "right-or-way" or "land" is granted. Instead of distinguishing the terms, the judges blended the terms "right-or-way" and "strip of land" into the same meaning. There is no precedent that allows a judge to substitute contradictory terms in a deed, and then construe the deed using the substituted wording. If they were honest, the judges would have admitted that the Hilchkanum deed grants a "right of way". There is no honesty in the Hilchkanum decisions. Below, are citations from the three Hilchkanum decisions which show that the judges dishonestly changed the words in the Hilchkanum deed in order to avoid the precedent set by the fourteen right-of-way citations which establish and confirm the Railroad Right-of-Way Granting Rule.
        (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

        Federal Judge Barbara Rothstein changed the words of the Hilchkanum deed in King County v. Rasmussen (2001).

        Federal Judge Betty Fletcher changed the words of the Hilchkanum deed in King County v. Rasmussen (2002)

        State Appeals Judge Ronald Cox changed the words of the Hilchkanum deed in Ray v. King County (2004)

         This blending of the terms "right-of-way" and "strip of land" into the same meaning is the essential element of Norm Maleng's "legal theory". This is the theory invented by the King County Prosecutor to hide his participation in the East Lake Sammamish federal tax fraud scheme. Here is his theory:
        (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

    Norm Maleng's "legal theory":

      In Brown v. State of Washington, the Washington State Supreme Court threw out one hundred years of legal precedent which held the grant of a right-of-way to a railroad is an easement, and now finds that the grant of a right-of-way to a railroad is a fee simple conveyance of the underlying land unless the deed contains a separate statement expressly and clearly limiting the estate conveyed.

        The judges who construed the Hilchkanum deed in King County v. Rasmussen (2001), King County v. Rasmussen (2002), and Ray v. King County (2004) ignored the legal distinction between the grant of a "right-of-way" to a railroad and the grant of a "strip of land" to a railroad. The substitution of these contradictory terms by these dishonest judges is simply a statement of Norm Maleng's "legal theory".
        (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

      Open an expanded explanation of Norm Maleng's "legal theory".

         Here, I've explained that the Hilchkanum judges changed the words in the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed before construing it. Next, I'll discuss how they misapplied the discussion in Brown to the analysis of the Hilchkanum deed.
        (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

Tactic: Ignore one hundred years of common law precedent which holds that the grant of a right-of-way to a railroad conveys an easement.

         Federal District Judge Barbara Rothstein was committed to cover up the East Lake Sammamish federal tax fraud scheme with her King County v. Rasmussen (2001) opinion. I don't know who influenced her to cover up the crime because there were a number of powerful people in King County were involved. The dishonest tactics which Rothstein employed to deny my rights and to take my land were mirrored and repeated in the other two Hilchkanum opinions: King County v. Rasmussen (2002) and Ray v. King County (2004). There is very little original thought in these following Hilchkanum opinions.
        (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

         In construing the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed, Judge Rothstein misapplied the Railroad Land Granting Rule. She used the discussion and requirements found in Brown v. State of Washington (1996), which applies to deeds granting "strips of land", to analyze the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed, which grants a "right-of-way". This was completely dishonest because the Hilchkanum deed does not grant a "strip of land", and thus does not require the qualifying language discussed in Brown in order to be found an easement. The hyperlink below will take one to Rothstein's dishonest misapplication of the "Railroad Land Granting Rule". It will take one to Rothstein's dishonest conclusion that a separate statement of railroad right-of-way purpose, or a separate statement limiting the deed to railroad right-of-way use, is required to find the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed grants an easement. (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

      Federal Judge Barbara Rothstein misapplied the "Railroad Land Granting Rule" in King County v. Rasmussen (2001).

         Many of the deeds construed by the Brown court were in statutory warranty form, a deed form established by the Territorial Legislature in 1886, the year before the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed was executed. The use of the statutory warranty form deed implies fee simple conveyance of land. This was other justification for the Brown court to find fee simple conveyance in the deeds it construed. The Hilchkanum right-of-way deed is not in statutory warranty form or statutory bargain and sale form, the two deed forms which imply fee simple conveyance. This fact is consistent with finding the Hilchkanum deed to be an easement.

         The Railroad Land Granting Rule should not have been applied to the analysis of the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed because Hilchkanum does not grant land and the Hilchkanum deed is not in a statutory form which implies fee simple conveyance of land. Instead, the Railroad Right-of-Way Granting Rule applies to the analysis of the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed. I found fourteen citations from Washington railroad right-of-way decisions which establish the "Railroad Right-of-Way Granting Rule" and apply directly to the analysis of the Hilchkanum deed. I publish the fourteen citations here to show their importance in understanding the complete dishonesty of the judges who construed the Hilchkanum deed.
        (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

      Citations Explaining the Grant of a "Right-of-Way" to a Railroad is an Easement.

      (The citations are in chronological order, with my emphasis.)

      Abercrombie v. Simmons et al (Supreme Court of Kansas, 1905)

        "In Railway Co. v. Geisel, 119 Ind. 77, 21 N. E. 470, there was a deed releasing and quitclaiming to a railroad company a right of way 80 feet wide through a certain tract of land, and it was held that the company did not acquire the fee of the land."
        [Abercrombie v. Simmons et al (Supreme Court of Kansas, 1905)]

      Morsbach v. Thurston Co. (1929)

        "It is followed by a case note in 6 Ann. Cas., p. 239, supra, among others, citing many cases to the effect that, where a railroad has taken a conveyance expressly granting a right of way, it will be held to have taken an easement merely, and that a grant of a strip of land to a railroad company 'for right of way and for operating its railroad only,' conveyed merely an easement."
        [Morsbach v. Thurston Co. (1929)]

        "...The granting clause of this instrument conveys only a right of way, which is a mere easement, the owner of the soil retaining his exclusive right in all mines, timber and earth for every purpose not incompatible with the use for which it is granted;..."
        [Morsbach v. Thurston Co. (1929)]

        "The agreement in this case does not grant land in its granting clause, but only right of way . . . Where the granting clause declares the purpose of the grant to be a right of way for a railroad, the deed passes an easement only, though it be in the usual form of warranty deed."
        [Morsbach v. Thurston Co. (1929)]

        "In Cincinnati, H. & D. R. Co. v. Wachter, 70 Ohio 113, 70 N. E. 974, the grant involved was of a right of way, one hundred feet in width, across a tract of land containing twenty acres or more, together with a waiver of all further damages that might arise by reason of the location or construction of the railroad or repairing thereof when finally established or completed. There was no reservation of any kind in the instrument. The right of way was adopted, the road completed in 1854, and used continuously for the operation of railroad passenger and freight trains. The court there said:

          'The right of way of the company is an easement. Washb. on E. & S. 4. It is, using exact language, a servitude imposed as a burden on the land. The conveyance from Crane in terms specifies that it is a 'release of a right of way,' and no question is made, and we presume none can be, that the right thus granted is not different from, nor greater than, that which would result from an appropriation proceeding under the statute.'

        It was held in that case that an easement, and not a fee simple estate, was granted."
        [Morsbach v. Thurston Co. (1929)]

        "A noted text writer states the law as follows:

          'A grant of a right of way to a railroad company is the grant of an easement merely, and the fee remains in the grantor. The mere fact that the railroad company's charter empowered it to acquire a greater estate than that which it contracted for has been held not to affect its rights in the land purchased. But statutes authorizing railroad companies to acquire the fee in land have been generally given effect. It is held that a deed conveying land to a railroad for a right of way gives the railroad no more rights than it would have acquired by condemnation. 'The easement is not that spoken of in the old law books, but is peculiar to the use of a railroad which is usually a permanent improvement, a perpetual highway of travel and commerce, and will rarely be abandoned by nonuser. The exclusive use of the surface is acquired, and damages are assessed, on the theory that the easement will be perpetual; so that, ordinarily, the fee is of little or no value unless the land is underlaid by quarry or mine.' Where the intention to convey a fee does not appear, as in case of the conveyance of a 'right of way' for the railroad through certain lands, the company takes an easement only. The fact that the right conveyed is designated as a fee, or that the deed contains covenants of warranty, does not necessarily pass the fee.
          1 Thompson on Real Property, SS 4:20.'"
        [Morsbach v. Thurston Co. (1929)]

      Veach v. Culp (1979)

        "The parties in fact describe what was being conveyed: a right-of-way 100 feet wide, being 50 feet on each side of the center line of the railroad. Language like this has been found to create an easement, not a fee simple estate."
        [Veach v. Culp (1979)]

        "Given the language of the deed explicitly describing the conveyance of a right-of-way and given the rule of Swan v. O'Leary, supra, and Morsbach v. Thurston County, supra, we conclude the deed conveyed an easement, not a fee title."
        [Veach v. Culp (1979)]

      King County v. Squire (1990)

        "Although the language of a particular deed defines the interest conveyed, rights of way granted to a railroad are frequently held to create easements."
        [King County v. Squire (1990)]

        "The Squire deed granted a "right-of-way Fifty (50) feet in width through said lands". This suggests an easement was conveyed."
        [King County v. Squire (1990)]

        "Since the language in the granting clause strongly suggests conveyance of an easement,"....."The authorities and cases discussed above clearly support construing the Squire deed as an easement."
        [King County v. Squire (1990)]

        "The Veach court disagreed, holding that the language of the deed which described the conveyance of a right of way indicated an easement had been conveyed."
        [King County v. Squire (1990)]

      Harris v. Ski Park Farms (1993)

        "When the granting clause of a deed conveys a right of way to a railroad, this court has usually concluded that the deed passes an easement and not a fee with a restricted use:

          [I]t is clear that we adopted the rule that when the granting clause of a deed declares the purpose of the grant to be a right of way for a railroad the deed passes an easement only, and not a fee with a restricted use, even though the deed is in the usual form to convey a fee title. "
        [Harris v. Ski Park Farms (1993)]

      Brown v. State of Washington (1996)

        "The words "right of way" can have two purposes: (1) to qualify or limit the interest granted in a deed to the right to pass over a tract of land (an easement), or (2) to describe the strip of land being conveyed to a railroad for the purpose of constructing a railway. Morsbach, 152 Wash. at 568; Harris 120 Wn.2d at 737. Unlike Swan, Veach, and Roeder, where "right of way" was used in the granting or habendum clauses to qualify or limit the interest granted, "right of way" in the deeds at issue here appears in either the legal description of the property conveyed or in the portion of the deeds describing Milwaukee's obligations with respect to the property."
        [Brown v. State of Washington (1996)]

         Here, I've provided fourteen citations which hold that the grant of a "right-of-way" to a railroad conveys an easement. Judges Rothstein, Fletcher, and Cox found that the right-of-way granted to the SLS&E Railway in the Hilchkanum deed did not grant an easement. Rothstein, Fletcher and Cox provided no citation or legal precedent to support their dishonest conclusions. The fourteen citations, provided above, show these judges to be completely dishonest. But, there is one opinion which absolutely destroys the federal and State Hilchkanum opinions. That opinion is King County v. Squire (1990). It will be discussed next. (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

Tactic: Refuse to compare the Hilchkanum deed to the Squire deed which was construed in King County v. Squire (1990).

         The Squire court construed the 1887 right-of-way deed from Watson Squire to the SLS&E. The Squire and Hilchkanum deeds are similar in several critical respects. Both deeds grant a right-of-way to the SLS&E in 1887. The granting words of the two deeds are identical, word-for-word. The Squire opinion identifies the Railway lawyers as author of the Squire granting words. Since the granting words of the Squire and Hilchkanum deeds are identical, this identifies the Railway lawyers as author of the granting language in both deeds.

         The Squire court found that the Squire deed granted an easement because: (with my emphasis)

      "The Squire deed granted a "right-of-way Fifty (50) feet in width through said lands". This suggests an easement was conveyed."
      [King County v. Squire (1990)]

         King County, in its briefs, and Judges Rothstein, Fletcher and Cox dishonestly dismissed a comparison of the Squire and Hilchkanum deeds by concentrating only on the habendum clauses and ignoring the common factors in the granting clauses. Governor Squire had added this statement to the "standard" habendum supplied in the Hilchkanum deed by the Railway lawyers: (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

      "...so long as said land is used as a right-of-way by said railway Company, Expressly reserving to said grantors their heirs and assigns all their riparian rights and water front rights on the shores of Lake Washington. And this grant is upon the condition that said railway shall be completed over said lands on or before January 1st, 1888..."
      [Squire right-of-way deed to the SLS&E]

         King County and Hilchkanum judges (Rothstein, Fletcher, and Cox) argued that this addition, by Governor Squire, was the only reason that the Squire court found the Squire deed to be an easement. But, of course, that is a complete lie by these crooked lawyers and judges.
        (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

         The Squire court determined the conveyance of a right-of-way in Squire's granting clause signaled the grant of an easement. Then, the Squire court considered the additional language added to the Squire habendum to understand what Governor Squire intended with his changes to the deed. The Squire court found that the addition to the habendum by Governor Squire might signal his intention to grant a "fee simple determinable" instead of an easement. A "fee simple determinable" is much different than a "fee simple" grant. If the Squire judges had found the Squire deed to be a "fee simple determinable", the language added by Squire would cause the right-of-way land to revert to Squire on railroad abandonment, just as an easement reverts. If a "fee simple determinable" had been granted, the Railway would hold a higher estate than an easement during the time it operated the rail line. But, the Squire court did not find the grant to be a "fee simple determinable". Instead, the Squire court found the additional language added to the habendum by Governor Squire reiterated the grant of an easement that had been found in the language of the granting clause. Here is the citation which supports this statement: (with my emphasis)

      "In Veach v. Culp,/5 the court construed a deed which granted a right of way and used the standard habendum clause language, but without the additional language conditioning use of the property on its continued use as a railroad right of way. The successor railroad argued that the absence of such limiting language showed a fee was conveyed. The Veach court disagreed, holding that the language of the deed which described the conveyance of a right of way indicated an easement had been conveyed. The instant case is much more compelling since Squire specifically included language in the habendum clause reiterating the limitation of the conveyance to use as a right of way. We hold that an easement was conveyed."
      [Squire right-of-way deed to the SLS&E]

         Since the granting words of the Squire and Hilchkanum deeds are identical, Judges Rothstein, Fletcher and Cox were required to find the Hilchkanum deed granted an easement, based on the precedent found in Squire. They didn't. Instead they misrepresented or ignored the findings of the Squire court. The most ridiculous statement made by these three dishonest judges was made by Senior Federal Circuit Judge Betty Binns Fletcher. Fletcher was so afraid of King County v. Squire that she refused to identify the decision when she referred to Squire with this citation. [with my emphasis]
        (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

      "The final pages of the summary judgment response brief do not contain separate legal arguments that are waived because they were not raised in the first twenty-four pages of the brief. Instead, they contain comparisons between the facts of this case and the facts of a Washington Court of Appeals case dealing with a railroad right of way. We must consider the effect of any case relevant to the arguments raised, regardless of whether the Rasmussens briefed the particular case."
      [King County v. Rasmussen (2002)]

         Judge Fletcher stated in the above citation that she "...must consider the effect of any case relevant to the arguments raised...", but of course she never considered the precedent set in King County v. Squire, after refusing to even name the Squire opinion in her statement above.
        (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

      View a more detailed comparison of the Hilchkanum and Squire right-of-way deeds to the SLS&E.

Conclusion:

    (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions in this "Conclusion" are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

         On this webpage, I've discussed the misapplication of Brown v. State of Washington (1996) by federal and State judges in construing the 1887 Hilchkanum deed to the SLS&E. To do this, I identified two rules used to construe whether an easement or fee simple title is conveyed in a railroad deed. Those rules are:

        The Railroad Land Granting Rule and the Railroad Right-of-Way Granting Rule

         I've identified the two statutory deed forms that are presumed to grant fee simple title by their use:

        The Statutory Warranty Deed Form and the Statutory Bargain and Sale Deed Form

         The Hilchkanum deed does not conform to either the "Statutory Warranty Deed Form" or the "Statutory Bargain and Sale Deed Form". Instead the Hilchkanum deed is of a lesser deed form that is not presumed to convey fee simple title. The fact, that the Hilchkanum deed grants a "right-of-way deed" to the SLS&E Railway, causes it meet the requirements of the "Railroad Right-of-Way Granting Rule". That rule is based on fourteen common law citations.

        Fourteen citations holding the grant of a "right-of-way" to a railroad conveys an easement:

         With reference to that background, I discussed the misapplication of Brown v. State of Washington (1996) by federal and State judges in construing the 1887 Hilchkanum deed to the SLS&E. The dishonesty of the federal and State judges was exposed by a discussion of the following issues:

        The judges changed the words in the Hilchkanum granting clause so that the precedent established in Brown v. State of Washington would apply to the Hilchkanum deed.

        The judges ignored one hundred years of common law precedent which holds that the grant of a right-of-way to a railroad conveys an easement.

        The judges refused to honestly compare the Hilchkanum deed to the Squire deed, which was construed in King County v. Squire (1990).

         The dishonest application of the law in King County v. Rasmussen (2001), King County v. Rasmussen (2002), and Ray v. King County (2004) covers up the federal tax fraud scheme used to railbank the East Lake Sammamish BNSF right-of-way, and protects the powerful folks who were active participants in the crime.

    (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions in this "Conclusion" are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)
















































Reference:




Citations Explaining the Meaning of the Words "Right-of-way" in Railroad Deeds:

(Citations are in reverse chronological order, with my emphasis on the terms "right-of-way" and "easement".)

Each abbreviated citation is a hyperlink which will take the reader to its location in its respective opinion.

    2000: Roeder v. K&E Storage (2000)
      "Because the words "right of way" appeared only in each deed's legal description or in the description of the railroad's obligations, instead of in the granting or habendum clauses, the court concluded that '[u]sed in this manner, 'right of way' merely describes a strip of land acquired for rail lines; it does not qualify or limit the interest expressly conveyed in the granting and habendum clauses.'"

    1996: Brown v. State of Washington (1996)
      "We have given special significance to the words "right of way" in railroad deeds."

      "...we held the deed granted an easement based on the specifically declared purpose that the grant was a right of way for railroad purposes..."

      "...the term "right of way" as a limitation or to specify the purpose of the grant generally creates only an easement."

      "The words "right of way" can have two purposes: (1) to qualify or limit the interest granted in a deed to the right to pass over a tract of land (an easement), or (2) to describe the strip of land being conveyed to a railroad for the purpose of constructing a railway." ... "Unlike Swan, Veach, and Roeder, where "right of way" was used in the granting or habendum clauses to qualify or limit the interest granted, "right of way" in the deeds at issue here appears in either the legal description of the property conveyed or in the portion of the deeds describing Milwaukee's obligations..." "Used in this manner, "right of way" merely describes a strip of land acquired for rail lines; it does not qualify or limit the interest expressly conveyed in the granting and habendum clauses."

      Dissenting Opinion: "...where the granting clause...declares the purpose...to be a right of way for a railroad, the deed passes an easement only..."

      Dissenting Opinion: "...an easement is not created unless the magic words "right of way" are contained in the 'granting clause.'"

      Dissenting Opinion: "...Morsbach does not narrowly define "granting clause" nor does it require the right of way purpose be expressed in any particular words."

      Dissenting Opinion: "Where the purpose is right of way...it was the intent of the parties to grant...an easement."

      Dissenting Opinion: "...majority...giving "special significance to the words 'right of way' in railroad deeds,"...finding the absence...overpowering in significance."

      Dissenting Opinion: "A grant of a right of way to a railroad company is the grant of an easement merely..."

    1993: Harris v. Ski Park Farms (1993)
      "...when the granting clause...declares the purpose...to be a right of way for a railroad the deed passes an easement only..."

    1990: King County v. Squire (1990)
      "...rights of way granted to a railroad are frequently held to create easements."

      "[W]hen the granting clause of a deed declares the purpose...to be a right of way...the deed passes an easement only..."

      "...construing the deed as a whole, held...instrument conveyed a right of way easement..."

      "...The Squire deed granted a "right-of-way...This suggests an easement was conveyed."

      "...right-of-way...language in the granting clause strongly suggests conveyance of an easement..."

      "...language of the deed which described the conveyance of a right of way indicated an easement had been conveyed."

    1986: Lawson v. State (1986)
      "...where a deed is construed to convey a right of way for railroad purposes only, upon abandonment...the land...reverts...free of the easement...."

    1986: Roeder v. BNSF (1986)
      "Since the granting clause...declares the purpose of the grant to be a right of way for a railroad, the deed passes an easement..."

      "...land being conveyed as "a right-of-way"...has been found to create an easement..."

    1979: Veach v. Culp (1979)
      "The parties...describe what was being conveyed: a right-of-way...Language like this has been found to create an easement..."

      "...language of the deed...describing the conveyance of a right-of-way...we conclude the deed conveyed an easement..."

    1977: Zobrist v. Culp (1977)
      "...when the granting clause...declares the purpose...to be a right of way for a railroad the deed passes an easement only..."

    1956: Scott v. Wallitner (1956)
      "...in none of these transactions was there a grant of a right of way for the purpose of building a railroad..."

    1950: Swan v. O'Leary (1950)
      "...when the granting clause of a deed declares the purpose of the grant to be a right of way for a railroad the deed passes an easement only..."

    1929: Morsbach v. Thurston Co. (1929)
      "...we held that the reservation was of a right of way creating nothing more than an easement..."

      "...an instrument reserving and excepting a strip of land...conveyed...for a right of way...only an easement was granted..."

      "...construed as a whole...in the light of the purpose...it was made, was a grant of a right of way or easement..."

      "...grant of the right of way...was intended to convey simply the right of way and easement..."

      "...a conveyance...granting a right of way...will be held to have taken an easement merely..."

      "...granting clause...conveys only a right of way, which is a mere easement..."

      "...Where the granting clause of a deed declares the purpose...to be a right of way for a railroad, the deed passes an easement only, and not a fee..."

      "...Where the granting clause declares the purpose of the grant to be a right of way for a railroad, the deed passes an easement..."

      "...the granting clause"..."described as follows, to wit: The right of way for a railroad"..."conveyed an easement only, and not a fee."

      "...grant involved was of a right of way...across a tract of land"..."held...that...an easement...was granted."

      "In the Uhl case...what meaning...given 'right of way' used in the granting clause of the deed...its effect...to vest...an easement..."

      "...grant of a right of way to a railroad company is the grant of an easement merely..."

    1910: Pacific Iron Works v. Bryant Lumber (1910)
      "The grant of a right of way to a railroad company is the grant of an easement..."

    1905: Abercrombie v. Simmons et al (Supreme Court of Kansas, 1905)
      "...in regard to the right of way...the grant...vests...an easement..."

      "...a deed releasing and quitclaiming to a railroad company a right of way...did not acquire the fee of the land."

      "...the words "right of way" in a grant to a railroad company means an easement..."

    1894: Reichenbach v. Washington Short Line Ry. Co.(1894)
      "The conveyance is one of a mere right of way habendum to the grantee...and show the grant of an easement only..."

    1893: Biles v. Tacoma, Olympia & Gray's Harbor R.R. Co.(1893)
      The term "right-of-way" means "easement".



Reference:



    Washington State Statutory Deed Forms


    Note from John Rasmussen

         The statutory deed forms were established by the Territorial Legislature in 1886 for the purpose of standardization and clarity in deed transactions. Three deed forms were established by law: the Statutory Warranty Deed Form, the Statutory Bargain and Sale Deed Form, and the Statutory Quitclaim Deed Form. These 1886 laws are still in effect today as RCW 64.04.030, RCW 64.04.040 and RCW 64.04.040, and are displayed below. Two of the deed forms, the Statutory Warranty Deed Form and the Statutory Bargain and Sale Deed Form are designed to convey "land" or "real estate". The use of either of these two deed forms presumes the conveyance of land by fee simple title unless limitations or another purpose are stated in the deed.


    RCW 64.04.030 - Warranty deed Form and effect.

    Warranty deeds for the conveyance of land may be substantially in the following form, without express covenants:

      The grantor (here insert the name or names and place or residence) for and in consideration of (here insert consideration) in hand paid, conveys and warrants to (here insert the grantee's name or names) the following described real estate (here insert description), situated in the county of . . . . . ., state of Washington. Dated this . . . . day of . . . . . ., 19. . .

    Every deed in substance in the above form, when otherwise duly executed, shall be deemed and held a conveyance in fee simple to the grantee, his heirs and assigns, with covenants on the part of the grantor: (1) That at the time of the making and delivery of such deed he was lawfully seized of an indefeasible estate in fee simple, in and to the premises therein described, and had good right and full power to convey the same; (2) that the same were then free from all encumbrances; and (3) that he warrants to the grantee, his heirs and assigns, the quiet and peaceable possession of such premises, and will defend the title thereto against all persons who may lawfully claim the same, and such covenants shall be obligatory upon any grantor, his heirs and personal representatives, as fully and with like effect as if written at full length in such deed.

    [1929 c 33 9; RRS 10552. Prior: 1886 p 177 3.]


    RCW 64.04.040 - Bargain and sale deed Form and effect.

    Bargain and sale deeds for the conveyance of land may be substantially in the following form, without express covenants:

      The grantor (here insert name or names and place of residence), for and in consideration of (here insert consideration) in hand paid, bargains, sells and conveys to (here insert the grantee's name or names) the following described real estate (here insert description) situated in the county of . . . . . ., state of Washington. Dated this . . . . day of . . . . . ., 19. . .

    Every deed in substance in the above form when otherwise duly executed, shall convey to the grantee, his heirs or assigns an estate of inheritance in fee simple, and shall be adjudged an express covenant to the grantee, his heirs or assigns, to wit: That the grantor was seized of an indefeasible estate in fee simple, free from encumbrances, done or suffered from the grantor, except the rents and services that may be reserved, and also for quiet enjoyment against the grantor, his heirs and assigns, unless limited by express words contained in such deed; and the grantee, his heirs, executors, administrators and assigns may recover in any action for breaches as if such covenants were expressly inserted.

    [1929 c 33 10; RRS 10553. Prior: 1886 p 178 4.]


    RCW 64.04.050 - Quitclaim deed Form and effect.

    Quitclaim deeds may be in substance in the following form:

      The grantor (here insert the name or names and place of residence), for and in consideration of (here insert consideration) conveys and quitclaims to (here insert grantee's name or names) all interest in the following described real estate (here insert description), situated in the county of . . . . . ., state of Washington. Dated this . . . . day of . . . . . ., 19. . .

    Every deed in substance in the above form, when otherwise duly executed, shall be deemed and held a good and sufficient conveyance, release and quitclaim to the grantee, his heirs and assigns in fee of all the then existing legal and equitable rights of the grantor in the premises therein described, but shall not extend to the after acquired title unless words are added expressing such intention.

    [1929 c 33 11; RRS 10554. Prior: 1886 p 178 5.]


    RCW 64.04.070

    After acquired title follows deed.

      Whenever any person or persons having sold and conveyed by deed any lands in this state, and who, at the time of such conveyance, had no title to such land, and any person or persons who may hereafter sell and convey by deed any lands in this state, and who shall not at the time of such sale and conveyance have the title to such land, shall acquire a title to such lands so sold and conveyed, such title shall inure to the benefit of the purchasers or conveyee or conveyees of such lands to whom such deed was executed and delivered, and to his and their heirs and assigns forever. And the title to such land so sold and conveyed shall pass to and vest in the conveyee or conveyees of such lands and to his or their heirs and assigns, and shall thereafter run with such land.

      [1871 p 195 1; RRS 10571. Cf. Code 1881 (Supp.) p 25 1.]


    RCW 64.04.010 - Conveyances and encumbrances to be by deed.

    Every conveyance of real estate, or any interest therein, and every contract creating or evidencing any encumbrance upon real estate, shall be by deed: PROVIDED, That when real estate, or any interest therein, is held in trust, the terms and conditions of which trust are of record, and the instrument creating such trust authorizes the issuance of certificates or written evidence of any interest in said real estate under said trust, and authorizes the transfer of such certificates or evidence of interest by assignment by the holder thereof by a simple writing or by endorsement on the back of such certificate or evidence of interest or delivery thereof to the vendee, such transfer shall be valid, and all such assignments or transfers hereby authorized and heretofore made in accordance with the provisions of this section are hereby declared to be legal and valid.

    [1929 c 33 1; RRS 10550. Prior: 1888 p 50 1; 1886 p 177 1; Code 1881 2311; 1877 p 312 1; 1873 p 465 1; 1863 p 430 1; 1860 p 299 1; 1854 p 402 1.]


    RCW 64.04.020 - Requisites of a deed.

    Every deed shall be in writing, signed by the party bound thereby, and acknowledged by the party before some person authorized by *this act to take acknowledgments of deeds.

    [1929 c 33 2; RRS 10551. Prior: 1915 c 172 1; 1888 p 50 2; 1886 p 177 2; Code 1881 2312; 1854 p 402 2.]

    Notes: *Reviser's note: The language "this act" appears in 1929 c 33, which is codified in RCW 64.04.010-64.04.050, 64.08.010-64.08.070, 64.12.020, and 65.08.030.