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— This consolidated CFR Part was last updated by Federal Register(FR) dated 03/30/1982 for Preamble; §150.1; §150.2; §150.3; §150.4; §150.5; §150.6; §150.7; §150.8; §150.9; §150.10; §150.11; .

Table of Contents

§150.1 — Purpose and scope. [ Last FR update*: 03/30/1982 ]
§150.2 — Definitions. [ Last FR update*: 03/30/1982 ]
§150.6 — Recordation of title documents. [ Last FR update*: 03/30/1982 ]
§150.8 — Title status reports. [ Last FR update*: 03/30/1982 ]
§150.9 — Land status maps. [ Last FR update*: 03/30/1982 ]


Authority: Act of June 30, 1834 (4 Stat. 738; 25 U.S.C. 9). Act of July 26, 1892 (27 Stat. 272; 25 U.S.C. 5). Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1950 approved June 20, 1949 (64 Stat. 1262). (Act of April 26, 1906 (34 Stat. 137); Act of May 27, 1908 (35 Stat. 312); Act of August 1, 1914 (38 Stat. 582, 598) deal specifically with land records of the Five Civilized Tribes.)

Cross Reference: For further regulations pertaining to proceedings in Indian probate, see 43 CFR part 4, subpart D.

Source: 46 FR 47537, Sept. 29, 1981, unless otherwise noted. Redesignated at 47 FR 13327, Mar. 30, 1982.

These regulations set forth authorities, policy and procedures governing the recording, custody, maintenance, use and certification of title documents, and the issuance of title status reports for Indian land.

As used in this part.

(a) Secretary is the Secretary of the Interior or his authorized representative.

(b) Commissioner is the Commissioner of Indian Affairs or his authorized representative.

(c) Agency is an Indian Agency or other field unit of the Bureau of Indian Affairs having Indian land under its immediate jurisdiction.

(d) Superintendent is the designated officer in charge of an Agency.

(e) Tribe is a tribe, band, nation, community, rancheria, colony, pueblo, or other Federally-acknowledged group of Indians.

(f) Bureau is the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

(g) Land is real property, including any interests, benefits, and rights inherent in the ownership of the real property.

(h) Indian land is an inclusive term describing all lands held in trust by the United States for individual Indians or tribes, or all lands, titles to which are held by individual Indians or tribes, subject to Federal restrictions against alienation or encumbrance, or all lands which are subject to the rights of use, occupancy and/or benefit of certain tribes. For purposes of this part, the term Indian land also includes land for which the title is held in fee status by Indian tribes, and U.S. Government-owned land under Bureau jurisdiction.

(i) Administrative Law Judge is an employee of the Office of Hearing and Appeals, Department of the Interior, upon whom authority has been conferred by the Secretary to probate the trust or restricted estates of deceased Indians in accordance with 43 CFR part 4, subpart D.

(j) Land Titles and Records Offices are those offices within the Bureau of Indian Affairs charged with the Federal responsibility to record, provide custody, and maintain records that affect titles to Indian lands, to examine titles, and to provide title status reports for such land.

(k) Manager is the designated officer in charge of a Land Titles and Records Office.

(l) Title document is any document that affects the title to or encumbers Indian land and is required to be recorded by regulation or Bureau policy.

(m) Recordation or recording is the acceptance of a title document by the appropriate Land Titles and Records Office. The purpose of recording is to provide evidence of a transaction, event, or happening that affects land titles; to preserve a record of the title document; and to give constructive notice of the ownership and change of ownership and the existence of encumbrances to the land.

(n) Title examination means an examination and evaluation by a qualified title examiner of the completeness and accuracy of title documents affecting a particular tract of Indian land with certification of the findings by the Manager of the Land Titles and Records Office.

(o) Title status report means a report issued after a title examination which shows the proper legal description of a tract of Indian land; current ownership, including any applicable conditions, exceptions, restrictions or encumbrances on record; and whether the land is in unrestricted, restricted, trust, or other status as indicated by the records in a Land Titles and Records Office.

The Land Titles and Records Offices within the Bureau are hereby designated as the offices of record for land records and title documents and are hereby charged with the Federal responsibility to record, provide custody, and maintain records that affect titles to Indian land, to examine titles, and to provide title status reports.

Shown below are present Land Titles and Records Offices and the jurisdictional area served by each office.

(a) Aberdeen, S. Dakota Office provides title service for Indian land located under the jurisdiction of the Aberdeen and Minneapolis Area Offices, except for Indian land on the White Earth, Isabella, and Oneida Indian Reservations.

(b) Albuquerque, New Mexico Office provides title services for Indian land located under the jurisdiction of the Albuquerque, Navajo, and Phoenix Area Offices.

(c) Anadarko, Oklahoma Office provides title services for Indian land located under the jurisdiction of the Anadarko Area Office and under the Miami Agency of the Muskogee Area Office.

(d) Billings, Montana Office provides title services for Indian land located under the jurisdiction of the Billings Area Office.

(e) Portland, Oregon Office provides title services for Indian land located under the jurisdiction of the Portland and Sacramento Area Offices.

(a) Muskogee Area Office is the office of record and performs limited title functions for all Indian land of the Five Civilized Tribes. The regulations in this part apply to the Muskogee Area Office to the extent that they relate to the title services performed by that office.

(b) The Juneau Area Office has title service responsibility for the Juneau Area. This authority has been largely delegated to the agencies. The regulations in this part apply to the Juneau Area Office to the extent practicable.

(c) The Cherokee Agency has title service responsibility for the Eastern Cherokee Reservation. The regulations in this part apply to the Cherokee Agency to the extent practicable.

(d) The Bureau Central Office, Washington, DC, provides title services for all other Indian land not shown above in §150.4 or in this section, including the land of the Absentee Wyandottes. The regulations in this part apply to the Central Office.

All title documents shall be submitted to the appropriate Land Titles and Records Office for recording immediately after final approval, issuance, or acceptance. Bureau officials delegated authority by the Secretary to approve title documents or accept title are responsible for prompt compliance with the recording requirement. Documents submitted for recording shall be completed in accordance with prescribed Bureau regulations or instructions.

(a) Title documents other than probate records. The original, a signed duplicate, or a certified copy of such documents shall be submitted for recording. Following the recording process, the Land Titles and Records Office will return those title documents that are required to be returned to the originating office with appropriate recording information.

(b) Probate records. In accordance with 43 CFR part 4, subpart D, Administrative Law Judges shall forward the original record of Indian probate decisions and copies of petitions for rehearing, reopening, and other appeals to the Land Titles and Records Office which provides service to the originating Agency. If trust land or Indian heirs involved in the probate are located within the jurisdictional area of another Land Titles and Records Office, the Administrative Law Judge shall also send a duplicate copy to that office. Probate records submitted by an Administrative Law Judge for recording will be retained by the Land Titles and Records Office.

Land Titles and Records Office shall initiate such action as described below to cure defects in the record discovered during the recording of title documents or examination of titles.

(a) If an error is traced to a defective title document other than probate records, the Land Titles and Records Office shall notify the originating office of the defect.

(b) If errors are discovered in probate records, the Land Titles and Records Office may initiate corrective action as follows:

(1) An administrative modification shall be issued to modify probate records to include any Indian land omitted from the inventory if such property is located in the same state and takes the same line of descent as that shown in the original probate decision. Authority is delegated to the Commissioner by 43 CFR 4.272 to make such modifications except on those Indian reservations covered by special Inheritance Acts (43 CFR 4.300). Copies of administrative modifications shall be distributed to the appropriate Administrative Law Judge, Agencies with jurisdiction over the Indian land, and to all persons who share in the estate.

(2) Land Titles and Records Offices shall notify the Superintendent when modifications are required by Administrative Law Judges for other types of probate errors. Corrective action is then initiated in accordance with 43 CFR part 4, subpart D.

(3) Land Titles and Records Offices shall issue administrative corrections to correct probate errors which are clerical in nature and which do not affect vested property rights or involve questions of due process. Copies of administrative corrections are distributed to the appropriate Administrative Law Judge and Agency.

Land Titles and Records Offices may conduct a title examination of a tract of Indian land provide a title status report upon request to those persons authorized by law to receive such information. Requests for title status reports shall be submitted by or through the Bureau office that has administrative jurisdiction over the Indian land. All requests must clearly identify the tract of Indian land.

The Land Titles and Records Offices shall prepare and maintain maps of all reservations and similar entities within their jurisdictions to assist Bureau personnel in the execution of their title service responsibilities. Base maps shall be prepared from plats of official survey made by the General Land Office and the Bureau of Land Management. These base maps, showing prominent physical features and section, township and range lines, shall be used to prepare land status maps. The land status maps shall reflect the individual tracts, tract numbers, and current status of the tract. Other special maps, such as plats and townsite maps, may also be prepared and maintained to meet the needs of individual Land Titles and Records Offices, Agencies, and Indian tribes.

Under the provisions of the Act of July 26, 1892 (27 Stat. 273; 25 U.S.C. 6), an official seal was created for the use of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in authenticating and certifying copies of Bureau records. Managers of Land Titles and Records Offices are designated as Certifying Officers for this purpose. When a copy or reproduction of a title document is authenticated by the official seal and certified by a Manager, Land Titles and Records Office, the copy or reproduction shall be admitted into evidence the same as the original from which it was made. The fees for furnishing such certified copies are established by a uniform fee schedule applicable to all constituent units of the Department of the Interior and published in 43 CFR part 2, appendix A.

(a) The usefulness of a Land Titles and Records Office depends in large measure on the ability of the public to consult the records contained therein. It is therefore, the policy of the Bureau of Indian Affairs to allow access to land records and title documents unless such access would violate the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a or other law restricting access to such records, or there are strong policy grounds for denying access where such access is not required by the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552. It shall be the policy of the Bureau of Indian Affairs that, unless specifically authorized, monetary considerations will not be disclosed insofar as leases of tribal land are concerned.

(b) Before disclosing information concerning any living individual, the Manager, Land Titles and Records Office, shall consult 5 U.S.C. 552a(b) and the notice of routine users then in effect to determine whether the information may be released without the written consent of the person to whom it pertains.














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