This section is from the book "The Law Of Real Property and Other Interests In Land", by Herbert Thorn Dike Tiffany. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise on the Modern Law of Real Property and Other Interests in Land .
There is, in this country, a well-recognized class of conveyances, known as "quitv. Bronston's Heirs, 141 Ky. 639, 133 S. W. 584.
61. Corwin v. Corwin, 6 N. Y. 342, 57 Am. Dec. 453; Wood v. Chapin, 13 N. Y. 509, 67 Am. Dec. 62; Lambert v. Smith, 9 Ore. 185; Den d. Jackson v. Hampton, 30 N. C. 457; Gault v. Hall, 26 Me. 561; Boardman v. Dean, 34 Pa. St. 252.
62. Murray v. Kerney, 115 Md. 514, 38 L. R. A. (N. S.) 937, 81 Atl. 6; Merrill v. Publishers' Paper Co., 77 N. H. 285, 90 Atl. 786; Jackson v. Swart, 20 Johns.
(N. Y.) 85; Ward v. Wooten. 75 N. C. 413; Sprague v. Woods, 4 Watts & S. (Pa.) 192; Fisher v. Strickler, 10 Pa. St. 348, 51 Am. Dec. 488; Watson v. Watson, 24 S. C. 228, 58 Am. Rep. 247; Barry v. Shelby, 4 Hayw. (Tenn.) 229.
63. Rollins v. Riley, 44 N. H. 9; Jackson v. Caldwell, 1 Cow. (N. Y.) 622; Gault v. Hall, 26 Me. 561; Thompson v. Thompson, 17 Ohio St. 649; Doe d. Cobb v. Hines, 44 N. C. 343. 59 Am. Dec. 559; Eckman v. Eckman, 68 Pa. St. 460; 2 Sanders, Uses & Trusts 5th Ed. 98; Contra in Massachusetts. See ante, this section, note 47a.
64. See, as to the early use of the word "quitclaim," 2 Pollock & Maitland, Hist. Eng. Law. 91.
Claim deeds," which are to some extent a development of the common-law release, and which have acquired their name from one of the words ordinarily used in the latter instrument.64 Such a conveyance purports merely to convey whatever title to the particular land the grantor may have, and its use excludes any implication that he has a good title, or any title at all.65 Accordingly, as a general rule, it contains no covenants for title, and its employment is, in some states, regarded as in itself notice to the purchaser of possible defects in the title, so that he cannot claim to occupy the position of a bona fide purchaser.66 Such a conveyance, moreover, is not regarded as transferring an after acquired title on the principle of estoppel.67 A quitclaim deed, however, is sufficient in itself to pass the grantor's existing title to the same extent as a deed of grant or bargain and sale,68 and its validity is not, like the common-law release, dependent upon the existence of an estate or interest in the grantee.69 The question whether a conveyance is a mere quitclaim is determined by a construction of the instrument as a whole, with reference to the circumstances under which it was given.70 It may be said, however, that the cases do not appear to be entirely consistent as to the criteria controlling in the matter.71
65. City & County of San Francisco v. Lawton, 18 Cal. 465, 79 Am. Dec. 187; Kerr v. Freeman, 33 Miss. 292; Emmel v. Headlee (Mo.) 7 S. W. 22; Coe v. Persons Unknown. 43 Me. 432; Garrett v. Christopher, 74 Tex. 453, 15 Am. St. Rep. 850, 12 S. W. 67.
66. See post, Sec. 567 (m),
67. Post, Sec. 545(b).
Since a government patent, when issued, relates back to the date of the entry, it enures to the benefit of one to whom the patentee has, since the entry, conveyed the land, even though by a "quitclaim" purporting to convey merely such title as he has. Crane v. Salmon, 41 Cal. 63; Welch v.
Dutton, 79 111. 466; Callahan v. Davis, 90 Mo. 78, 2 S. W. 216; Landes v. Brant, 10 How. (U. S.) 372, 13 L. Ed. 460; French's Lessee v. Spencer, 21 How. (U. S.) 228, 16 L. Ed. 97.
68. Bradbury v. Davis, 5 Colo. 265; Kyle v. Kavanaugh, 103 Mass. 356; Grant v. Bennett, 96 111. 513; Wilson v. Albert, 89 Mo. 537, 1 S. W. 209; Mclnerney v. Beck, 10 Wash. 515, 39 Pac. 130. So by statute in some states. See Holt-man v. Harrington, 28 Mich. 90; Kerr v. Freeman, 33 Miss. 292.
69. Spaulding v. Bradley, 79 Cal. 449, 22 Pac. 47; Kerr v. Freeman, 33 Miss. 292.