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Section 2: Use of Attorney's Certificate Procedure (for LPA)

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The use of Attorney's Certificates when an LPA is the acquiring agency and State cost participation is involved is governed by the same procedures as for the State.

At the appropriate stage in the project development, the staff attorney will submit a determination of title on Form ROW-N-ACA, Attorney's Certificate "A" to the LPA for use in acquiring each right of way parcel. This form should be clearly marked as preliminary and subject to transactions that could occur between the date of certification and the date of acquisition. The LPA should contact the staff attorney prior to the time of closing a negotiated parcel or prior to the time of filing the condemnation petition. The staff attorney should make a supplementary search to determine that there has been no change in the ownership shown on the Attorney's Certificate "A. " If changes have occurred that would significantly affect the title, a revised Attorney's Certificate "A" should be issued. After conveyance instruments have been delivered to TxDOT, the attorney should confirm that any necessary curative work has been completed and that the instruments convey good title.

Where title has been acquired either by purchase or condemnation by the LPA in the name of the State, or by the LPA in their own name and subsequently conveyed to the State, the attorney will execute a final certificate on Form ROW-N-ACE, Attorney's Certificate "E," after the attorney is satisfied that title requirements have been met. When TxDOT secures only an easement interest in the right of way parcel, the name of the fee owner should be inserted on the final certificate in Item No. 1 entitled "Fee Owner. " The requirements for showing owners and claimants on this certificate are the same as those for Attorney's Certificate "A." See Attorney's Certificates and Their Usage. The attorney will then forward one copy of the certificate and the instruments conveying title or final judgment to the ROW Program Office in Austin. This may be done either before or after the LPA's reimbursement request. Since the recorded instrument of conveyance or judgment will accompany submission of Form ROW-N-ACE, Attorney's Certificate "E", Closing Certificate for State Acquisition , a brief property description may be used on the reverse side of the certificate instead of a complete metes and bounds description.

Appropriate wording where title is conveyed by deed would be as follows:

"Being that property described in deed dated, from (Grantor) to the State of Texas, said deed appearing of record in Volume XXXX , PageXXXX , Deed Records of XXXX County, Texas. "

Appropriate wording when title is acquired through condemnation proceedings would be as follows:

"Being that property described in judgment entered on the XXXXX day of XXXXX , 2002, in Cause No.XXXXX , styled vs. in the County Court (at Law) of XXXXX County, Texas, a copy of the judgment appearing of record in Volume XXXXX, Page XXXXX, Deed Records of said County. "

In counties with a file numbering procedure , the wording above can be revised to eliminate the part reading:

"appearing of record in Volume XXXXX, Page XXXXX, Deed Records of XXXXX, County, Texas" and substitute instead the words "having been filed for record on (date) , in the office of the County Clerk of XXXXX County, Texas, under File No.. "

In cases where the LPA requests reimbursement based on 80 percent of the Award of Special Commissioners, use Form ROW-N-ACB, Attorney's Certificate "B" instead of Attorney's Certificate "E" in order to certify properly that TxDOT will acquire title based on the final judgment. If necessary the body of the form should be altered to reflect the correct style of the condemnation proceedings.

If an easement or leasehold interest overlooked in the original acquisition must be extinguished or subordinated, use a modified Attorney's Certificate. The modified certificate may also be used for incompatible interests located on property subject to joint usage. This modified certificate should be prepared locally as needed. The Department must contact the ROW Program Office in Austin for any special or modified Attorney's Certificate when a staff attorney has already executed an Attorney's Certificate "A" and a different attorney is executing the subsequent certificate.

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