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In Wisconsin, by the Constitution of 1849, no distinction can be made, by law, between resident aliens and citizens, in reference to the possession, enjoyment, or descent of property. And by Statute, any alien may acquire and hold lands by purchase, devise or descent, and convey and devise the same, and in case of intestacy, they shall descend to his heirs. (Revised Statutes, Wisconsin, 1858, p. 549.)
In Kansas, no distinction shall ever be made between citizens and aliens, in reference to the purchase, enjoyment, or descent of property. (Bill of Rights, $ 17, General Statutes of Kansas, 1868, p. 40.)
In Kentucky (Stanton's Revised Statutes, 1860, vol. I, p. 239), an alien friend who has resided in the State two years, shall after that period, during his residence, be enabled to receive, inherit, hold and pass by descent, devise, or otherwise, real or personal property. Any woman whose husband is, or shall be, a citizen of the United States, and any person whose father or mother, at the time of his or her birth, was, or shall be, a citizen thereof, although born out of the United States, may take and hold real and personal property by devise, purchase, descent, or devolution.
In Oregon, “white foreigners who are or may hereafter become residents of this State, shall enjoy the same rights in respect to the possession, enjoyment, and descent of property, as native born citizens.” (Constitution of Oregon, art. I, § 31.) And by Statute, any alien may acquire and hold land or any right therein by purchase, devise, or descent; and he may convey, mortgage, and devise the same, and if he shall die intestate, the same shall descend to his heirs. (General Laws of Oregon, 1845–1864, p. 718.)
In California, aliens shall hereafter inherit, and hold by inheritance, real and personal estate in as full a manner as though they were native born citizens of this State or the United States; provided, that no non-resident foreigner or foreigners shall hold or enjoy any real estates situated within the limits of the State of California five years after the time such non-resident foreigner or foreigners shall inherit the same; but in case such non-resident foreigner or foreigners do not appear or claim such estate within the period in this section before mentioned, then such estate shall be sold upon information of the Attorney-General, according to law, and the proceeds deposited in the treasury of said estate, for the benefit of such non-resident foreigner or foreigners, or their legal representatives. And if po non-resident foreigner makes claim within the extended term of five years, the proceeds shall be placed to the credit of the school fund. (General Laws of California, 1859–1864, art. 2606, p. 356.)
In Michigan. “By the Constitution of Michigan, aliens who are or who may hereafter become bona fide residents of this State, shall enjoy the same rights in respect to the possession, enjoyment, and inheritance of property as native born citizens.” (Constitution, 1850, art. 18, § 13.) And by Statute, any alien may acquire and hold lands by purchase, devise, or descent; and may convey, mortgage, and devise the same; and if he dies intestate, the same shall descend to his heirs, &c., in the same manner, and with like effect, as if he were a native citizen of the United States. (Compiled Laws of Michigan, 1857, vol. II, p. 857.)
In Missouri, aliens residing in the United States, who have made a declaration of their intention to become citizens of the United States, by taking the oath required by law, and all aliens residents of this State, are capable of acquiring real estate in this State by descent or purchase, and of holding and alienating the same, and shall incur the like duties and liabilities, in relation thereto, as if they were citizens of the United States.
Aliens acquiring real estate by descent or devise, and incapable of holding the same by reason of their alienage, may sell and convey any real estate so acquired within three years after settlement of the estate of the deceased. (Act of Nov. 17, 1855; Revised Statutes of 1856, ch. v.) Any alien, who, but for his alienage, would be capable, of acquiring real estate by descent or devise, may sell and convey any land he may hereafter acquire by devise or descent, from any person hereafter dying, and it shall pass all the title he may acquire by descent or devise. (Missouri Laws, Ed. 1865, p. 448; Wagner's Missouri Statute, 1870, vol. I, p. 132.)
In Virginia, an alien residing in the State, who shall make oath before some court of record in said State, declaring his intention to continue to reside therein, may inherit, purchase, and hold real estate as if he were a citizen of the State, and may convey and devise the same, and it shall descend, if he die intestate, to his heirs, and any alien as devisee or heir, whether citizen or alien, may take, under such alienation, provided he shall, if an alien, within five years come, or be in this State within five years, and declare before a court of record that he intends to reside therein.
The wife of a citizen of the United States, and any one whose father or mother was, at the time of his birth, a citizen, though born out of the United States, may take and hold real estate by devise, purchase or inheritance. (Code of 1860, title 33, ch. 115, SS 1, 2,
West Virginia, Code of 1868, p. 458: Alien, not an enemy, who shall declare before a court of record that he intends to continue to reside in this State, may, if actually resident, inherit, purchase and hold real estate, as if he were a citizen; and may convey or devise the
same, and if intestate, it shall descend to his heirs; and the alienee, devisee or heir may take and hold, provided he comes or be in the State within five years, and declare his intention to reside there.
In Florida, aliens of any country or nation whatever, may purchase, hold, enjoy, sell, convey or devise any lands and tenements in in this State, to the same extent, and with the same right as citizens of the United States, and may derive title by descent through aliens. (Acts of Nov. 17, 1829, and Feb. 17, 1833; Thompson's Digest, title 2, chap. i, § 3, p. 190.)
In Alabama, there is no modification of the common law in favor of aliens, when the devisees are incapable of taking, and if there are no lawful heirs the property escheats. (Revised Code of Alabama, 1867,
In Louisiana, the common law does not prevail, and foreigners are not there subjected to any disability as to real estate.
In North Carolina, there is no modification of the common law in favor of aliens.
Georgia, Code of 1868, p. 333: Aliens, subjects of governments at peace with the United States and this State, so long as their governments remain at peace, shall be entitled to all the rights of citizens of other States resident in this State, and shall have the privilege of purchasing, holding, and conveying real estate in this State.
In Texas, the Constitution of the Republic and Statutes of 1840, changed the rule of the common law which excluded aliens from the inheritance of lands, so as to create a defeasable estate in the heirs of a citizen of the Republic dying intestate or otherwise.
Upon the death of the owner, the title instantly vested, subject to be defeated by the failure of the heir or heirs to become citizens, or to dispose of the estate, by sale, within the period prescribed by the Statute. The estate is one upon condition that within nine years from the death of the ancestor, the heirs shall become citizens, or shall sell the land. The law annexed this condition to the estate. It was a condition in law, or more properly a limitation than a condition, and the estate, it would seem, was a qualified or determinable fee, determinable upon the failure to perform the condition within the time limited for its performance. The heirs upon whom the descent is cast,
failing to comply with the condition of the law before the expiration of the period, no more distant relations, who may have become citizens, are entitled to take, but the estate goes to the State. (25 Texas Reports, p. 233, Bailey v. Cameron.)
By the act of March 8, 1848, in making title by descent, it shall be no bar that any ancestor is or was an alien, and every alien to whom land may descend or be devised, shall have nine years to become a citizen or to sell the same.
By act of 13th February, 1854, any alien, being a free white person, shall have and enjoy in the State of Texas such rights as are or shall be accorded to American citizens by the laws of the nation to which such alien belongs, or by the treaties of such nation with the United States.
Aliens may take and hold any property, real or personal, in this State, by devise or descent from an alien or citizen, in the same manner in which a citizen of the United States may take and hold real or personal property, by devise or descent, within the country of such
Any alien, being a free person, who shall become a resident of this State, and shall, in conformity with the naturalization laws of the United States, have declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States, shall have the right to acquire and hold real estate in this State in the same manner as if he was a citizen of the United States. The act of 1848, so far as it is inconsistent with this act, is repealed. (Laws of Texas, Paschal's Digest, 1870, p. 160.)
In South Carolina, any citizen or alien who has entered into any bona fide contract, or who has received any grant or deed of conveyance for or relating to any real property in this State, or whose titles are derived from or through aliens, either mediately or immediately, may and shall hold and enjoy the same in fee simple, or for any less estate, according to the nature of his con. tract, grant or deed, any law, usage or custom to the contrary notwithstanding; provided, however, that every alien shall, before he be entitled to the benefits of the act, declare his or her intention of becoming a citizen of the United States.
By the second section of the same act, aliens can devise and convey the property acquired by virtue of the act, to children and grand
* These provisions would seem to have been passed to carry out the provisions of the Convention of 1853 with France.
children who were born previously to the acquisition of the property; and, in case of non-alienation, or of dying intestate, the property is distributable
among their relations under the Distribution Act of the State; provided, however, that the child, grandchild or distributee to whom the property is conveyed, devised or distributed, as the case may be, shall, within twelve months, become a resident of the State, and a citizen thereof, as soon as the laws permit. (Statutes, vol. V, p. 547, § 1.)
In Arkansas, aliens residing in the State, who have made declaration according to law, of their intention to become citizens of the United States, are capable of taking, by deed or will, and holding, aliening or devising real estate; and, upon the decease of any alien having title by purchase or descent, according to this act, of any real estate, it shall descend and pass as if such alien were a citizen of the United States, and the husband, widow or kindred of the deceased alien, or of any citizen may inherit, notwithstanding they are aliens, if, at the time of the death, they are resident within the United States. (Act of December 6, 1837; Digest of Statutes, 1858, ch. ix.)
In Tennessee, an alien may take and hold real estate in this State, by purchase, inheritance, or in any other way which may be agreed upon, by treaty between the United States and the country of which he is a citizen or subject.
Any alien resident in this State, who has legally declared his intention under the naturalization laws, to become a citizen of the United States, may take and hold, dispose of or transmit, by descent, any real estate, as a native citizen.
An alien who is resident in the United States at the time of the death of an intestate, and has declared, or shall, within twelve months thereafter declare, his intention to become a citizen, shall be capable of inheriting the estate of such intestate. (Code, 1858, p. 407.). By the act of Feb. 15, 1870, a non-resident alien may acquire real estate by descent or devise, and hold, sell, alienate and convey the same as if he was a citizen of the United States, but his right to hold, &c., expires seven years after the settlement of the decedent's estate. If the non-resident alien dies before the expiration of the time in possession, his heirs or devisees, if they are non-resident aliens, shall acquire and hold under the act, but if citizens, they shall inherit, as if such ancestor or devisor were a citizen of the United States. This act shall apply only to citizens of other countries, which confer, by treaty