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Common Law

A. First in Time Rule

When two parties have conflicting valid claims to the same parcel of land, the first in time will prevail.


Example: A conveys his home to B. The next day A conveys the same home to C. B will prevail over C.

B. Exceptions

1.
Conflicting claims are equitable and the first party is estopped from benefiting under the rule because of his actions.

2.
Conflicting claims are equitable and the second purchaser later acquired “legal title” in good faith and for valuable consideration.

3.
A holder of a legal interest will always prevail over one who holds an equitable interest if the legal interest was acquired first. The holder of the legal interest will prevail over the holder of the equitable interest even if the legal interest was acquired later in time if the legal holder acquired the title in good faith and for value.

4.
A party who conveys land to another before obtaining title, and then obtains title and records first in an attempt to claim superior title, may be estopped from arguing that he did not hold title at the time of the conveyance.

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