REVISED STATUTES, 1989
1 This Act may be cited as the Quieting Titles Act. R.S., c. 382, s. 1.
2 In this Act,
(a) "Attorney General" means the Attorney General of the Province representing Her Majesty in right of the Province;
(b) "property right" means any estate, interest, power or other right in or with respect to land. R.S., c. 382, s. 2.
Right of action for certificate of title
3 (1) Any person who claims a property right in land may commence an action in the Trial Division of the Supreme Court or in the county court of the district in which the land lies for a certificate of title under this Act.
Joinder with other claim
(2) The claim may be the sole claim in the action or may be joined with a claim in trespass to land, in ejectment, for the recovery of land, for mesne profits, for partition, for foreclosure of a mortgage, equity of redemption or agreement of sale or for specific performance of an agreement to convey land, with any other claim in which the title to or right to possession of land is in issue or with any combination of such claims.
Judicature Act and Civil Procedure Rules
(3) Except where it is expressly otherwise provided, the Judicature Act and the Civil Procedure Rules apply to such actions.
Right of action by Attorney General
(4) The Attorney General shall bring such an action only where the claim for a certificate of title is joined with some other claim. R.S., c. 382, s. 3.
Attorney General as mandatory defendant
4 (1) Except where the Attorney General is the plaintiff, the Attorney General shall be a defendant in every such action.
Attorney General as only defendant
(2) Where the only claim is for a certificate of title, a plaintiff need not include any defendant other than the Attorney General in the first instance.
Notice of action
(3) It is not necessary to give notice of action to the Attorney General before commencing the action. R.S., c. 382, s. 4.
Statement of claim and plan
5 (1) The statement of claim shall contain a concise statement of the facts on which the plaintiff bases the claim and of the nature of that claim, and in particular shall set out
(a) a description of the land in question sufficient to identify it and to distinguish it from all other land;
(b) the names of the owners and occupiers of the adjoining lands, if they can be ascertained, whether the plaintiff or some other person is or claims to be in actual or constructive possession of the land, and in whose name it is assessed for city, town, municipal or other local rates or taxes; and
(c) all the property rights that the plaintiff admits to exist other than the right that the plaintiff claims and all such claims to property rights that the plaintiff knows of but does not admit,
and a plan of the land conforming to the requirements of the Registry Act for registration shall be attached to the statement of claim.
(2) The statement of claim shall be verified in every material particular by one or more affidavits, which shall be filed with the originating notice.
Nature of deposition in affidavit
(3) A person, who deposes to facts not within the time of living memory or to claims of rights that are not admitted by the plaintiff, may do so as to his belief, stating the grounds thereof, and in all other particulars the deponent shall swear only to matters of which the deponent has personal knowledge.
Rejection of affidavit
(4) The court or judge may reject any affidavit as lacking probative force. R.S., c. 382, s. 5.
Abstract of title
6 (1) The plaintiff shall file with the originating notice an abstract of the title to the land certified by the registrar of deeds for the registration district in which the land lies, or by a solicitor of the Supreme Court, to be a complete abstract of all the records in the registry that affect or may affect the title to the land.
Land Registration Act
(2) Where the land is registered pursuant to the Land Registration Act, the plaintiff shall file with the originating notice a certified copy of the parcel register. R.S., c. 382, s. 6; 2001, c. 6, s. 122.
Service of documents with originating notice
7 (1) The affidavits of verification and a copy of the abstract of title shall be served with the originating notice.
Application for directions and notice thereof
(2) After service of the originating notice and expiration of the time limited for filing a defence, the plaintiff shall apply for directions to a judge in chambers and shall give two clear days notice of the application to the Attorney General and to all other parties.
Filing of defence
(3) It is not necessary for the Attorney General or any other defendant to file or deliver a defence unless the court or judge directs the defendant to do so. R.S., c. 382, s. 7.
Admission of facts
8 Any person, whether a party or not, may file an admission of facts in the action, which the court or judge may act on in determining the claim for a certificate. R.S., c. 382, s. 8.
Reference to Attorney General
9 (1) Upon the application for directions, if the judge is not satisfied that the statement of claim and the supporting materials disclose all the persons and interests likely to be affected by the certificate of title, the judge may refer the questions on which the judge is not satisfied to the Attorney General, or a barrister nominated by the Attorney General, to investigate in the interest of all adverse claimants.
Costs of reference
(2) Where the judge refers any such question, the judge shall require the plaintiff to deposit the probable costs of the reference in court or to pay them to the referee before the judge takes any further step in the action but this shall not apply to any costs incurred by the Attorney General with respect to any question that is genuinely at issue between the plaintiff and the Crown in the action.
Date for report by referee
(3) The judge shall fix a day for the referee to report but any party may apply upon notice to have the day so fixed antedated or postponed.
Duty of referee
(4) The referee shall investigate the question referred to the referee with respect to the title to the land or its occupants, abutters, boundaries, appurtenances, servitudes and the like and shall report all interests and circumstances that appear to be reasonably possible, especially those that are adverse to the plaintiffs claim.
Directions by judge
(5) Upon the application for directions, and after receipt of the referees report, if any, the judge
(a) shall determine what persons shall be added as defendants and what other persons shall be advised that they may intervene and shall direct how and on what terms the statement of claim and the originating notice or notice of right to intervene shall be served on them;
(b) may permit the claim or statement of claim to be amended and may require that any such amendment be verified by affidavit;
(c) shall direct what pleadings are to be delivered and what interlocutory proceedings may be taken in the action;
(d) may determine how any issue of fact is to be tried, and whether any question of law shall be determined before, at or after the trial or by reference to the Appeal Division of the Supreme Court;
(e) may make any order as to costs that the judge deems proper in the circumstances; and
(f) may give any other direction that the judge deems proper to effect the purposes of this Act in the circumstances.
Advertisement of claim
(6) The judge may direct the plaintiff to publish an advertisement of the plaintiffs claim for a certificate of title in the Royal Gazette or in some other newspaper circulated in the county where the land lies, once a week for four consecutive weeks preceding the date of application, and the advertisement shall be in Form 3 of the Schedule to this Act with such changes as the judge may permit, including a short form of description of the land.
Addition of defendant and notice of right to intervene
(7) Ordinarily, and unless there is good reason to do otherwise, the judge shall order to be added as defendants only those persons who appear to be asserting an active claim with respect to the land and shall direct that other persons who appear to have an interest be given notice of their right to intervene. R.S., c. 382, s. 9.
Rights of interested person
10 (1) Any person, who thinks that he may be affected by the claim for the certificate, may be heard on the application for directions and may be permitted to intervene as a defendant at any time, by the court or a judge, but shall not be permitted to contest the claim unless the person is added as a defendant.
Application to be added as defendant
(2) The person shall apply to a judge in chambers to be made a defendant after giving two clear days notice of application to the plaintiff, and the judge shall permit the person to intervene as a defendant unless it is clear that the person has no interest that may be affected by the proceedings.
Pleading by defendant
(3) Every defendant, who wishes to contest the claim shall, subject to this Act and the directions of the judge, plead to the claim under the ordinary rules of the court.
Procedure for counterclaimant
(4) A counterclaimant for a certificate of title shall file all affidavits and other documents required of a plaintiff and shall apply for directions with respect to the counterclaim. R.S., c. 382, s. 10.
Default by plaintiff
11 (1) If the plaintiff fails to deliver a pleading or take any action within the time limited therefor, any defendant affected thereby may move to stay proceedings on the plaintiffs claim or to dismiss the claim for want of prosecution.
Default by defendant
(2) If any defendant fails to deliver a pleading or to do any action within the time limited therefor, the plaintiff may enter interlocutory judgment against that defendant and the defendant shall not be permitted to contest the claim further unless the court or a judge, on such terms as it deems proper, sets aside the interlocutory judgment.
Notice of trial
(3) After the close of the pleadings, the plaintiff may give notice of trial, either in the regular course or as ordered by the judge on the application for directions and, if the plaintiff fails to do so within two weeks after the close of the pleadings, any other party may give notice of trial.
Certificate of title upon pleadings
(4) Where it appears upon the pleadings that a party claiming a certificate of title is entitled to some property right in the land, whether it is the property right claimed or not, a judge may order on the application of the claimant, after two clear days notice to all other parties interested, that a certificate of title be issued to the claimant for the property right to which the claimant has been found entitled. R.S., c. 382, s. 11.
Certificate of title after trial
12 (1) Where, after the trial or determination of all issues of law and fact between the parties, it appears that a party claiming a certificate of title is entitled to some property right in the land, whether it is the property right claimed or not, the court or a judge may order that a certificate of title be issued to the claimant for the property right to which the claimant has been found entitled.
Possession for twenty years
(2) Where it appears that the plaintiff or the plaintiffs predecessors in title have been in possession as owners or part-owners for twenty years prior to the commencement of the action and during that time a person, whether or not the persons whereabouts are known, has or may have an interest in the lands forming the subject-matter of the action and such person has not received any benefit, paid any expenses or exercised any proprietary rights in respect to said lands, the judge may order subject to subsection (3) that the interest of such person vest in the plaintiff.
Payment into court
(3) Where the judge finds that a person, other than the plaintiff, has an interest in the lands, the judge shall determine the value of that interest and shall direct that the plaintiff pay into court such amount, for such period and on such conditions as will secure the interest of such person.
Certificate of title to purchaser upon sale by court
(4) Where as a result of the action the land is sold by order of the court and a certificate of title is claimed in the action, the court may order that a certificate of title be issued to the purchaser for the property right to be conveyed by the sale. R.S., c. 382, s. 12.
Burden of proof
13 Nothing in this Act changes the burden of proof upon the parties in actions of trespass to land, of ejectment or for the recovery of land, or in the other actions in which a claim for a certificate of title may be joined under this Act, nor is it required that any lesser or greater title or possession be shown than was required on the twenty-fourth day of March, 1961, in such cases, but the claimant may establish under this Act whatever title the claimant has against the Crown and against persons generally. R.S., c. 382, s. 13.
14 repealed 2001, c. 6, s. 122.
One or separate certificates of title
15 (1) The court or judge may order that one certificate of title, comprising all the land mentioned in the claim, be issued or may order that separate certificates be issued for separate parts of the land and that such certificates be issued to different parties claiming certificates of title.
Issue of certificate of title
(2) Where the court or a judge orders a certificate of title to be issued, the prothonotary or clerk of the court shall issue under his hand and the seal of the court a certificate of title in Form 4 of the Schedule to this Act for the property right determined by the order.
Duty of registrar of deeds to register
(3) A registrar of deeds shall register a certificate of title or a true copy thereof certified to be such by the prothonotary or clerk of the court without requiring further proof thereof.
Land Registration Act
(4) Where land is situate in a county to which the Land Registration Act applies, a certificate of title shall be registered pursuant to that Act without further proof and subsection (3) does not apply. R.S., c. 382, s. 15; 2001, c. 6, s. 122.
Effect of registered certificate of title
16 (1) A certificate of title, when it has been issued and registered pursuant to the Land Registration Act or the Registry Act in the registration district in which the land lies, is binding and conclusive upon all persons, including the Crown, and whether named in the action or not, and, except as is herein otherwise provided, the same is not liable to be attacked or impeached at law by any person whomsoever: the title mentioned in the certificate shall be deemed absolute and indefeasible on and from the date of the certificate as regards the Crown and all persons whomsoever, subject only to any charges, encumbrances, reservations, exceptions or qualifications mentioned in the certificate, and is conclusive evidence that every application, notice, publication, proceeding, consent and act that ought to have been made, given and done before the granting of the certificate has been made, given and done by the proper person.
Certificate of title subject to certain other rights
(2) Every certificate of title issued under this Act is subject to the following exceptions and qualifications unless the certificate expressly states otherwise:
(a) any municipal charges, rates or assessments;
(b) any lease or agreement for a lease or other holding for a period yet to run not exceeding three years where there is actual occupation under the lease; and
(c) any right of expropriation which is by statute vested in any person or body corporate,
and a certificate does not deprive the spouse of the person to whom the certificate is issued of any right the spouse may have pursuant to the Matrimonial Property Act. R.S., c. 382, s. 16; 2001, c. 6, s. 122.
17 (1) Any person, who claims to have been deprived of any property right by the certificate of title, may apply to the court or a judge, within one year after the registration of the certificate in the registry of the district in which the land lies, to have the certificate set aside on the ground that it was obtained by fraud.
Power of court to set aside
(2) The court or judge, if satisfied that the certificate was obtained by means of a false representation known to be false by the plaintiff or the plaintiffs agent or by a wilful withholding of material facts or evidence by the plaintiff or the plaintiffs agent, may set aside the certificate of title.
Effect of setting aside
(3) A certificate of title that has been set aside for fraud is void and of no effect from the date of issue, but this does not affect the rights of any person who has purchased the land or any interest therein for valuable consideration and without notice of the fraud before the certificate was set aside.
Interpretation of subsection (3)
(4) A judgment creditor, whether or not the judgment creditor has registered the judgment, is not a purchaser within the meaning of subsection (3). R.S., c. 382, s. 17.
18 An appeal lies to the Appeal Division of the Supreme Court from any decision of a judge under this Act, subject to the Judicature Act and the Civil Procedure Rules. R.S., c. 382, s. 18.
19 The costs of the action and of any proceeding thereunder are in the discretion of the court or judge, but the Attorney General is entitled to costs of his participation in the proceedings as between solicitor and client except with respect to the costs of issues in which there is some substantial dispute between the Crown and a party, in which case the costs are in the discretion of the court or a judge. R.S., c. 382, s. 19.
20 repealed 2001, c. 6, s. 122.
21 (1) The forms in the Schedule to this Act or forms to the like effect with such changes as are suited to best carry out the purposes of this Act shall be used.
(2) Deviations from the prescribed form even in matters of substance do not affect the validity of the form but the court or judge in every case shall order them to be corrected if necessary upon such terms and conditions as will relieve any prejudice that may arise from the deviation.
(3) Words and figures in the forms printed in bold-face type are printed by way of example only. R.S., c. 382, s. 21.
(to be attached to the originating notice (action))
1 The Plaintiffs name is John Doe and his wifes name is Dorothy Doe and they reside at 1079 Brown Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
2 There is deposited with this statement of claim an abstract of title to the following lands which the plaintiff received by a deed dated the 13th day of June, 1950, made by Richard Rowe and his wife Helen Rowe to the plaintiff:
(here insert an accurate description of the lands)
3 The land is abutted as follows: On the south by Brown Street, a public highway in the City of Halifax; on the east by lands in the possession of Herbert Hall of 1075 Brown Street who appears to be a tenant of John Joe of 103 Brown Street; on the west by land in the possession of Ferdinand Bow who appears to be the owner in fee simple of said lands; and on the North by two lots: one fronting on 204 Green Street in the possession of Mrs. Nancy Nowe who appears to be the owner in fee simple thereof; the other fronting on 206 Green Street in the possession of Gregory Gowe who appears to be the owner in fee simple thereof.
4 The Plaintiff has been in the actual and peaceful possession of the land since the 30th day of September, 1950.
5 The lands are and have been since the 30th day of June, 1950, assessed in the name of the plaintiff only by the Regional Director of Assessment of the City of Halifax.
6 By mortgage dated the 30th day of June, 1950, the Plaintiff and his wife mortgaged the lands to the Halifax Mortgage Corporation, which mortgage is still subsisting: by a consent and admission filed with this statement of claim the Halifax Mortgage Corporation consents to the issue of a certificate of title of the lands to the Plaintiff subject to its said mortgage which is more fully described in said consent.
7 The Plaintiff therefore claims
(a) a certificate of title under the Quieting Titles Act be issued to the Plaintiff, in fee simple, of the lands; and
(b) that the certificate be issued to conform to the provisions of the Land Titles Act and be registered under that Act as a certificate of absolute title.
Dated the 7th day of July, 1960.
signature of Plaintiff (or Plaintiffs solicitor)
(title as on originating notice (action))
Take notice that the above-named Plaintiff has commenced an action to obtain a certificate of title under the Quieting Titles Act as owner in fee simple of the following lands:
(insert an accurate description of the lands)
If you are in possession of the lands or any part of them or have any property right in the lands or if you may be in any way adversely affected by the certificate of title, you have the right to contest the claim of the Plaintiff by applying to a judge of this Honourable Court to be added as a defendant.
If you do not apply to the court to be added as a defendant within fourteen days after the service of this notice upon you, the Plaintiff may enter judgment and obtain a certificate of title of the right that the Plaintiff claims in the land despite your possession of right or interest and may thereby bar any claim that you have in the land.
Dated the 9th day of June, 1960.
Prothonotary (or Clerk of the Court)
In the Trial Division of the Supreme Court (or County Court) S.H. No. 15947
John Doe claims a certificate of title as owner in fee simple of the following lands:
(here insert description of lands approved by the judge)
Any person, who fears that he may be adversely affected by the certificate, may contest the claim by applying to a judge of this Honourable Court to be added as a defendant not later than the 13th day of July, 1960.
Dated the 9th day of June, 1960.
Prothonotary (or Clerk of the Court)
In the Supreme Court (or County Court)
This is to certify pursuant to the Quieting Titles Act that John Doe of 1079 Brown Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, is entitled to (here describe the property right)
in the following lands:
(here insert the description of the lands)
subject to the exceptions and the qualifications mentioned in Section 16 of the said Act and to (specify either by reference to a schedule or otherwise any property rights to which the title is subject)
Dated the 4th day of September, 1960.
Prothonotary (or Clerk of the Court)
(Where a certificate under the Land Titles Act is ordered to be issued, Form C of that Act may be used in lieu of Form 4 hereof but in that case the expression "and subject to the liabilities mentioned in Section 41 of the Land Titles Act" shall be deleted from Form C.)
R.S., c. 382, Sch.