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Attorney Bio

David Meyers is a shareholder who has been practicing with Rinke Noonan since 1988. He concentrates his practice in the areas of:

  • Real Estate
  • Construction Law

David is certified as a Real Property Law Specialist by the Minnesota State Bar Association, and is certified as a Qualified Neutral by the Minnesota Supreme Court under Rule 114. He has an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell.

Education & Experience

David graduated from the University of Minnesota and received his law degree in 1983, Cum Laude, from William Mitchell College of Law.David is an AV rated attorney by the Martindale Hubbell Rating Service.

Bar Admissions:

Minnesota

Community

David is the Examiner of Titles for Sherburne, Mille Lacs, Roseau, Marshall, Wilkin and Kittson Counties, and the Deputy Examiner of Titles for Stearns, Benton, Koochiching and Mille Lacs Counties in Minnesota. He is a member of the Title Standards Committee of the Minnesota State Bar Association. David is an instructor for the Boundary Law Class at St. Cloud State University.

For over 10 years he was a member of the Sherburne County Planning Commission and Sherburne County Board of Adjusters, and served as Chair of both bodies for over six years.

He is a former President of the Builders Association of Minnesota, and a recipient of the Builders Hall of Fame award. He is a member of the Complex Construction and Commercial Arbitration Panels of the American Arbitration Association.

David is a Trustee of the Stearns County Law Library, and was instrumental in starting the Stearns County Self Help Program to aid pro se people with Court proceedings. In 2008, he received the Central Minnesota Legal Services Distinguished Service award.

Examiner of Titles

David J. Meyers is Examiner of Titles for Sherburne, Mille Lacs, Roseau, Kittson, Marshall and Wilkin Counties, and the Deputy Examiner of Titles for Stearns, Benton and Koochiching Counties in Minnesota.

David Meyers has been appointed to the Title Standards Committee of the Minnesota State Bar Association.  The Title Standards Committee has promulgated and continues to update and enhance Minnesota Title Standards and White Pages, a comprehensive code of standards to guide attorneys examining real estate titles and documenting real property transfers.

Contact David with any questions you may have. Note that in Mille Lacs, Roseau, Kittson, Marshall and Wilkin Counties, all procedures will be the same as those followed in Sherburne County.

Amy Poppenhagen, Paralegal
(320) 656-3529
apoppenhagen@rinkenoonan.com

Articles & Presentations

Duties of the Examiner

To assist with the operation of the Torrens system, Minnesota Statutes Chapters 508 and 508A requires the District Court to appoint an Examiner of Titles. David Meyers was appointed Sherburne County Examiner of Titles in July 2002. His job performance is evaluated each year by the District Court Judges. The job of the Examiner is to assist the District Courts in the original Registration and some subsequent title matters.

In limited cases, partly determined by statute and partly through custom, the Examiner can direct the transfer of property where there might otherwise be a problem. For example, Summary Real Estate Disposition Judgments, Trusts, Powers of Attorney for a registered owner and so on can some times cause problems for the Registrar of Titles. As Examiner, David Meyers is authorized by statute to issue Certifications and Directives to the Registrar to assist with title transfer. Please read the section below for help with Examiner Directives, Certifications, or the role of the District Court.

The fees for my work as Examiner are paid by the property owner. The current Fee Schedule is available on this web site. Where possible, a Fee Schedule is used. Title companies appreciate the certainty in knowing how much money needs to be set aside at a closing to resolve a Torrens problem.

Items You May Wish to Discuss With the Examiner:

  • Foreign notaries
  • Blanket or not well-defined easements
  • X by his/her mark
  • Appointment of corporate agent to sign documents
  • Whether to continue Divorce Decree on new Certificate (if lien)
  • Dropping old judgments, federal tax liens, Mechanic’s Liens
  • Items expiring by their own terms (lease, options to purchase, etc.)
  • Foreign decrees
  • Alterations to documents
  • Date only on acknowledgment
  • Use of AKA’s as grantors or grantees
  • Affidavit of Merger, Easement and subsequent property acquired by the same owner
  • Owner redemption from Mortgage or other Lien Foreclosure Sale
  • Registrar’s correction document for clerical errors – only if it may adversely affect the interest of a party (See: 508.71(1a))
  • Appeal to Examiner from Registrar’s rejection (See: 508.321)
  • Notices of Adverse Claim
  • Registered Land Surveys
  • Lot or Parcel Splits

Abstract vs. Torrens-What’s the Difference?

There are two ways to index and identify ownership of real estate in Minnesota. The first, and more common, is the Abstract system. When an owner of Abstract land conveys property, mortgages or does anything that affects title, a document is filed with the County Recorder. When Abstract property is sold, a title company updates the Abstract and the Abstract is read, starting with the patent, which in Sherburne County was issued in the mid-19th century. Through statutes, Court cases, rules and general practice, the person doing the Title Opinion determines the ownership of the property, and identifies all liens and encumbrances.

The Torrens system avoids the Abstract and related uncertainties. Abstract property may be registered to become Torrens property under Minnesota Statutes Chapters 508 or 508A, and Rules 201-222 of the General Rules of Practice for the District Courts. In Minnesota, the District Courts are charged with Title Registration.

There are two primary benefits of Torrens over Abstract Title. First, in Torrens, the owner has a Certificate of Title which lists his/her name and the current encumbrances. An owner is assured that no one else has any claim to the property. All that a potential buyer needs to do is look at the Certificate of Title to determine the owner, and the listed Memorials for the liens or encumbrances. A Torrens Title is much like the title to an automobile.

The second benefit of a Torrens title in Minnesota is that once property is registered, no one may gain adverse possession rights against the title. Adverse possession, you may recall, is where a non-owner occupies or uses another’s property for a length of time (15 years in Minnesota) and thereby acquires ownership rights. The mining and timber companies in Minnesota had a good lobby during the early days of the Minnesota Legislature. This explains why much of the land in Northern Minnesota, particularly in the timber and mining regions, is Torrens property. It prevented squatters from gaining adverse possession rights.

A recent decision from the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the government may not acquire a road across private, torrens land by either use or common law dedication (see Hebert v. City of Fifty Lakes).

Sherburne County Torrens

Torrens Certificates of Title are prepared and maintained by the County Registrar of Titles. In Sherburne County, like most Minnesota Counties, the County Recorder (Abstract) and Registrar of Titles (Torrens) is the same person. Michelle Ashe (michelle.ashe@co.sherburne.mn.us) is the elected Sherburne County Recorder and Registrar of Titles.

Torrens Title System Minnesota

Examples of The Torrens Title System

Directives & Certificates

The following is intended to assist with the administration of the Torrens system in Sherburne County. Please contact David Meyers if you have any questions. When an Examiner’s approval is required – PDF Printable Version

I. Examiner’s Approval and Certification Prior to Recording is Needed for all Title Transfers, Including Some Liens (generally not mortgages), Easements, Platting, etc., Which Involve any of the Following:

  • Trust documents 508.62 (Only for Title Transfer; Not for Mortgages or Other Liens)
  • Probate documents (PR’s Deed or Decree) 508.69
  • Guardian or Conservator’s Documents 508.69
  • Religious Corporation Documents (excluding non-profit corporation)
  • POAs and Affidavit by Attorney-in-Fact

II. Examiners Directives

  • To alter names, marital status, state of incorporation, etc. 508.71, Subd. 3
  • To transfer divorce certificate to the purchaser of tax title (if 10 years since filing of Auditor’s Certificate of Forfeiture, sale or State Assignment Certification) 508.67, Subd. 2
  • After vacation of street or alley – to add accruing portion to the certificate 508.73, Subd. 2
  • Condo documents – CIC’s type condos 508.351
  • To drop old documents which have expired by their terms or are prohibited by 508.71, Subd. 3
  • After mortgage foreclosure by action 508.58, Subd. 2
  • Plat or RLS corrections
  • Where the Decree or Summary Real Estate Disposition Judgment is being used to transfer title 508.59
  • After eminent domain proceedings 508.73
  • To drop racial restrictions 508.71, Subd. 3
  • To drop easements or restrictions which may appear on the Certificate of Title, but do not affect the title shown on the Certificate
  • To drop documents related to the Cancellation of a Contract for Deed where the Notice of Cancellation has been of record for five (5) years, 508.48, Subd. 5

How to get one?

  • Email a copy of the Deed and related documents to David Meyers and his paralegal, Amy Poppenhagen, or fax to (320) 656-3500.
  • Send a $170.00 check for the Examiner’s fee to Rinke Noonan Law Firm at 1015 West St. Germain Street, Suite 300, US Bank Plaza, St. Cloud, MN 56301.
  • Or mail the original documents together with a $170.00 check payable to Rinke Noonan. Include instructions on whether to return the documents or send them to the Registrar of Titles. If to be sent to the Registrar of Titles, additional checks for recording fees and taxes as applicable will be required.
  • The cost for a Certification or Directive is usually $170.00. The cost may be higher for complex matters.

Initial Registration of Title

To register property, the property owner or their lawyer first sends David Meyers, as the Examiner of Titles, an Application. He approves the Application and it is filed with the District Court. A certified copy of the Application is then taken to the County Recorder to be indexed in the Abstract records.

After the Application is indexed, the Applicant updates the Abstract to the property to include the Application. David Meyers then examines the title and issues an Examiner’s Report to the Court.

The Examiner’s Report tells the Court whether the Applicant has met the statutory requirements to register title, it sets out any title defects, and it identifies the parties to the Registration. The parties include all persons identified in the Abstract as having an interest in the property, all adjoining owners, parties in possession and lienholders if Judicial Monuments are to be set and anyone with adverse claims in the property.

In Sherburne County, we require a survey of the property. The Sherburne County Surveyor Ken Holmbeck (Ken.Holmbeck@co.sherburne.mn.us) reviews the survey and lets David Meyers know of any boundary problems. Those problems are incorporated into his Examiner Report. The owners and encumbrance reports are also crossed checked with the Auditor’s records.

After the Examiner’s Report is issued and filed with the Court, the Applicant requests a Summons. This is handled by the District Court Administrator. The Summons is directed to everyone listed in the Examiner’s Report.

The Summons is served and the case proceeds as any other civil case. In order to reduce the number of contested cases, prior to issuing David Meyers’ Report, he normally contacts any party with an adverse claim or boundary dispute. The Applicant and the other party are encouraged to work out their differences before the Report is issued. This has worked fairly well.

After service is completed, and assuming there is no Answer, David Meyers reviews the Affidavits of Service and assist the Applicant with the preparation of the Order and Decree of Registration. As a general rule, no Registration matter should ever come before the District Court for any action or Order unless the Examiner has signed it. The Examiner’s signature certifies to the Court that the Examiner has reviewed all of the evidence, including Affidavits of Service, and that the Examiner believes everything is in order to register the title.

When Judicial boundaries are set, there will first be an Interlocutory Order. The Interlocutory Order states that Registration is proper and it instructs the Applicant to have the surveyor go out to set iron Judicial Monuments at the corners.

After the Judicial Monuments are set, the Applicant will need to supplement the Court file with an Affidavit from the surveyor and a final survey with the location of the Judicial Monuments, and provide the final Order for Registration.

In contested cases, the Examiner will do his best in the Report to identify the issues for the parties and the Court. The Court should hear the case as it would any other contested civil matter. At the conclusion, the Examiner should review the final Judgment as to form. It is important that the Court give clear directions to the Registrar of Titles as to its intention with the Registration.

On some occasions, with consent of the parties, the District Court has referred a dispute to me to make a recommendation. This is a bit like non-binding arbitration. The Examiner hears the evidence, does a property inspection and then makes proposed Findings and Conclusions as a recommendation to the Court. The Court and parties may then either accept the Examiner’s recommendation or set the case for trial.

After title is registered, the District Court may need to get involved where there is an involuntary transfer, which is called a Proceeding Subsequent to Initial Registration (learn more in section below). This would include a proceeding after a Cancellation of a Contract for Deed, Mortgage Foreclosure, tax title sale and so on. As with the Registration, a Petition is approved by David Meyers, filed with the District Court and then Memorialized upon an existing Certificate of Title. He then reviews the Petition and evidence, and makes a report to the Court.

The necessary parties are served and then the matter is brought before the Court. The Examiner signs the proposed Order. In Sherburne, Mille Lacs, Roseau, Kittson, Marshall and Wilkin Counties, an appearance is not needed when the Petitioners and the Examiner believe there will be no objections.

Proceedings Subsequent to Initial Registration

Proceedings Subsequent (District Court Action)

  • After cancellation of Contract for Deed, if the Notice of Cancellation has been of record less than five (5) years
  • After mortgage foreclosure by advertisement 508.58, Subd. 1
  • Tax title less than 10 years old 508.67, Subd. 2
  • To reform the certificate of title or documents (to remove or add anything not specified under directive statutes)
  • To transfer title to a buyer under a Contract for Deed where the contract is paid off, but no deed forthcoming
  • To determine or adjust (only if RLS is not available) boundaries 508.671
  • After Mechanic’s Lien or judgment foreclosures
  • After a named corporation is dissolved and three years have passed or dissolution of any other entity shown as the registered owner
  • Lost deed or other instrument where only a copy is available
  • To determine adverse claims
  • Any other change to the Certificate the Examiner doesn’t feel comfortable in directing without a Court Hearing.

How to Initiate?

  • Petition Proceedings Subsequent, see this web site for example, but any form which complies with the Minnesota Statutes Chapter 508 is acceptable. Hennepin County also provides a good set of forms.
  • Send the Application or Petition to David Meyers or his paralegal, Amy Poppenhagen.
  • The Examiner Fee for a Proceedings Subsequent is usually $700.00. The fee may increase for more complex matters.
  • These fees are subject to change at anytime.

In Sherburne County, an appearance is not needed when the Petitioners and the Examiner believe there will be no objections (Appearances in Proceedings Subsequent to Initial Registration).

* Note that in Mille Lacs, Roseau, Kittson, Marshall and Wilkin Counties, all procedures will be the same as those followed in Sherburne County.

Forms

Fee Schedule (Kittson)

Effective January 1, 2017

The Kittson County District Court has established the following fee schedule for Kittson County Examiner of Titles:

  1. The hourly rate is $215.00 per hour.
  2. The following fee schedule will apply for matters that regularly come before the Examiner, which are not contested, do not require a Court appearance by the Examiner, and, which in the opinion of the Examiner, do not present extraordinary or unusual problems:
    1. Examiner’s Certifications and Directives
      (minimum fee) – $170.00
    2. Proceedings Subsequent After Mortgage Foreclosure, Contract for Deed Cancellation, or Other Lien Foreclosures (Not Contested) – $800.00
  3. Filing fees, copies and other out-of-pocket costs are in addition to these fees.
  4. For Applicants to Register Title and Petitions in a Proceedings Subsequent, please email the Application or Petition to dmeyers@rinkenoonan.com or amy@rinkenoonan.com for approval. We will then approve the Petition or Application, email the signature to you and mail the original to you for your file. Petitioner will be responsible for fees and efiling the documents.
  5. These fees are subject to change at any time.

Fee Schedule (Marshall)

Effective January 1, 2017

The Marshall County District Court has established the following fee schedule for Marshall County Examiner of Titles:

  1. The hourly rate is $215.00 per hour.
  2. The following fee schedule will apply for matters that regularly come before the Examiner, which are not contested, do not require a Court appearance by the Examiner, and, which in the opinion of the Examiner, do not present extraordinary or unusual problems:
    1. Examiner’s Certifications and Directives
      (minimum fee) – $170.00
    2. Proceedings Subsequent After Mortgage Foreclosure, Contract for Deed Cancellation, or Other Lien Foreclosures (Not Contested) – $800.00
  3. Filing fees, copies and other out-of-pocket costs are in addition to these fees.
  4. For Applicants to Register Title and Petitions in a Proceedings Subsequent, please email the Application or Petition to dmeyers@rinkenoonan.com or amy@rinkenoonan.com for approval. We will then approve the Petition or Application, email the signature to you and mail the original to you for your file. Petitioner will be responsible for fees and efiling the documents.
  5. These fees are subject to change at any time.

Fee Schedule (Mille Lacs)

Effective January 1, 2017

The Mille Lacs County District Court has established the following fee schedule for Mille Lacs County Examiner of Titles:

  1. The hourly rate is $215.00 per hour.
  2. The following fee schedule will apply for matters that regularly come before the Examiner, which are not contested, do not require a Court appearance by the Examiner, and, which in the opinion of the Examiner, do not present extraordinary or unusual problems:
    1. Examiner’s Certifications and Directives
      (minimum fee) – $170.00
    2. Proceedings Subsequent After Mortgage Foreclosure, Contract for Deed Cancellation, or Other Lien Foreclosures (Not Contested) – $800.00
  3. Filing fees, copies and other out-of-pocket costs are in addition to these fees.
  4. For Applicants to Register Title and Petitions in a Proceedings Subsequent, please email the Application or Petition to dmeyers@rinkenoonan.com or amy@rinkenoonan.com for approval. We will then approve the Petition or Application, email the signature to you and mail the original to you for your file. Petitioner will be responsible for fees and efiling the documents.
  5. These fees are subject to change at any time.

Fee Schedule (Roseau)

Effective January 1, 2017

The Roseau County District Court has established the following fee schedule for Roseau County Examiner of Titles:

  1. The hourly rate is $215.00 per hour.
  2. The following fee schedule will apply for matters that regularly come before the Examiner, which are not contested, do not require a Court appearance by the Examiner, and, which in the opinion of the Examiner, do not present extraordinary or unusual problems:
    1. Examiner’s Certifications and Directives
      (minimum fee) – $170.00
    2. Proceedings Subsequent After Mortgage Foreclosure, Contract for Deed Cancellation, or Other Lien Foreclosures (Not Contested) – $850.00
  3. Filing fees, copies and other out-of-pocket costs are in addition to these fees.
  4. For Applicants to Register Title and Petitions in a Proceedings Subsequent, please email the Application or Petition to dmeyers@rinkenoonan.com or amy@rinkenoonan.com for approval. We will then approve the Petition or Application, email the signature to you and mail the original to you for your file. Petitioner will be responsible for fees and efiling the documents.
  5. These fees are subject to change at any time.

Fee Schedule (Sherburne)

Effective January 1, 2017

The Sherburne County District Court has established the following fee schedule for Sherburne County Examiner of Titles:

  1. The hourly rate is $215.00 per hour.
  2. The following fee schedule will apply for matters that regularly come before the Examiner, which are not contested, do not require a Court appearance by the Examiner, and, which in the opinion of the Examiner, do not present extraordinary or unusual problems:
    1. Examiner’s Certifications and Directives
      (minimum fee) – $170.00
    2. Proceedings Subsequent After Mortgage Foreclosure, Contract for Deed Cancellation, or Other Lien Foreclosures (Not Contested) – $800.00
  3. Filing fees, copies and other out-of-pocket costs are in addition to these fees.
  4. For Applicants to Register Title and Petitions in a Proceedings Subsequent, please email the Application or Petition to dmeyers@rinkenoonan.com or amy@rinkenoonan.com for approval. We will then approve the Petition or Application, email the signature to you and mail the original to you for your file. Petitioner will be responsible for fees and efiling the documents.
  5. These fees are subject to change at any time.

Fee Schedule (Wilkin)

Effective January 1, 2017

The Wilkin County District Court has established the following fee schedule for Wilkin County Examiner of Titles:

  1. The hourly rate is $215.00 per hour.
  2. The following fee schedule will apply for matters that regularly come before the Examiner, which are not contested, do not require a Court appearance by the Examiner, and, which in the opinion of the Examiner, do not present extraordinary or unusual problems:
    1. Examiner’s Certifications and Directives
      (minimum fee) – $170.00
    2. Proceedings Subsequent After Mortgage Foreclosure, Contract for Deed Cancellation, or Other Lien Foreclosures (Not Contested) – $800.00
  3. Filing fees, copies and other out-of-pocket costs are in addition to these fees.
  4. For Applicants to Register Title and Petitions in a Proceedings Subsequent, please email the Application or Petition to dmeyers@rinkenoonan.com or amy@rinkenoonan.com for approval. We will then approve the Petition or Application, email the signature to you and mail the original to you for your file. Petitioner will be responsible for fees and efiling the documents.
  5. These fees are subject to change at any time.

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