Georgia Addresses Statute on Execution of Documents

first_imgSign up for DS News Daily Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Georgia Addresses Statute on Execution of Documents Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago 2018 black book Georgia Statute of limitations 2018-01-18 David Wharton The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago  Print This Post Share Save Subscribe The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Related Articles Tagged with: 2018 black book Georgia Statute of limitations Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days agocenter_img Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Previous: Defining Debt Collectors Next: Can 2017’s Mighty Construction Numbers Keep Rolling in 2018? in Daily Dose, Featured, Magazine, Print Features Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Georgia Addresses Statute on Execution of Documents January 18, 2018 10,419 Views The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Editor’s note: This story was originally featured in the January issue of DS News, out now.In 2015, the Georgia legislature passed a bill on the witnessing of documents for recording in Georgia. The bill went into effect on July 1, 2015, applying only to documents executed after that date. Despite the passage of time, it is still the case that many documents important to lenders and servicers in Georgia are not being executed in accordance with the new requirements, which leads to delays in collection enforcement actions, including foreclosures. This is especially true for documents executed outside Georgia, which has become increasingly common as lenders and servicers have become more national operations.The StatuteThe new “bill on the witnessing of documents for recording in Georgia” is actually not one statute but a series of amendments to existing statutes that affect the execution and witnessing of warranty deeds, quitclaim deeds, and, most importantly for lenders and servicers, security deeds (or deeds to secure debt) and assignments. These documents must now be “signed by the maker, attested by an officer as provided in Code Section 44-2-15 [basically, a notary], and attested by one other witness.” In short, documents for recording in Georgia must now be attested by two (2) witnesses, one of whom must be the notary. This is now viewed as the exclusive way that documents must be signed to be admitted for recording in Georgia.What it MeansThe significant effect of this new language is that it no longer permits documents to be executed with two witnesses, with the notary then using a notary acknowledgment form. For reasons that are open to speculation, this method of witnessing and notary acknowledgment had become more common in Georgia in the last 15 years or so. But use of a notary acknowledgment form indicates that the notary actually did not witness the signing, and so this is now not a good practice, as the stated requirement in the revised statutes is that the execution of the document must be attested (witnessed) by the notary (an officer as provided in Code Section 44-2-15). Regardless, it is still not unusual to see documents executed in Georgia, especially assignments, that do not comply with the requirements, even after more than two years in effect.An equally significant effect of the new language is how it may (or may not) interact with witnessing requirements for documents executed in states other than Georgia that are to be recorded in Georgia. For example, some states have statutorily prescribed notary acknowledgment language that makes it clear that the notary did not actually witness the signing of the document—and the problem is worse in states where there are varying opinions and practices regarding how much the statutorily prescribed acknowledgment language can be changed. In such states, less is better, so minor additions such as “notary witness” or “in my presence” or “who appeared before me” can do the trick. In other states, no witnesses at all are required by that state’s laws, only a notary acknowledgment. In these cases, a witness signature will need to be added, in addition to making modifications to the acknowledgment language to be sure it states that the notary witnessed the signing. These issues and potential conflicts probably can be worked out satisfactorily, but it does require understanding of the issues and requirements involved. Jon F. Young is an attorney in Weissman’s residential foreclosure practice. Throughout his career, Young has also advised and represented homebuilders, developers, lenders, and loan servicers on variety of matters.last_img read more

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George Floyd updates: Public viewing draws more than 6,300 visitors ahead of funeral

first_imgTamir Kalifa for The Washington Post via Getty ImagesBy MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News(NEW YORK) — The death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died in Minneapolis on May 25 shortly after a white police officer was filmed kneeling on his neck as three other officers stood by, has sparked widespread outrage, anti-racist protests and calls for police reform across the United States and around the world.The Minneapolis Police Department fired all four officers after video of the incident surfaced. The one who prosecutors say pinned Floyd down for nearly nine minutes, Derek Chauvin, has since been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The three other officers, Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao, each have been charged with second-degree aiding and abetting felony murder as well as second-degree aiding and abetting manslaughter, according to court documents.This story is being updated throughout the day Tuesday. Please check back for updates. All times Eastern:6:58 a.m.: London mayor launches commission to review landmarks to reflect diversityLondon Mayor Sadiq Khan announced Tuesday a commission to review landmarks in the U.K. capital.The Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm aims to “improve diversity across London’s public realm to ensure the capital’s landmarks suitably reflect London’s achievements and diversity.” The newly-formed commission “will focus on increasing representation among Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, women, the LGBTQ+ community and disability groups,” according to a statement from the mayor’s office.The review of landmarks “will be wide in scope and consider murals, street art, street names, statues and other memorials,” according to the statement.“Our capital’s diversity is our greatest strength, yet our statues, road names and public spaces reflect a bygone era,” Khan said. “It is an uncomfortable truth that our nation and city owes a large part of its wealth to its role in the slave trade and while this is reflected in our public realm, the contribution of many of our communities to life in our capital has been willfully ignored.”“This cannot continue. We must ensure that we celebrate the achievements and diversity of all in our city, and that we commemorate those who have made London what it is — that includes questioning which legacies are being celebrated,” he added. “The Black Lives Matter protests have rightly brought this to the public’s attention, but it’s important that we take the right steps to work together to bring change and ensure that we can all be proud of our public landscape.”The announcement comes after the statue of former U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill, located outside the Houses of Parliament, was spray-painted with the words “was a racist” during anti-racism protests over the weekend. Meanwhile, in the English port city of Bristol, protesters toppled a statue of 17th-century slave-trader Edward Colston and tossed it into the harbor.5:35 a.m.: Judge grants 10-day injunction on removal of Robert E. Lee monumentA circuit court judge has granted a 10-day injunction on the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Virginia’s capital.Richmond ABC affiliate WRIC-TV reports that the temporary injunction was approved on Monday. The order prohibits for 10 days the removal of the statute of the Confederate general, located on Monument Avenue in Richmond.The news comes on the same day that crews were called to inspect the statue, as part of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s plan to take it down as soon as possible and put it into storage.Northam’s spokesperson, Alena Yarmosky, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the administration is still reviewing the order.“Governor Northam remains committed to removing this divisive symbol from Virginia’s capital city, and we’re confident in his authority to do so,” Yarmosky said.Officials in states across the country have announced the removal of Confederate-era monuments amid widespread civil unrest following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.4:56 a.m.: Black activist who trained police on implicit bias seriously injured in protestsA Black activist who trained San Jose police officers on implicit bias was seriously injured during protests in the California city, the mayor’s office said.Derrick Sanderlin “suffered potentially permanent injuries caused by a rubber bullet at a recent demonstration,” according to a statement Monday from San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.Liccardo has called for a ban on the police’s use of rubber bullets in crowds, expanding the authority of San Jose’s civilian independent police auditor as well as a full review of the city’s use of force policies, among other measures. He has also called for greater accountability for police misconduct “so bad cops can be fired faster,” according to the statement.However, Liccardo said that defunding police budgets “will hurt the very people who have suffered the most from systemic racism in this nation.”“Rich, white communities and businesses in suburban malls will just accelerate the hiring of private security guards,” the mayor said in the statement Monday.3:44 a.m.: Public viewing for George Floyd draws more than 6,300 visitorsThousands of mourners lined up in the blazing heat to view the casket of George Floyd in his hometown of Houston on Monday.More than 6,300 people attended the six-hour public viewing at The Fountain of Praise church in southwest Houston. The average wait was about 30 minutes, and four people had to be transported to a local hospital for heat exhaustion, according to Dallas Jones, a deacon at the church.Visitors were required to wear masks and gloves to comply with coronavirus-related guidelines.Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was among the attendees at the public viewing.A private funeral will be held at the church Tuesday, followed by a burial at the Houston Memorial Gardens cemetery in the suburb of Pearland, where Floyd will be laid to rest next to his mother, according to the family’s representatives.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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‘Incommunicado’ Forever: Gitmo Detainee’s Case Stalled For 2,477 Days And Counting

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York This story was co-published with Politico.Since being seized in a raid in Pakistan in 2002, Abu Zubaydah has had his life controlled by American officials, first at secret sites, where he was tortured, and since 2006 in a small cell in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. And, thanks to one of the strangest, and perhaps most troubling, legal cases to grow out of the War on Terror, it appears he’s not going to be leaving anytime soon—which was exactly the plan the CIA always wanted. Not even his lawyers understand what’s transpired behind closed doors in a Washington, D.C., courtroom.In June of 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that detainees at Guantanamo had the right to challenge their imprisonment in federal court and that their cases should be handled “promptly” by the judicial system. The next month, lawyers for Abu Zubaydah, a detainee whose torture and waterboarding in secret prisons was among the most notorious of the Bush years, filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging his detention.The progress of that case has been anything but prompt. While more than 100 Guantanamo detainees have been released since then, and the military tribunals of even more high-profile detainees like 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed are moving forward in Guantanamo’s courtrooms, the federal judge hearing Zubaydah’s case has failed to rule on even the preliminary motions.The seemingly intentional inaction has left even experienced court observers baffled. Richard W. Roberts, the U.S. District court judge handling the suit, is not a particularly slow-moving judge. His median time for resolving entire cases is slightly over two years; Zubaydah’s initial plea has already been pending 6 years 9 months and 12 days.Because the entire file has been kept secret, it’s not possible to know why Roberts, who is the chief judge of the D.C. circuit, has let Zubaydah’s case languish. But this much is clear: Keeping Zubaydah from telling his story is exactly what the CIA wanted from the moment it began to torture him. And it’s exactly what they promised they’d do in 2002 during one of the darkest chapters of the War on Terror. (He was one of the first al-Qaeda suspects to face the harsh new regime implemented by the CIA following 9/11—a regime that FBI agents at the scene tried to prevent.)Soon after the agency’s contractors began their program of “enhanced interrogation” at the secret black site in Thailand – placing him in a coffin-size box; slamming him against wall; depriving him of sleep; bombarding him with loud music; as well as waterboarding – they sent an encrypted cable to Washington.The CIA interrogators said that if Zubaydah died during questioning, his body would be cremated. But if he survived the ordeal, the interrogators wanted assurances that he would “remain in isolation and incommunicado for the remainder of his life.”Senior officials gave the assurances. Zubaydah, a Saudi citizen, “will never be placed in a situation where he has any significant contact with others and/or has the opportunity to be released,” the head of the CIA’s ALEC Station, the code name of the Washington-based unit hunting Osama bin Laden, replied. “All major players are in concurrence,” the cable said, that he “should remain incommunicado for the remainder of his life.”The decision to hold Zubaydah “incommunicado” was disclosed by the Senate report on torture, which was released last December. But the judicial inaction on his case has received virtually no public attention.In all, Roberts has failed to rule on 16 motions, 13 of which have been filed by Zubaydah’s lawyers. Several of those allege misconduct by the government.Roberts’ judicial inaction runs the gamut: Zubaydah’s motion for an un-redacted copy of his own diary, which the government seized, has sat for six years without any ruling by the judge. His habeas corpus petition was sealed at the request of the government. Zubaydah’s lawyers filed to have it declassified. It remains classified.A lawyer with the Center for Constitutional Rights, which has been at the forefront of lawsuits to gain the release of Guantanamo detainees, says he has been baffled by the judge’s inaction. “It appears to be highly unusual,” says the lawyer, J. Wells Dixon, who has represented several Guantanamo detainees, but is not involved in the Zubaydah case. In contrast to Zubaydah’s case, Dixon said that 64 Guantanamo detainees who filed habeas petitions have seen their cases adjudicated.Rooted in English common law, the principle of habeas corpus is a cornerstone of the American legal system. In England, it served as a check on the king’s power to lock someone in the dungeon and throw away the key. Dixon noted that the Supreme Court has said habeas was designed to be a “swift and imperative remedy.”Yet Judge Roberts appears content to let Zubaydah’s case languish. Compared to his handling of other cases, the jurist has been anything but “swift” in Zubaydah’s case. For cases he closed in 2014, the median time from filing was 751 days, according to data assembled for ProPublica by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a nonprofit organization at Syracuse University. The longest any closed case had been on his docket was 1,651 days, according to TRAC. Zubaydah’s case has been pending for some 2,400 days, and it will be years before it goes to trial, if it ever does.There are few answers for why Zubaydah’s case has gone so far off track — and there’s nothing in Roberts’ background or recent behavior on the bench that would make him seem incapable of ruling if he desired. He was appointed to the court by President Bill Clinton in 1998 and has a fairly typical background for a federal judge: A Columbia law school grad, he rose through the ranks of the Department of Justice, working as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York and as principal assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. He later spent three years as the chief of the criminal section at the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Absent the apparently intentional aberration of the Zubaydah case, his court docket proceeds as normal in Courtroom 9 on the fourth floor of the U.S. District Courthouse on Pennsylvania Avenue NW.A spokeswoman for the federal district court declined to comment on the case.One possible clue about the judge’s failure to act may be found in a motion Zubaydah’s lawyers filed in 2010. They asked Roberts for access to any “ex parte filings,” which is evidence the government shows the court outside the presence of the other side’s lawyers.In other cases involving detainees, secret prisons, watch lists and challenges to domestic spying, the Justice Department has attempted to win dismissals by presenting classified evidence to judges in the secrecy of their chambers.A rare insight into how that tactic is deployed was made public by a federal judge in San Francisco in a lawsuit by a Malaysian woman who challenged her placement on the no-fly list. The government sought to dismiss the case on the grounds of national security. In a ruling on the motion, the judge, William H. Alsup, described what happened next: “A telephone call came into the court staff saying that a federal agent was on the way from Washington to San Francisco to show the judge confidential records about this case, all to be relied upon by the government in support of its motion to dismiss (but not to be disclosed to the other side). The officer would take back the records after the judge reviewed them and would leave no record behind of what he had shown the judge.”In that case, Alsup declined to receive the officials, although he did receive other ex parte filings in the case.It’s not clear whether Judge Roberts has received a comparable offer, and if so, how he reacted. But it’s unlikely that if such a meeting or meetings happened, the public would ever know—and likely that not even Zubaydah’s own lawyers would know about it, unless Roberts came forward as Alsup did.Although the case is an infamous one, it’s worth recalling the details of Abu Zubaydah’s custody in U.S. hands.He was captured in a joint Pakistani-CIA-FBI operation in Lahore, Pakistan, in March 2002, during which he was shot in the groin, leg and stomach. Severely wounded, Zubaydah lingered near death as the CIA, which wanted him alive for interrogation, flew in a top surgeon from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. Later, Zubaydah was handcuffed, hooded, drugged and flown to Thailand, where the CIA was in the process of creating one of its first “black sites.” Initially interviewed by the FBI, Zubaydah cooperated. FBI Special Agents Ali Soufan and Steve Gaudin even held ice to his lips so he could receive fluids. Zubaydah told the agents that Khalid Sheik Mohammad was the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and gave them further detailed information about him, including his alias—the news ricocheted across Washington and Zubaydah became a pawn in the capital’s power tussle between the FBI and the CIA.CIA Director George Tenet wasn’t satisfied with the progress on the interrogation. The agency was convinced that Zubaydah knew more, that he was a high-level al-Qaeda operative, and that he was withholding information about pending terrorist plots. Thus, Zubaydah became the guinea pig for what the Bush Administration called “enhanced interrogation techniques.” The FBI pulled its agents out of Thailand as the CIA’s plans for the prisoner became clear—but not before the agents got one final useful tip: Zubaydah pointed them to a name “Abu Abdullah al Mujahir” that eventually led agents to José Padilla, a would-be jihadist who was arrested in Chicago on May 8, 2002.Meanwhile, the CIA started in on Zubaydah. For 47 days, he was held in complete isolation, with only a towel. Then, shortly before noon on August 4, 2002, hooded security personnel entered his cell, shackled and hooded him, and removed his towel, leaving him naked. “So it begins,” a medical officer in Thailand cabled CIA headquarters about the first day’s session.Interrogators placed a towel around his neck, as a collar, and slammed him against a concrete wall. They removed his hood and had him watch while a coffin-like box was brought into the cell. The waterboarding started, “after large box, walling, and small box periods,” the medical officer reported. “NO useful information so far.” He added, “I am head[ing] back for a waterboard session.” During the waterboarding Zubaydah frequently vomited, made “hysterical pleas,” and experienced “involuntary leg, chest and arm spasms.”After a few days, some of the individuals involved in Zubaydah’s interrogation were deeply disturbed, to the “point of tears and choking up,” the team cabled Washington.Over the course of the interrogations, Zubaydah “cried,” he “begged,” he “pleaded,” he “whimpered,” the team in Thailand reported to headquarters in various cables. But he never gave the CIA information about plans for attacks in the United States. And in the end, the CIA “concluded that Abu Zubaydah had been truthful and that he did not possess any new terrorist threat information,” the Senate torture report says. He was not even a member of al-Qaeda.Yet even though the torture was over, Zubaydah’s ordeal was just beginning. For nearly a decade, he’s been shuttled around the world and held in legal limbo—even as hundreds of detainees have been transferred or released and court cases have moved forward for other suspected terrorists at Guantanamo.After the first media reports appeared about a CIA secret prison in Thailand, Zubaydah was moved to a secret site in Poland. A year ago, the European court of human rights ruled that Poland had been complicit with the United States in subjecting Zubaydah to “inhuman and degrading treatment,” and ordered Poland to pay him reparations. After losing an appeal, Poland paid Zubaydah 100,000 Euros, which Zubaydah has said he will give to victims of torture.Zubaydah, who was transferred from Poland to Guantanamo Bay in 2006, has not fared well with the American judicial system even as his lawyers have attempted to nudge the case forward to a conclusion.Much of the case remains wrapped in secrecy, meaning that his lawyers are unable to discuss or elaborate upon much of their work or knowledge of the case. Glimpses into it, though, are possible through the languishing court filings. Zubaydah’s lawyers have filed two motions that raise questions about the government’s conduct in the case. In 2010, they sought an “order prohibiting the government from obstructing petitioner’s investigation.” The court hasn’t ruled, and we don’t know what might have prompted this request because the documents are sealed. Similarly, three years ago, Zubaydah’s lawyers asked for sanctions against the government because of what they said was “the improper seizure” of documents “subject to the attorney-client privilege.” Again, Judge Roberts has yet to rule.Frustrated by the inaction in the case, Zubaydah’s lawyers filed a motion in January asking the judge to recuse himself for “nonfeasance.” It is an unusual motion. Judges are occasionally asked to recuse themselves because of conflicts of interest or bias, but not for simply failing to act. The government has filed its response, which is sealed, and the judge—perhaps not surprisingly, given the track record thus far—has not yet ruled.“We don’t take this step lightly,” said Joseph Margulies, one of Zubaydah’s lawyers. Margulies, an experienced criminal defense lawyer who has represented several Guantanamo detainees and is a professor at Cornell University School of Law, added, “I have never seen a case in which there has been this much judicial inaction. There has to be a remedy.”But there may not be. If Judge Roberts “ignores Abu Zubaydah’s case, there is very little we can do,” said Margulies. “The net effect is that the CIA wins.”ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.last_img read more

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Pair of school bond measures failing

first_imgPALMDALE – Two bond measures that would impose new taxes on property owners to help build more schools were failing Tuesday to draw the 55 percent voter approval they need to pass, according to early returns. The $177.5 million Measure E was proposed to help the Antelope Valley Union High School District pay for high schools in southeast Palmdale and in either southwest Palmdale or west Lancaster, and to complete construction of Eastside High and expand Quartz Hill High. Westside Union School District’s $67.5 million Measure K was proposed to help build three elementary schools and a middle school. If passed, Measure E would raise property taxes about $30 per $100,000 assessed valuation, which is slightly more than what property owners already pay on a high school bond measure passed by voters in 2002. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2If passed, Measure K would raise property taxes about $27 per $100,000 assessed valuation. Westside property owners already pay about $18 per $100,000 assessed valuation on a tax approved in 1989 that nine years later was extended until 2026. [email protected] (661) 267-5742 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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