Quieting Title to Aircraft
Olathe Quiet Title Lawyer
Civilian aircraft must be "registered" with the Civil Registry
of the Federal Aviation Administration, except for narrow exceptions,
such as aircraft operated by the U.S. military and some foreign civilian
and military aircraft. The registration of civilian aircraft with the
FAA is governed by 14 CFR Part 49 (Code of Federal Regulations).
The Registry is where conveyances, such as sales and other transfers, are
recorded. The recording of such conveyances must meet strict criteria.
The make and model and manufacturer's serial number are essential
identifiers, although the "N" number is optional. For all filing
documents, originals, duplicate originals or certified copies must be
Special problems arise when liens properly recorded against the aircraft
(or the aircraft's engines or propellers) with the FAA registry. Unlike
your local Department of Motor Vehicles, the FAA is not responsible for
"removing" liens. It does not issue "clear title,"
or any title documents, for that matter. It simply records properly submitted
documents reflecting transfers of and encumbrances (e.g., liens) upon
For this reason, in most cases the FAA will accept for filing a certified
copy of a court order quieting title to the aircraft in your name as the
owner of record, or of extinguishing liens on the aircraft. That is, so
long as the basic filing requirements are met.
The Process of Quieting Title
In order to
quiet title, Martin & Wallentine could file a lawsuit in a court of competent
jurisdiction over the aircraft and/or the parties-in-interest (either
the aircraft seller or the persons or entities claiming liens on the aircraft).
We could then obtain service over the named parties and, in addition,
serve unknown third parties via "publication notice." This is
an added protection against later claims by third parties that they were
deprived of due process and that the order quieting title was void, defective,
or should be set aside.
Essentially, publication notice is an ad run in a newspaper in a specific
time and manner prescribed by statute. Everyone else in the world is deemed
to have read it. Although it is in this way a "legal fiction,"
nevertheless it provides the Court assurance that every attempt was made
to give third parties the statutorily required time to answer the lawsuit
and make a claim on the aircraft before the court issues its ruling regarding
As a practical matter, most "quiet title" lawsuits are uncontested.
Once the suit is filed and the required time-period for other parties
to answer the lawsuit has expired, we are in a position to submit an order
to the judge for his review. Provided the statutory requirements are met,
the judge is usually satisfied with attorneys' signatures on the order
and generally will not require you to "put on evidence" supporting
your claim to quiet title—that is, beyond the documents already
supplied to the court once the case is first filed. However, proper drafting
of the court Order Quieting Title is essential. It must satisfy the FAA's
requirements for filing and, furthermore, must effectively extinguish
any liens that may be "clouding" the aircraft's title.
Call Today. We Serve All of Johnson County!
If you need to have liens cleared, or otherwise need clean title to an
aircraft, contact the Olathe attorneys at
Martin & Wallentine today to discuss your case. Our lawyers are experienced at obtaining quiet
titles, including planes and other vehicles.