Texas Law Research Help:
Texas Rules of Civil Procedure
Part I - General Rules
Section 4 - Pleading
A. General

A pleading founded wholly or in part on any private or special act or law of this State or of the Republic of Texas need only recite the title thereof, the date of its approval, and set out in substance so much of such act or laws as may be pertinent to the cause of action or defense.

What you find below is a treasury of information, if you are a Texan, or have the desire to get to Texas in the near future; Or, are just a history buff of what once was, but stranger still, of what still is. We all have heard that truth is stranger than fiction. Below is proof of the pudding. I love history, and what is behind the scenes that are the cogs that turn the wheels of time, law and jurisdiction. Enough of the clichés, let’s get down to brass tacks.

Let’s state a few facts about the Republic of Texas that are stranger than fiction:

Today you will find that the rotunda in the middle of the floor of the capital building located in Austin, Texas contains the seal of the Republic of Texas instead of the seal of The State of Texas. This was installed in 1936, to commemorate Texas' Centennial of statehood. The Texas Rules of Civil Procedure were created and approved by justices of the Supreme Court of Texas and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Rule 53 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure states that the laws of the Republic of Texas are still valid today and will be recognized as valid by every judge that sits on a bench within the borders of Texas. If you have been lead to believe that the nation of the Republic of Texas no longer exists, then ask your attorney or yourself, “[w]hy does the justices of the Supreme Court of Texas want me to know that the laws of the Republic of Texas not only still exist, but are considered valid after more than 170 years of its 'annexation' by the United States?” The 'Relation Back' principle demands that the Laws in force when certain conveyances of land, or contracts were executed, are the laws that govern. When using this defense, this is one Rule of Civil Procedure to remember: Rule 53.



GAMMELS LAWS of TEXAS  1822-1897
A compilation of Texas legal materials from the early nineteenth through the early twentieth century. Includes material related to the colonization of Texas and the Republic of Texas, as well as General and Special Laws of Texas for the first through thirty-seventh Legislatures. The University of North Texas Libraries' Portal to Texas History allows users to browse or search the twenty-volume set.
GAMMEL'S LAWS of TEXAS - PDF's Coming soon



Patents issued to Assignees of All Authenticated Chain of Title -

(Gammel's 2 Act- 1049-1196 page 99)  Moved, but Never Repealed.

A. To provide for the issuance of Patents to Assignees.
Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Republic of Texas in Congress assembled, That the Commissioner of the General Land Office be authorized and required to issue patents in the names of the Assignees of all transferable land claims, upon their presenting to him a complete and properly authenticated chain of transfer or obligation for title, from the original grantee.
Section 2. Be it further enacted, That hereafter patents may issue in the name of the Assignee, when the certificate was granted in the name of the Assignee, without an exhibition of a chain of transfers as prescribed in the tenth section of an act supplementary to "an act to detect fraudulent land certificates, and to provide for issuing patents to legal claimants, approved February fourth, one thousand eight hundred and forty-one," and all laws contravening this act are hereby repealed.
Section 3. Be it further enacted, That this act be in force from and after its passage. Approved, February 3d, 1845.

The above, morphed into the following form:
(that came from the link.)

Also see:
Title 31, Texas Administrative Code:  Part 1: General Land Office, Chapter 1, Subchapter D, Rule Section 1.41

Texas Administrative Code
RULE §1.41
Lands Not Otherwise Patentable

Any headright survey, homestead, donation, pre-emption, scrip, or other survey heretofore awarded or sold, which survey has been held and claimed in good faith by any party for a period of ten years prior to the date of application for patent and which survey cannot be patented under other existing laws, shall be patented when an affidavit of ownership is filed with the General Land Office, along with a chain of title consisting of certified copies of deeds from the original applicant down to and including the present owner, accompanied by a filing fee of $3.00 for each deed. Payment of the purchase price of the land as fixed by the School Land Board shall be made as provided by Texas Civil Statutes, Article 5421c-3, §4. Corrected field notes may be required to be filed at the discretion of the commissioner of the General Land Office.

Source Note: The provisions of this §1.41 adopted to be effective January 1, 1976.

Remember, The Codification of Laws, must be without substantive change, and cannot impair the obligations of contracts.*
* As per Texas Government Code, Title 1, Chapter 1, § 1.001. Purpose Of Code.

Property Rights Retained Even In Municipality

Texas Local Government Code Section 51.073 - The adoption or amendment of the municipality's charter does not affect any previously existing property, action, right of action, claim, or demand involving the municipality.  A right of action, claim, or demand may be asserted as fully as though the adoption or amendment of the charter had not occurred.

Texas Revised Civil Statutes Article 1178 – The adoption of any charter hereunder or any amendment thereof shall never be construed to destroy any property, action, rights of action, claims, and demands of any nature or kind whatever vested in the city under and by virtue of any charter therefore existing or otherwise accruing to the city, but all such rights of action, claims or demands shall vest in and inure to the city and to any persons asserting any such claims against the city as fully as though the said charter or amendment had not been adopted hereunder.

Texas Jur 52 § 296 – Planned unit development
An agreement governing the creation, development, and existence of a planned unit development district must be between the governing body of the municipality and the owner of the land subject to the agreement. The agreement is not effective until signed by both parties and any other person with an interest in the land, as that interest is evidenced by an instrument recorded in the deed records of the county or counties in which the land is located.

Property Code  Title 4. - Actions And Remedies  Ch. 22. - Trespass To Try Title
Subchapter A. - General Provisions  § 22.004.. Effect Of Former Law.
This chapter does not affect rights that existed before the introduction of the common law in this state. Those rights are defined by the principles of the law in effect at the time the rights accrued.

Important for Liens and Levy's: for Land granted out of Public Domain

The Following Two Attachments Should Change Everything When it Comes to Liens, Levies and Seizing Texas Property in non-judicial Foreclosures or otherwise;  But only if you invoke TRCP  Rule 53, and if the judges go by Texas Rules of Court as applicable on land granted with applicable land grants or patents, under the laws in force and effect when the land was granted, as Constitutionally protected under Art. 7§20 ; Art. 13§1, 2, 3 & 10 of

Reminder of Texas Rules of Court Rule 53:


A pleading founded wholly or in part on any private or special act or law of this State or of the Republic of Texas need only recite the title thereof, the date of its approval, and set out in substance so much of such act or laws as may be pertinent to the cause of action or defense.

Republic of Texas Law - Bond to Levy.pdf  is a January 25th, 1841 mandate that a bond must be presented to the Sheriff Coroner or Constable to indemnify the seller of the property.

Republic of Texas Law- Injunction against Levy.pdf  is a February 5th, 1840 mandate that non-judicial foreclosure is not allowed and a judgment is required before seizure of property is completed.


TEXAS LEGISLATIVE REFERENCE LIBRARY of TEXAS has all the historical House and Senate Journals of the Texas Legislature and the Congress of the Republic of Texas listed from current, back to October of 1836.
THE TEXAS STATE LAW LIBRARY is a wonderful partner in research and a great help in finding documents.

They do NOT give legal advice or interpretation.
Tom C. Clark Bldg., G-01
205 W. 14th St.
Austin, TX  78701-1614
Toll free (844) 829-2843

TEXAS GOVERNMENT LAND OFFICE These fine folks archive and have friendly search engines to locate your patent or grant which should be stipulated on your survey abstract number ….  It should tell you what the Abstract Number is in the County where the Land is located.
TEXAS GOVERNMENT LAND OFFICE  (GLO)   has a great search tool, and has free downloadable PDF documents.  From there, you can order a Certified copy of the Land Patent or Grant your land is on.  If a Mexican or Spanish Land Grant, you will need to order a translation of the Grant as well, as no county will record one in the Spanish language. There is a fee for this service.
GLO also provides Services, such as Land Classification Letters, which tell what minerals were reserved for the STATE OF TEXAS, if any, and a Certificate of Fact which gives the Chronological history of your land, from the Certificate being issued, the survey being done, and the Patent or Grant being issued.


The records, filed with the Texas Secretary of State's Statutory Documents Section, comprise deeds to property, title abstracts, deeds of cession of jurisdiction, and other documents which legally transfer title of property AND jurisdiction between the state of Texas and other parties, including private individuals, corporations, local governments, and the federal government of the United States.


This book called "The Authentication Acknowledgment Proof of Written Instruments under The Various Laws Which Have Been In Force in Texas From Her Earliest History To The Present Time" by Russell Whitelaw Houk of the Houston Bar, Published by Bancroft-Whitney Company, in San Francisco, Law Publishers and Law Booksellers 1905. and found this Act about Certificates which Must Comply With Laws in Force At Time Certificate Is Made.

The Mexican cession and " Kearney’s Code"


CONGRESSIONAL RECORD—Extensions of Remarks October 23, 2000  on a side note as concerns the Guadalupe-Hidalgo Treaty:

there was in fact a stipulation in effect under what is referred to as Kearney's Code, which stands still today that the Fed does not have enforcement authority over territory or other property the subject of which is under the then existing Treaty(ies) in pertinent part to wit:

I. Breaking Down the Principles of Ownership A. The law prior to Nevada Statehood.

1. The Mexican cession and "Kearney’s Code."

Nevada became a state on October 30, 1864. Prior to that time the area in question was part of the territory of Nevada. The territory of Nevada had been created out of the western portion of the territory of Utah. Utah Territory has been a portion of the Mexican cession resulting from the Mexican War of 1845–46. U.S. Brigadier General of the Army of the West, Stephen Watts Kearney, instituted an interim rule, commonly referred to as "Kearney’s Code," over the ceded area pending formal treaty arrangement between the U.S. and Mexico. The Mexican cession was formalized two years later with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, February 2, 1848.

3. Only the states possess the authority to define property.

As a general proposition, the United States, as opposed to the several states, is not possessed of a residual authority enabling it to define property in the first instance.

The United States has performed the role of agent over lands which are lawfully owned by the union of states, or the United States. Individual States in the southwest, established laws deriving from local custom and court decisions (common law) for determining property rights. These were the local laws, customs, and decisions of the court affirmed by Congress in the Act of July 26, 1866. The Act extended this principle to all the western states and conferred a license on settlers to develop property rights in both the mineral estates and surface estate of the mineral lands of the United States.

4. The Act for Surveying Public Lands of June 4, 1897, also known as the Forest Reserve Organic Act which excluded all lands within Forest Reserves more valuable for agriculture and mining and guaranteed rights to access, the right to construct roads and improvements, the right to acquire water rights under state law, and continued state jurisdiction over all persons and property within forest reserves.

2. The courts insist that these laws must be read on pari materia (all together).

The courts have stated repeatedly that laws relating to the same subject (such as land disposal laws) must be read in pari materia (all together). In other words, FLPMA or any other land disposal act cannot be read as if it stands alone. It must be read together with all its parts and with every other prior land disposal act of Congress if the true intent of the act is to be known.

3. Each of these Acts contain "savings" clauses protecting existing right, including FLPMA.

All acts of Congress, relating to land disposal contain a savings clause protecting prior existing rights. FLPMA contains a savings clause protecting prior existing property rights. There is an obvious reason for this. Any land disposal law passed by Congress without a savings clause would amount to a "taking" of private property without compensation. This could trigger litigation against the United States and monetary liability on the part of the U.S.

The Presidential Executive Order which created the Humboldt National Forest contained a savings clause, protecting all existing rights and excluding all land more valuable for agriculture and mining. The Road was in existence long before there was a Humboldt National Forest. The Road was a prior existing right, having been confirmed by the Act of 1866 and related subsequent acts of Congress as well as court decisions. The Road was never a part of the Humboldt National Forest, and could not be made a part of the Humboldt National Forest without triggering the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States dealing with "takings" and "compensation."

Jarbidge Wilderness Area also contained a savings clause protecting prior existing rights.

B. The United States makes errant arguments claiming ownership of the Road.

1. The U.S. argument regarding "public lands" resulting from Mexican cession logically fails on its face.

The U.S. argues that the Mexican cession of 1846, ratified in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, conveyed the Road and the land of the Road crosses to the United States, which some 150 years later remain ‘‘public land’’ unencumbered by private rights. If this argument is valid, the myriad other roads, highways, towns, cities, ranches, farms, mines and other private property which did not exist in the southwest in 1846 but which exists today also remain the sole property of the United States.

One cannot logically reach the first conclusion without accepting the later.

2. The true nature of "public lands."

"Public Lands" are "lands open to sale or other dispositions under general laws, lands to which no claim or rights of others have attached." The United States Supreme Court has stated: "It is well settled that all land to which any claim or rights of others has attached does not fall within the designation of public lands." FLPMA defines "public lands" to mean "any land and interest in land owned by the United States within the several states and administered by the Secretary of the Interior through the Bureau of Land Management." The mineral estate of lands within the exterior boundaries of National Forests are administered by the Secretary of the Interior through the Bureau of Land Management.


As laid out in this report and in the hearing record, un-rebutted evidence presented in the Road dispute clearly demonstrates that the United States and its agent, the US Forest Service, have no claim to ownership of the Road. Control of property rights to the road clearly vests in the state of Nevada and Elko County on behalf of the public who created the road under the general right-of-way provisions of the Act of 1866. Even if Elko County disclaimed any interest in the road, the individual owners whose mines, ranches and other property are accessed by the road may have a compensable property right in the road.

Federal rules and regulations cannot extinguish property which derives from state law.

For the USFS to implement regulations under the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act or any other federal authority, which would divest citizens of their property is to trigger claims for compensation by the affected citizens. For the USFS to institute criminal action against Elko County for exercising its lawful jurisdiction over the road and the land adjacent to the Road is a usurpation of power upon which the US Supreme Court has long since conclusively ruled.

There is A LOT MORE meat in this and deserves a good read........


After looking for months for the Texas Equal Footing Clause, I finally found it at the Yale Law Library. Texas, as an Independent Nation itself, was annexed on an equal footing with the original 13 states (colonies), as they too had been granted from other independent Nations/Kingdoms.

Joint Resolution of the Congress of the United States, December 29,1845

29th Congress.1st Session

Begun and held at the city of Washington, in the District of Columbia, on Monday, the first day of December, eighteen hundred and forty-five.

Joint Resolution for the admission of the state of Texas into the Union.

Whereas, the Congress of the United States, by a Joint Resolution approved March the first, eighteen hundred and forty-five, did consent that the territory properly included within, and rightfully belonging to the Republic of Texas, might be erected into a new state, to be called The State of Texas, with a republican form of government, to be adopted by the people of said republic, by deputies in Convention assembled, with the consent of the existing government, in order that the same might be admitted as one of the states of the Union; which consent of Congress was given upon certain conditions specified in the first and second sections of said Joint Resolution: And whereas, the people of the said Republic of Texas, by deputies in Convention assembled, with the consent of the existing government, did adopt a Constitution and erect a new state, with a republican form of government, and in the name of the people of Texas, and by their authority, did ordain and declare, that they assented to and accepted the proposals, conditions, and guarantees contained in said first and second sections of said resolution: And whereas the said Constitution, with the proper evidence of its adoption by the people of the republic of Texas, has been transmitted to the President of the United States, and laid before Congress, in conformity to the provisions of said Joint Resolution:


Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the state of Texas shall be one, and is hereby declared to be one, of the United States of America, and admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original states, in all respects whatever.

Section 2. And be it further resolved, That until the representatives in Congress shall be apportioned according to an actual enumeration of the inhabitants of the United States, the state of Texas shall be entitled to choose two representatives.

Speaker of the House of Representatives.
G. M. Dallas.
President of the Senate.
Approved December 29 1845.

Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America.
Edited by Hunter Miller
Volume 4
Documents 80-121 : 1836-1846
Washington : Government Printing Office, 1934

Texas From Independence to Annexation 1836-1846

Texas Independence - Documents
Address of the Honorable S. F. Austin, Delivered at Louisville, Kentucky, March 7, 1836
The Texas Declaration of Independence : March 2, 1836
Treaty of Velasco : 14 May 1836

Texas-American Diplomacy
Convention to Terminate Reclamations : 1838
Texas-American Boundary Convention : 1838

Texas Annexation : Documents
The Treaty of Annexation - April 12, 1844
Joint Resolution of the Congress of the United States, March 1,1845
Inaugural Address of James K. Polk : March 4, 1845
Joint Resolution of the Congress of Texas, June 23, 1845
Ordinance of the Convention of Texas, July 4, 1845
Joint Resolution of the Congress of the United States, December 29,1845