The information provided on this web-site is only for the purpose of educating current members of Citizens for Legal Responsibility as to Illinois law. For our members in other states, the law may be different, but in most probability it is not. Check with a registered, ethical attorney before proceeding.

It would not surprise Citizens that some attorneys may claim that the following information is not Illinois law. These would be the same attorneys who have previously engaged in violating the following law and would be in a conflict of interest should they advise you otherwise. Further the officer of the court may have been involved in fiduciary theft of property, and certainly does not want to be charged with fiduciary fraud.

Citizens further suggests that the following Illinois law applies not only to real property but to all property.

Citizens is not referring to who holds the mortgage on your house, but who is the true and legal owner of your house.

Nor is Citizens referring to whose name is on the title of the property. Your name may be on the title, but you may not own the property in question.

In addition, a title insurance policy is not indicative of who is the true owner of the property.

While person A or party A may lawfully sell a piece of property, whether real property or not, to person B or party B, the sale is lawful only if person A or party A lawfully owned the property which was purchased from a previous lawful owner.

The sale is predicated on the fact that no court was directly or indirectly involved in the sale of that property at any time.

Since a court which engages in a statutory proceeding, such as a divorce, paternity, adoption, probate, bankruptcy, all Federal Courts, etc., is governed by the rules of limited jurisdiction, the law states that there is no presumption that the judge holds jurisdiction. Should the judge engage in any act beyond that which the law or the statute grants him or her authority, the order of the court is void, of no legal force or effect anywhere and at any time.

In such a case, the judicial order granting the sale of the property is void, of no legal force or effect anywhere. Should the property be sold, the previous owner is still the legal owner of the property, no matter whose name is on the title.

Nor does this apply only to the previous owner. When purchasing property, the purchaser is required to inspect the entire record of the property and of each and every previous judicial case in which the property was involved. In the event that any officer of the court in any previous judicial hearing engaged in "fraud upon the court", or in which the judge engaged in any act which he had no authority to engage in, whether by law or by statute, the owner of the house or property at that previous time remains the legal owner of the house.

In fact, a good case can be made that each and every person who appeared on that property without the true owner's express permission, has engaged in criminal trespass. And each of them may be subject to a claim for damages.

Courts have stated that:

As one example, under Illinois law, during a divorce action, a court has no power to determine property rights since such can be based only upon a valid divorce decree. Should any property be ordered sold by a judge prior to the granting of a valid divorce, the judge has engaged in an action beyond which he has any authority. Should the property be sold, the party who lawfully owned the property prior to the court's order, remains the true owner of the property.

And it is the purchaser of the property who has the legal burden to establish that the judge issued a valid divorce decree.

Citizens further suggests that, in any divorce action in which property is ordered to be sold prior to the granting of a valid divorce decree, the judge has acted without lawful authority and the divorce decree, even if issued later, is not a valid divorce decree.

Courts have also stated that a purchaser of property is not entitled to rely on a judicial proceeding the record of which evinces a lack of jurisdiction.

It is a rule of law that a purchaser, whether he be a party to the record or a stranger, and all subsequent titleholders are chargeable with notice of the condition of the record and are not protected from the consequences of purchasing under a void judgment or decree.

Courts have held that any party, as purchaser at an execution sale, is presumed to be cognizant of every fact pertaining to the status of the judgment.

The general rule is that an execution may not issue upon a void judgment; an execution so issued is itself absolutely void, and such invalidity extends to acts performed thereunder. Accordingly, title does not pass to a purchaser at an execution sale, where the judgment supporting it is void.

Every execution sale and all conveyances or other evidences of title founded thereon depend upon the authority of the officer who makes such sale. If a judgment is void and execution should nevertheless be sued out, it would confer no authority whatever upon the officer executing it and a sale made under it and all official conveyances or other evidences of title founded thereon would be absolutely null and void.

If the order issued by any court is void, then it must be reversed and the plaintiff must be restored to his former condition or status, the same as though the decree had not been rendered.

Should a title company issue a title policy to a purchaser involved in a sale based on a void order, the title company becomes liable in damages under non-contractual tort liability.

A title policy issued to a person who purchases based on a void order does not protect the purchaser. The purchaser does not own the real estate in question (as the true owner remains the owner of the property) and the new purchaser becomes liable for damages.

Further should a real estate salesperson be involved in the sale of real estate based on a void order, that person becomes liable to the true owner of the property. Damages could also be assessed against any party involved in moving or storage of any personal property taken from the involved real estate.

And, since under Illinois law, if the judge has no jurisdiction and property has been sold thereto, then he and those who advise and act with him, or execute his process, are trespassers of the law. Citizens suggests that if any party should provide financing for the purchase of property based on a void order, that party would also be liable for damages.

The question is who lawfully owns your home that was sold by a court without jurisdiction. No matter whose name is on the title, you are the legal owner of the property if the court was without jurisdiction.


In a discussion with a CPA about the tax consequences of such a sale or purchase of property that was sold in a judicial proceeding wherein the judge did not have jurisdiction, Citizens was apprised of the following:

While any entity may pay the mortgage interest or the property taxes on a specific piece of property, only the legal owner may take a legal deduction of such payment on either a Federal or State Income Tax declaration.

Should an entity take a deduction for mortgage interest or property taxes when the entity is not the legal owner, then the entity is committing perjury, and engaged in filing a false income tax return, by claiming a deduction where no legal deduction is allowed.

Since the property tax was paid voluntarily by the entity who was not legally responsible for its payment, the payment is a voluntary payment and the legal owner is not responsible for repayment to the entity paying the property tax.

If you have purchased property which has been sold by a judge without jurisdiction, do you want to engage in perjury and filing a false income tax return?

Additional information may be available to current members of CLR

Copyright© 1999 by Citizens for Legal Responsibility®.
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     email: clr@clr.org

Created August 6, 1999

Last updated October 6, 1999