Sometimes an inmate may want to transfer property that is located outside the prison, such as sell a vehicle or transfer title to a home. The basic steps to conduct this transfer are the same whether the inmate is in a county, state or federal correctional facility, and involve requesting the property title and the services of a notary, assigning the transfer and/or signing the title document and finally making arrangements to officially register the document.
- Skill level:
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Contact the person who has possession of the property. The inmate can write or call the person who holds the title document for the property he wishes to transfer and request that person to send the original title document (for example, the auto title, home deed, mobile home bill of sale) to him in at the prison address, in care of his inmate number (which is on his uniform).
Write a request for a notary. Transfers of property require the owner to execute (assign ownership and/or sign the title document) in front of a notary. An inmate requests a notary by completing a staff request form (called a "kite") and submits it to any guard or unit manager. Depending on prison policy, an inmate obtains this form from any prison guard or from the law library.
Notarise the document. After the inmate receives the title document, and submits the request for a notary, the notary (who, depending on the correctional facility, might be a prison manager, guard or other employee) witnesses and seals the inmate's modification of the form (if any) as well as the inmate's signature.
Register the title document. Registration is with a government entity outside the correctional facility (for example, house deeds are registered with county clerk and recorder offices). The inmates forwards the notarised document (by mail or personal delivery to a visitor) to a person from outside the prison, who then registers the document with the appropriate government office.
Tips and warnings
- An inmate may wish to give power of attorney to someone outside the correctional facility, which appoints that person to be the inmate's agent for banking, stock, lawsuit settlement, tax return and other transactions. To give power of attorney, the inmate obtains a power of attorney form from the law library, through the Internet (most correctional facilities allow inmates to research online legal forms) or from someone outside (who mails or brings the form to the prison). The inmate completes the form, requests a notary (Steps 2, 3), then mails it to the person designated as the power of attorney or gives it to her during a prison visit.
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