Henry-Dale: Goltz

7434 Tall Cedar [78249]

U.S.P.O. Box 690126

San Antonio, Texas



May 19, 2006


Mr. Gerry Rickhoff

Bexar County Clerk

100 Dolorosa, #108
San Antonio, TX 78205


Dear Mr. Rickhoff:


Subject: Federal Notice of Lien Records in Bexar County

Reference: Your letter to me, dated May 17, 2006 (copy attached)



Thank you for your response to my March 23rd letter.  The clear reading of your response led me to believe that my original letter lacked some clarity.  Of course, I did not expect you to respond to any issues outside your sphere of authority.  They were presented for informational purposes only.  However, you did write: “… we will be happy to respond to any further questions you have concerning our interpretation or application of the laws that define those responsibilities.”  It is in that vein, that I write this reply. 


In your indented paragraphs, you correctly identify your responsibilities as stated in the Texas Property Code Section 14.004(a)(2).  It appears, however, that in the performance of those duties, you have overlooked an essential element.  Paragraph (a) states, in relevant part: “If a notice of federal lien … is presented to a filing officer … (2) … he shall … forthwith file it … showing the … title and address of the official or entity certifying the lien ….” (Emphasis added)  The problem arises – while you did receive a “notice of federal lien”, you did not record the “title and address”, nor do you have a certification of the lien.  A “signature”, digital or otherwise, on a “notice of lien” is not a certification of a “lien”.  From Black’s Law Dictionary:


SIGNATURE.  The act of putting down a man’s name at the end of an instrument to attest its validity, the name thus written.

CERTIFY.  To testify in writing; to make known or establish as a fact.


The “signature” at the bottom of the notice of federal lien attests to the validity of the notice, but it does not “testify in writing” or “establish as a fact” the alleged underlying lien.  Certifying a lien is an entirely different thing than signing a notice.  The law [Texas Property Code Section 14.004(a)(2)] requires that you show the “title and address of the official or entity certifying the lien” – not the person signing a notice without any statement as to certification.  You cannot file these documents as liens or notices of liens because you do not know who “certified” the alleged lien.  There is no indication on the notice that it represents a certified lien.  In order to file a notice of federal lien, by Texas law you must obtain the “title and address of the official or entity certifying the lien”.  That is to say, the person authorized to certify liens must be identified, and that person must certify (testify in writing, establish as a fact) that there is a lawful lien underlying the notice.  A “signature” on a “notice” is not a “certification” of a “lien”.


This, Mr. Rickhoff, has been my fundamental point all along.  It is not required of you to make legal determinations in order to perform your job.  All you need do is to require that the person that submits the Notice of Federal Tax Lien to your office sign a certification and provide their title and address.  It could look something like this:


I CERTIFY that this “Notice of Federal Tax Lien” represents a lawful lien against the property of the person named in the space above designated as “Name of Taxpayer”.


Signature: _______________________     Title: _______________________


Address:  ______________________________________________________


If the representative from the IRS is unwilling to CERTIFY or properly identify the certifying authority, the “Notice” should, ideally, be rejected, or at worst, recorded as a mere “NOTICE”.  Recording it as a “FEDERAL TAX LIEN” is fraudulent under Texas law, improperly gives the appearance of encumbered property since no “lien” is in evidence or certified to be in evidence, and may lead to legal action against the County.  That is why I suggested that the filing of a “Notice of Federal Tax Lien” as a “Lien” be reconsidered.  You may remember my logic sound bite: A Notice of a Lien is no more a Lien, than a Notice of a Meeting is a Meeting.






                                                                             Henry-Dale: Goltz

                                                                             Phone: 210-269-6279


Attachments: Your letter of May 17, 2006