Mother Hubbard Clause Law & Legal Definition


Mother Hubbard Clause is a provision in a deed or instrument. It has varied meanings depending on the context it is used.

Mother Hubbard clause is commonly used to describe a standard provision in oil and gas leases which cover minor defects in the property description. It protects lessee against errors in the description of the property by providing that the lease covers all the land owned by the lessor in the area. It was originally designed to include small pockets of land missed by surveyors within a lease.

Mother Hubbard clause as used in a deed for the conveyance of real property attempts to sweep within it other parcels not specifically described. It describes the property conveyed in a general language.

In the case of a mortgage deed, it is a provision to the effect that the mortgage secures all the debts that the mortgagor may at any time owe to the mortgagee. In this sense it is also termed as anaconda clause or dragnet clause.

Mother Hubbard clause also refers to a written declaration by the court that any relief not expressly granted in a specific ruling or judgment is denied.

The following are examples of caselaw on Mother Hubbard Clause:

The inclusion of Mother Hubbard language or its equivalent in an order granting summary judgment makes an otherwise partial summary judgment final for appeal purposes. A Mother Hubbard clause generally recites that all relief not expressly granted is denied. The equivalent of a Mother Hubbard clause is a statement that the summary judgment is granted as to all claims asserted by plaintiff, or a statement that plaintiff takes nothing against defendant. [Midkiff v. Hancock East Tex. Sanitation, Inc., 996 S.W.2d 414 (Tex. App. Beaumont 1999)]

Mother Hubbard clauses, also referred to as "cover-all," "catch-all," or "all-inclusive" clauses, originated in oil and gas leases and mineral and royalty deeds so that an interest intended to be conveyed would be transferred even if the specific description used in the instrument omitted a particular portion thereof. In addition, public policy discourages the separate ownership of narrow strips of land.[Whitehead v. Johnston, 467 So. 2d 240 (Ala. 1985)]

A deed or other instrument in writing which is intended to convey an interest in real estate and which describes the property to be conveyed as "all of the grantor's property in a certain county," is commonly referred to as a "Mother Hubbard" instrument. [Luthi v. Evans, 576 P.2d 1064, 1067 (Kan. 1978)]

An instrument which contains a "Mother Hubbard" clause, describing the property conveyed in general language, is valid, enforceable, and effectively transfers the entire property interest as between the parties to the instrument. Such a transfer is not effective as to subsequent purchasers and mortgagees unless they have actual knowledge of the transfer. Where a deed does not describe with sufficient specificity the property covered by the conveyance, it is not sufficient to impart constructive notice.[Jeremiah 29:11, Inc. v. Seifert, 284 Kan. 468 (Kan. 2007)]