CHAPTER 92
TOWN CLERKS

Table of Contents

Sec. 7-24. *(See end of section for amended version and effective date.) Recording of instruments; safekeeping of records; recording of illegible instruments.
Sec. 7-25a. Electronic indexing system.
Sec. 7-29. Release or assignment of mortgage or lien.
Sec. 7-32k. Property upon which hunting or shooting sports regularly take place. Placement of property location on list maintained by town clerk. Notice. Liability not imposed by section.
Sec. 7-34a. Fees.

      Sec. 7-24. *(See end of section for amended version and effective date.) Recording of instruments; safekeeping of records; recording of illegible instruments. (a) Each town clerk who is charged with the custody of any public record shall provide suitable books, files or systems, acceptable to the Public Records Administrator, for the keeping of such records and may purchase such stationery and other office supplies as are necessary for the proper maintenance of his office. Such books, files or systems, and such stationery and supplies shall be paid for by the town, and the selectmen of the town, on presentation of the bill for such books and supplies properly certified to by the town clerk, shall draw their order on the treasurer in payment for the same. Every person who has the custody of any public record books of any town, city, borough or probate district shall, at the expense of such town, city, borough or probate district, cause them to be properly and substantially bound. He shall have any such records which have been left incomplete made up and completed from the usual files and memoranda, so far as practicable. He shall cause fair and legible copies to be seasonably made of any records which are worn, mutilated or becoming illegible, and shall cause the originals to be repaired, rebound or renovated, or he may cause any such records to be placed in the custody of the Public Records Administrator, who may have them repaired, renovated or rebound at the expense of the town, city, borough or probate district to which they belong. Any custodian of public records who so causes such records to be completed or copied shall attest them and shall certify, under the seal of his office, that they have been made from such files and memoranda or are copies of the original records. Such records and all copies of records made and certified to as provided for in this section and on file in the office of the legal custodian of such records shall have the force of the original records. All work done under the authority of this section shall be paid for by the town, city, borough or probate district responsible for the safekeeping of such records, but in no case shall expenditures exceeding three hundred dollars be made for repairs or copying records in any one year in any town or any probate district comprising one town only, unless the same are authorized by a vote of the town, nor in any probate district composed of two or more towns, unless the same are authorized by the first selectmen of all the towns included in such district.

      (b) There shall be kept in each town proper books, or in lieu thereof a recording system approved by the Public Records Administrator, in which all instruments required by law to be recorded shall be recorded at length by the town clerk within thirty days from the time they are left for record.

      (c) The town clerk shall, on receipt of any instrument for record, write thereon the day, month, year and time of day when he received it, and the record shall bear the same date and time of day; but he shall not be required to receive any instrument for record unless the fee for recording it is paid to him in advance except instruments received from the state or any political subdivision thereof, and, when he has received it for record, he shall not deliver it up to the parties or either of them until it has been recorded. When any town clerk has, upon receiving any instrument for record, written thereon the time of day when he received it as well as the day and year of such receipt, and when any town clerk has noted with the record of any instrument the time of day when he received the record, such entries of the time of day shall have the same effect as other entries that are required by law to be made.

      (d) Each town clerk shall also, within twenty-four hours of the receipt for record of any such instrument, enter in chronological order according to the time of its receipt as endorsed thereon, (1) the names of sufficient parties thereto to enable reasonable identification of the instrument, (2) the nature of the instrument and (3) the time of its receipt.

      (e) If the town clerk receives an instrument for record which in his opinion he deems to be illegible, he shall record such instrument, write thereon that it is being recorded as an illegible instrument and, if there is a return address appearing on such illegible instrument, give notice to the return addressee that a legible instrument should be submitted for rerecording forthwith. The fact that the town clerk records the instrument as an illegible instrument shall not affect its priority or validity.

      (1949 Rev., S. 550; 1955, S. 223d; 1967, P.A. 389, S. 1; 655, S. 2; P.A. 93-389, S. 1, 7; May 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-1, S. 5, 130.)

      *Note: On and after October 1, 2008, this section, as amended by section 52 of public act 07-252, is to read as follows:

      "Sec. 7-24. Recording of instruments; safekeeping of records; recording of illegible instruments; form of instruments. (a) Each town clerk who is charged with the custody of any public record shall provide suitable books, files or systems, acceptable to the Public Records Administrator, for the keeping of such records and may purchase such stationery and other office supplies as are necessary for the proper maintenance of the town clerk's office. Such books, files or systems, and such stationery and supplies shall be paid for by the town, and the selectmen of the town, on presentation of the bill for such books and supplies properly certified to by the town clerk, shall draw their order on the treasurer in payment for the same. Each person who has the custody of any public record books of any town, city, borough or probate district shall, at the expense of such town, city, borough or probate district, cause them to be properly and substantially bound. Such person shall have any such records which have been left incomplete made up and completed from the usual files and memoranda, so far as practicable. Such person shall cause fair and legible copies to be seasonably made of any records which are worn, mutilated or becoming illegible, and shall cause the originals to be repaired, rebound or renovated, or such person may cause any such records to be placed in the custody of the Public Records Administrator, who may have them repaired, renovated or rebound at the expense of the town, city, borough or probate district to which they belong. Any custodian of public records who so causes such records to be completed or copied shall attest them and shall certify, under the seal of such custodian's office, that they have been made from such files and memoranda or are copies of the original records. Such records and all copies of records made and certified to as provided in this section and on file in the office of the legal custodian of such records shall have the force of the original records. All work done under the authority of this section shall be paid for by the town, city, borough or probate district responsible for the safekeeping of such records, but in no case shall expenditures exceeding three hundred dollars be made for repairs or copying records in any one year in any town or any probate district comprising one town only, unless the same are authorized by a vote of the town, or in any probate district comprising two or more towns, unless the same are authorized by the first selectmen of all the towns included in such district.

      (b) There shall be kept in each town proper books, or in lieu thereof a recording system approved by the Public Records Administrator, in which all instruments required by law to be recorded shall be recorded at length by the town clerk within thirty days from the time they are left for record.

      (c) The town clerk shall, on receipt of any instrument for record, write thereon the day, month, year and time of day when the town clerk received it, and the record shall bear the same date and time of day; but the town clerk shall not be required to receive any instrument for record unless the fee for recording it is paid to the town clerk in advance, except instruments received from the state or any political subdivision thereof. When the town clerk has received any instrument for record, the town clerk shall not deliver it up to the parties or either of them until it has been recorded. When any town clerk has, upon receiving any instrument for record, written thereon the time of day when the town clerk received it and the day and year of such receipt, and when any town clerk has noted with the record of any instrument the time of day when the town clerk received the record, such entries of the time of day shall have the same effect as other entries that are required by law to be made.

      (d) Each town clerk shall also, within twenty-four hours of the receipt for record of any such instrument, enter in chronological order according to the time of its receipt as endorsed thereon, (1) the names of sufficient parties thereto to enable reasonable identification of the instrument, (2) the nature of the instrument, and (3) the time of its receipt.

      (e) If the town clerk receives an instrument for record which the town clerk deems to be illegible, the town clerk shall record such instrument, write thereon that it is being recorded as an illegible instrument and, if there is a return address appearing on such illegible instrument, give notice to the return addressee that a legible instrument should be submitted for rerecording forthwith. The fact that the town clerk records the instrument as an illegible instrument shall not affect its priority or validity.

      (f) Each instrument for record shall have a blank margin, that shall be not less than three-fourths of an inch in width, surrounding each page of the instrument. Each such instrument that is to be recorded in the land records shall have a return address and addressee appearing at the top of the front side of the first page of the instrument. The town clerk shall not refuse to receive an instrument for record that does not conform to any requirement set forth in this subsection, and the fact that the town clerk records an instrument that does not conform to any requirement set forth in this subsection shall not affect its priority or validity."

      (1949 Rev., S. 550; 1955, S. 223d; 1967, P.A. 389, S. 1; 655, S. 2; P.A. 93-389, S. 1, 7; May 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-1, S. 5, 130; P.A. 07-252, S. 52.)

      History: 1967 acts divided section into Subsecs. (a), (b) and (c) and added Subsec. (d) re daily index record book, replaced references to "books" and "record books" with "records", added to Subsec. (b) allowance for alternate recording system approved by examiner of public records and removed from Subsec. (d) specific reference to daily index record book; P.A. 93-389 added Subsec. (e) specifying the responsibilities of a town clerk upon receiving an illegible instrument for record and providing that the fact that the clerk records the instrument as illegible does not affect its priority or validity, effective July 1, 1993; May 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-1 made technical change in Subsec. (e), effective July 1, 1994; P.A. 07-252 made technical changes in Subsecs. (a) to (e) and added Subsec. (f) re form requirements for instruments, effective October 1, 2008.

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      Sec. 7-25a. Electronic indexing system. Not later than January 1, 2009, each town shall provide public access to an electronic indexing system that combines the grantor index and the grantee index of the town's land records.

      (P.A. 07-252, S. 56.)

      History: P.A. 07-252 effective July 1, 2007.

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      Sec. 7-29. Release or assignment of mortgage or lien. When any town clerk has recorded any instrument that the town clerk knows to be a release, partial release or assignment of a mortgage or lien recorded on the records of such town, the town clerk shall make a notation on the first page where such mortgage or lien is recorded, stating the book and page where such release, partial release or assignment is recorded, except that a manual notation of such release, partial release or assignment shall not be required if such town clerk provides public access to an electronic indexing system that combines the grantor index and the grantee index of the town's land records.

      (1949 Rev., S. 555; P.A. 00-92, S. 1; P.A. 07-252, S. 53.)

      History: P.A. 00-92 made provisions applicable to a partial release or assignment, required a notation on first page where mortgage or lien is recorded and deleted requirement for a memorandum, added requirement that if land records are not maintained in paper form, clerk shall make the notation on the digitized image of the first page, and made technical changes for the purpose of gender neutrality; P.A. 07-252 added exception to requirement for manual notation of release or assignment for town clerk who provides public access to electronic indexing system that combines grantor and grantee indices of town's land records and deleted requirement that if land records are not maintained in paper form, clerk shall make notation on the digitized image of the first page, effective July 1, 2007.

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      Sec. 7-32k. Property upon which hunting or shooting sports regularly take place. Placement of property location on list maintained by town clerk. Notice. Liability not imposed by section. (a) Any owner of real property upon which hunting or shooting sports regularly take place may enter the location of such property on a list maintained by the town clerk of any town within which such property is located. Each entry shall include the name of the owner, the address of the subject property, the corresponding map, block and lot number, and the owner's signature and date of entry.

      (b) Each town clerk shall maintain a list of properties disclosed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and shall make such list available to the public for inspection. A notice of the availability of the list shall be posted in the office of the town clerk in the area where the municipal land records are kept.

      (c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to impose liability on the owner of property upon which hunting or shooting sports take place for failing to enter the property on such list.

      (P.A. 07-214, S. 5.)

      History: P.A. 07-214 effective July 1, 2007.

      See Sec. 20-327g re disclosure to potential buyers of residential property of list of local properties where hunting and shooting sports take place.

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      Sec. 7-34a. Fees. (a) Town clerks shall receive, for recording any document, ten dollars for the first page and five dollars for each subsequent page or fractional part thereof, a page being not more than eight and one-half by fourteen inches. Town clerks shall receive, for recording the information contained in a certificate of registration for the practice of any of the healing arts, five dollars. Town clerks shall receive, for recording documents conforming to, or substantially similar to, section 47-36c, which are clearly entitled "statutory form" in the heading of such documents, as follows: For the first page of a warranty deed, a quitclaim deed, a mortgage deed, or an assignment of mortgage, ten dollars; for each additional page of such documents, five dollars; and for each marginal notation of an assignment of mortgage, subsequent to the first two assignments, one dollar. Town clerks shall receive, for recording any document with respect to which certain data must be submitted by each town clerk to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management in accordance with section 10-261b, two dollars in addition to the regular recording fee. Any person who offers any written document for recording in the office of any town clerk, which document fails to have legibly typed, printed or stamped directly beneath the signatures the names of the persons who executed such document, the names of any witnesses thereto and the name of the officer before whom the same was acknowledged, shall pay one dollar in addition to the regular recording fee. Town clerks shall receive, for recording any deed, except a mortgage deed, conveying title to real estate, which deed does not contain the current mailing address of the grantee, five dollars in addition to the regular recording fee. Town clerks shall receive, for filing any document, five dollars; for receiving and keeping a survey or map, legally filed in the town clerk's office, five dollars; and for indexing such survey or map, in accordance with section 7-32, five dollars, except with respect to indexing any such survey or map pertaining to a subdivision of land as defined in section 8-18, in which event town clerks shall receive fifteen dollars for each such indexing. Town clerks shall receive, for a copy of any document either recorded or filed in their offices, one dollar for each page or fractional part thereof, as the case may be; for certifying any copy of the same, two dollars; for making a copy of any survey or map, the actual cost thereof; and for certifying such copy of a survey or map, two dollars. Town clerks shall receive, for recording the commission and oath of a notary public, ten dollars; and for certifying under seal to the official character of a notary, two dollars.

      (b) The fees set forth in subsection (a) of this section received by town clerks for recording documents include therein payment for the return of each document which shall be made by the town clerk to the designated addressee.

      (c) Compensation for all services other than those enumerated in subsection (a) of this section which town clerks are required by the general statutes to perform and for which compensation is not fixed by statute shall be fixed and paid by the selectmen or other governing body of the town or city in which such services are performed.

      (d) In addition to the fees for recording a document under subsection (a) of this section, town clerks shall receive a fee of three dollars for each document recorded in the land records of the municipality. Not later than the fifteenth day of each month, town clerks shall remit two-thirds of the fees paid pursuant to this subsection during the previous calendar month to the State Librarian for deposit in a bank account of the State Treasurer and crediting to the historic documents preservation account established under section 11-8i. One-third of the amount paid for fees pursuant to this subsection shall be retained by town clerks and used for the preservation and management of historic documents. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any document recorded on the land records by an employee of the state or of a municipality in conjunction with said employee's official duties. As used in this section "municipality" includes each town, consolidated town and city, city, consolidated town and borough, borough, district, as defined in chapter 105 or chapter 105a, and each municipal board, commission and taxing district not previously mentioned.

      (e) In addition to the fees for recording a document under subsection (a) of this section, town clerks shall receive a fee of thirty dollars for each document recorded in the land records of the municipality. The town clerk shall retain one dollar of any fee paid pursuant to this subsection and three dollars of such fee shall become part of the general revenue of the municipality and be used to pay for local capital improvement projects, as defined in section 7-536. Not later than the fifteenth day of each month, town clerks shall remit twenty-six dollars of the fees paid pursuant to this subsection during the previous calendar month to the State Treasurer. Upon deposit in the General Fund, such amount shall be credited to the land protection, affordable housing and historic preservation account established pursuant to section 4-66aa. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any document recorded on the land records by an employee of the state or of a municipality in conjunction with such employee's official duties. As used in this subsection, "municipality" includes each town, consolidated town and city, city, consolidated town and borough, borough, and district, as defined in chapter 105 or 105a, any municipal corporation or department thereof created by a special act of the General Assembly, and each municipal board, commission and taxing district not previously mentioned.

      (1963, P.A. 528, S. 1, 2; 1971, P.A. 286; 1972, P.A. 150; P.A. 74-56; P.A. 75-154; P.A. 76-271, S. 1; P.A. 77-478, S. 4, 5; 77-614, S. 139, 587, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 85, 136; P.A. 81-34, S. 8, 9; P.A. 82-323, S. 1; P.A. 85-60; 85-257; 85-385, S. 1; P.A. 89-217, S. 1, 6; P.A. 90-175, S. 1, 2; P.A. 93-389, S. 2, 7; P.A. 00-92, S. 2; 00-146, S. 1, 8; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 00-1, S. 25, 46; P.A. 01-79, S. 2; P.A. 05-228, S. 5; 05-288, S. 37; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-3, S. 113; P.A. 06-163, S. 1; P.A. 07-133, S. 1; 07-217, S. 13; 07-252, S. 54.)

      History: 1971 act provided for $10 payment to index surveys or maps in Subsec. (a); 1972 act changed fee for indexing surveys or maps to $5, except where subdivisions concerned fee became $15; P.A. 74-56 revised fees for recording documents using page basis rather than word basis and deleted provision re additional fees for pages exceeding 10 by 16 inches; P.A. 75-154 deleted provisions covering character size and set flat fee for certifying copies rather than fee per page; P.A. 76-271 added fees for recording warranty and quitclaim deeds and assignments of mortgages; P.A. 77-478 added fee for recording documents re tax commissioner; P.A. 77-614 and P.A. 78-303 substituted commissioner of revenue services for tax commissioner, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 81-34 amended Subsec. (a) by adding a fee of $10 for recording the commission and oath of a notary public and a fee of $2 for certification of a notary, effective July 1, 1982; P.A. 82-323 increased various fees; P.A. 85-60 changed required address of grantee from last-known mailing address to current mailing address; P.A. 85-257 inserted a new Subsec. (b) providing that the fees for recording documents include payment for the return of each document to the designated addressee by the town clerk and redesignated former Subsec. (b) as Subsec. (c); P.A. 85-385 amended section to require $0.55 fee for each marginal notation of an assignment of mortgage subsequent to the first two assignments; P.A. 89-217 changed the fee for recording the first page of any document from $5 to $10 and for mortgage assignments after the first two, from $0.50 to $1; P.A. 90-175 increased recording fee for documents from $7.50 to $10 and specified that such documents be clearly titled "statutory form"; P.A. 93-389 amended Subsec. (a) to change the fee for making a copy of any document from "one dollar for the first page or two hundred words or fractional part thereof, as the case may be, and $0.50 for each additional page or two hundred words or fractional part thereof, as the case may be" to "one dollar for each page or fractional part thereof, as the case may be", effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 00-92 amended Subsec. (a) to substitute "for a copy of any document" for "for making a copy of any document"; P.A. 00-146 added new Subsec. (d) providing for an additional fee of $3 to be used for historic preservation, effective July 1, 2000; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 00-1 amended Subsec. (d) to specify its inapplicability to document recorded on land records by a state or municipal employee in conjunction with employee's official duties and to define "municipality", effective July 1, 2000; P.A. 01-79 amended Subsec. (d) to require remittance of fees "to the State Librarian for deposit in a bank account of the State Treasurer and crediting to" historic documents preservation account rather than remittance "to the State Treasurer for deposit in" said account; P.A. 05-228 added new Subsec. (e) providing for an additional fee of $30 to be used for local capital improvement projects, land protection, affordable housing and historic preservation, effective July 1, 2005; P.A. 05-288 made technical changes in Subsec. (a), effective July 13, 2005; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-3 changed effective date of P.A. 05-228 to October 1, 2005, effective June 30, 2005; P.A. 06-163 amended Subsec. (e) to include municipal corporation or department thereof in definition of "municipality", effective June 6, 2006; P.A. 07-133 amended Subsec. (a) by increasing the fee for certifying a copy of a document or a survey or map from $1.00 to $2.00, effective July 1, 2007; P.A. 07-217 made technical changes in Subsec. (e), effective July 12, 2007; P.A. 07-252 amended Subsec. (a) to make technical changes and substitute "regular recording fee" for "recording fee", effective July 1, 2007.

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