In Ohio it is the County Recorder who has the important and indispensable task of keeping the vital records pertaining to ownership in real estate (land) and to all encumbrances or liens upon it. Without the work of the County Recorder in recording, safekeeping and organizing all documents in a competent and logical manner, it would be nearly impossible to purchase land and be assured of a clear title or to lend money with land as security.
The practice of recording real estate documents is based on law in England which traveled to the New World with the colonists. Public land registrars were appointed in colonial America to keep accurate records. A system of registration was necessary to prove the rights of persons who first made claims to property. In 1787 the Northwest Territory was formed, encompassing all lands north and west of the Ohio River. A Recorder's office was established in each county. Ohio became a state in 1803 and although the state constitution did not provide for a Recorder's office, the first state legislature mandated that a Recorder be appointed in each county by the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas. In 1829 the Recorder's office became an elective position and in 1936 the term was established at four years.
Today the County Recorder keeps and maintains accurate land records that are current, legible and easily accessible. An important aspect of the Recorder's work is to index each document so it may be readily located. Accurate indexing makes it possible for persons searching land records to find the documents necessary to establish a "chain of title" (history of ownership) and ensures that any debts or encumbrances against the property are evident. These invaluable records are utilized by the general public, attorneys, historians, genealogists and land title examiners.
In some counties certain property is registered under the Torrens Act. This "registered land" has boundaries certified to be correct title is guaranteed by a state insurance fund. Torrenized land records are the responsibility of the County Recorder.
In Lorain County the Torrens Property Act was abolished on January 1, 1995 without any expense to the individual tax-payer as per the Ohio Revised Code, Section 5310.38 (B).
The Ohio Recorders' Association was founded in 1927 and remains a vital organization to the present day. Membership is made up of Ohio's eighty-eight County Recorders and their deputy recorders. The objective of the Ohio Recorders' Association is to educate its members so that Recorders and their employees may better serve the citizens of their counties. To this end, the association sponsors continuing education seminars on topics such as current legislation, office procedures, personnel management and constituent issues. The association encourages the development of legislation to enhance the work and efficiency of Recorders' offices and to respond to modern technological changes. Association meetings provide the opportunity for Recorders to exchange ideas, review statewide recording procedures, and promote legislation in the best interest of the citizens of Ohio.
For additional information regarding the Ohio Recorders Association visit their Web Site at OhioRecorders.com.