2007 Regular Session
To: Judiciary, Division A
By: Senator(s) Ross
AN ACT TO ADOPT DOCUMENT FORMATTING STANDARDS FOR CERTAIN INSTRUMENTS FILED WITH THE CLERK OF THE CHANCERY COURT; TO PROVIDE FOR THE PAYMENT OF A FEE FOR NONCONFORMING DOCUMENTS; TO AMEND SECTION 89-5-25, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (6), the clerk of the chancery court shall refuse any document or instrument presented for recording that does not meet the following requirements:
(a) Each document or instrument shall consist of one or more individual pages printed only on one (1) side. The document or instrument shall not consist of pages that are permanently bound or in a continuous form and shall not have any attachment stapled or otherwise affixed to any page except as necessary to comply with statutory requirements. However, the individual pages of a document or instrument may be stapled together for presentation for recording. A label that is firmly attached with a bar code or return address may be accepted for recording.
(b) All preprinted text shall be at least eight (8) point in size and no more than twenty (20) characters and spaces per inch. All other typed or computer generated text, including, but not limited to, all names of parties to an agreement, shall be at least ten (10) point in size and no more than sixteen (16) characters and spaces per inch. If a document or instrument, other than a plat or survey or a drawing related to a plat or survey, presented for recording contains type smaller than eight (8) point type for the preprinted text and ten (10) point type for all other text, the document or instrument shall be accompanied by an exact typewritten or printed copy that meets the requirements of this section.
(c) Each document shall be of sufficient legibility to produce a clear reproduction. If a document or instrument, other than a plat or survey or a drawing related to a plat or survey, is not sufficiently legible to produce a clear reproduction, the document or instrument shall be accompanied by an exact typewritten or printed copy that meets the type size requirements of paragraph (b) and shall be recorded contemporaneously as additional pages of the document or instrument.
(d) Each document or instrument, other than a plat or survey or a drawing related to a plat or survey, shall be on white paper of not less than twenty-pound weight without watermarks or other visible inclusions. All text within the document or instrument shall be of sufficient color and clarity to ensure that the text is readable when reproduced from the record.
(e) All signatures on a document or instrument shall be in black or dark blue ink and of sufficient color and clarity to ensure that the signatures are readable when the document or instrument is reproduced from the record. The corresponding name shall be typed, printed or stamped beneath the original signature. The typing or printing of a name or the application of an embossed or inked stamp shall not cover or otherwise materially interfere with any part of the document or instrument except where provided by law. Failure to print or type signatures as required in this paragraph does not invalidate the document or instrument.
(f) The first page of each document or instrument, other than a plat or survey or a drawing related to a plat or survey, shall have a top margin of at least three (3) inches of vertical space from left to right which shall be reserved for the recorder's use. All other margins on the document or instrument shall be a minimum of three-fourths (3/4) of one (1) inch. Nonessential information including, but not limited to, form numbers or customer notations may be placed in a margin other than the top margin. A document may be recorded if a minor portion of a seal or incidental writing extends into a margin. The recorder shall not incur any liability for failure to show a seal or information that extends beyond the margin of the permanent archival record.
(2) Each document or instrument, other than a plat or survey or a drawing related to a plat or survey, that is presented for recording and that contains any of the following information shall have that information on the first page below the three-inch margin:
(a) The name, address and telephone number of the individual who prepared the document.
(b) A return address.
(c) The title of the document or instrument.
(d) All grantors' names.
(e) All grantees' names.
(f) Any address and telephone number required by Section 27-3-51, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(g) The legal description of the property or indexing instruction per Section 89-5-33(3) and parcel identification number, if required. If there is insufficient space on the first page for the entire legal description, an abbreviated description or the indexing instruction shall be substituted, with a reference to the document page number where the entire legal description appears. If the legal description is on a separate page, the grantor(s) shall be required to sign that page for verification.
(h) A document or instrument number for statutory requirements, if applicable.
(3) All pages shall be consecutively numbered, beginning with the first page; the page number shall be placed within the bottom margin of each page, and the page number shall be in a format showing each page number relative to the total number of pages.
(4) The recorder may record the following documents or instruments which are exempt from the format requirements of this section:
(a) A document or instrument that was executed before January 1, 2008.
(b) A military separation document or instrument.
(c) A document or instrument executed outside the United States.
(d) A certified copy of a document or instrument issued by a governmental agency, including a vital record.
(e) A document or instrument where one (1) of the original parties is deceased or otherwise incapacitated.
(f) A document or instrument formatted to meet court requirements.
(g) A federal tax lien.
(h) A filing under the Uniform Commercial Code.
(5) A document or instrument rejected for recording by a recorder shall be returned to the preparer or presenter accompanied by an explanation of the reason for rejection.
(6) The recorder may elect to record a document or instrument that does not substantially conform to the format standards specified in subsections (1) through (3) of this section upon payment of an additional recording fee of Ten Dollars ($10.00) per document or instrument. The fee shall be charged only for documents or instruments dated on or after January 1, 2008; this fee may not be charged for those documents or instruments specifically exempted in subsection (4).
SECTION 2. Section 89-5-25, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
89-5-25. (1) It shall be the duty of the clerk of the chancery court to whom any written instrument is delivered to be recorded, and which is properly recordable in his county, to record the same without delay, together with the acknowledgments of proofs and the certificates thereof, and also the plats of surveys, schedules, and other papers thereto annexed, by entering them word for word in a fair handwriting, or typewriting, or by filling up printed forms, or by recording by photostat machine or other equally permanent photographic or electronic process, and entering the hour and minute, the day of the month, and the year when the instrument was delivered to him for record, and when recorded. Records filed or stored electronically may be in addition to, or in lieu of, the physical record on paper. He shall also carefully preserve all instruments of writing which are properly acknowledged and delivered to him to be recorded, and after recording deliver them to the party entitled thereto on demand. He shall also put a complete alphabetical index, both direct and reverse, to each book, except as provided in subsection (2), herein; and every person shall have access, at proper times, to such books, and be entitled to transcripts from the same on paying the lawful fees. He shall record the deeds and other instruments in the order of time in which they are filed for record as far as practicable.
(2) In counties having a population in excess of one hundred nineteen thousand (119,000) with an assessed valuation of all taxable property therein in excess of Sixty-three Million Dollars ($63,000,000.00), and having two (2) cities wholly located therein, each with a population in excess of thirty thousand (30,000) persons according to the preceding Federal Census, wherein the clerk of the chancery court has a well kept general index, both direct and reverse, for each kind or class of record books as required by Section 89-5-33, the board of supervisors may, by order spread upon its minutes, authorize the clerk of the chancery court to omit putting such index in each separate book of the records to which such general index is kept.
(3) This section shall not be construed to authorize and empower the boards of supervisors to purchase any photostat machines or other equally permanent photographic or electronic processes.
(4) From and after January 1, 2008, instruments to be recorded shall comply with the provisions of Section 1 of Senate Bill No. 2509, 2007 Regular Session.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after January 1, 2008.