Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Correcting "National Lumber"

On numerous occasions I’ve written about National Lumber v Lombardi, 64 Mass App 490 (2005) a case in which the Massachusetts Appeals Court held that a document was deemed to be on record when it was “delivered” to the registry of deeds, not when it was indexed and scanned by the registry. The members of the Massachusetts Registers of Deeds Association have been concerned that this holding could alter the longstanding practice that a document is “recorded” when it is entered into the registry’s computer system and not before.

Two identical bills, House #1527 and Senate #1826, are now pending in the state legislature. Here’s the language they both share:

SECTION 1. Section 14 of Chapter 36 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2006 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out the last sentence and inserting the following:

“No deed or instrument shall be considered to have been received by the Register or left for record until said deed or instrument has been approved for recording by the register and an instrument number or document number or book and page has been assigned to said deed or instrument”

Hopefully this amendment will be enacted during this legislative session. I know if no case that has invoked the holding of National Lumber, but I suspect that is only a matter of time.

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