The official who records our deeds should not be selected via popularity contest!
I’m all about the democratic process. But when it comes to the Register of Deeds, I believe that person should be appointed locally based on a very specific skill set. Popularity and politics should have nothing to do with choosing the appropriate person to handle the very meticulous administrative process that deals with recording public documents.
Apparently, the Executive Committee of the Charleston County Bar Association wants to take action to make sure the ROD for Charleston County is qualified. Take a look at this letter that body wrote to County Council on January 19.
If you follow this blog, you know that the Finkel Firm has brought suit against the Charleston County ROD asking for a writ of mandamus based on the horrific lag involved with recording documents in that county. This letter provides additional evidence that something is terribly wrong in the Charleston County ROD office, and action needs to be taken sooner rather than later.
As this letter points out, South Carolina is a race notice state. If our deeds, mortgages and other documents are not recorded in a timely manner and in the proper order, then the proper priorities among parties is thrown to the wind. The rights of parties relating to real property are based on when the documents establishing those rights are properly recorded.
The letter lists eighteen counties where the RODs are currently appointed. The letter also states that no constitutional provision or statutory edict requires an election in this case.
What do you think? Should the Register of Deeds be appointed by County Council?
4 thoughts on “Here’s a great idea!”
Thank you, Claire! Well stated!
Lydia P. Davidson, Esq. Lpd@krawdavlaw.com
Sent from my iPhone
In regards to the situation in Charleston County, the issue may lie with the individuals who are tasked with performing these duties, not the method by which they are selected or chosen. Ultimately, Charleston County government is to blame for not holding their employees accountable. As far as Georgetown County, the Deed and Registrar’s function was removed from the elected Clerk of Courts functions in the 1990’s and has had no issues of the type reported in this article as far as I’m aware.
The Clerk of Court should be appointed by the County Council with specific criteria that must be met by the appointee. Counties who elect random people with no knowledge of the process or documents processed encounter many problems.