Public Laws

124th Legislature

Second Regular Session



Chapter 575

H.P. 1096 - L.D. 1554

An Act Regarding Document Fees at County Registries of Deeds

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 33 MRSA §651,  as repealed and replaced by PL 2003, c. 55, §1, is amended to read:

§ 651.  Records; index

The records and indexes in each registry office must be made and kept for public inspection on at least one of the following media: white, acid-free paper, microfilm, microfiche, or digital image stored on magnetic or optical media. The register shall make an alphabetical index to the records without charge to the county so that the same surnames are recorded together and shall show in addition to the names of the parties and the nature of the instrument, the date of the instrument, the date of its record and the name of the city, town or unincorporated place where the land conveyed is situated. As often as every 10 years the register shall revise and consolidate the index in such manner that all deeds recorded since the last revision of the index are indexed so that the same surnames appear together and all names are in alphabetical order. The revised and consolidated index must contain all data as to each and every deed or other instrument referred to in this section. If it becomes necessary to revise, renew or replace any index, the new index must be made in conformity with this section.

When the register of deeds is required by law or common practice to make a note in the margin of a record, it is determined sufficient if the note is made to the index in such a fashion that the note becomes a permanent part of the indexing of the record to which the marginal note is required to be made.

The register shall prepare, or have prepared, a microfilm record of each page of every instrument, plan or other document recorded in the registry office. The microfilm record made must be stored in a fireproof area. When original record books or plans are considered by the register to be in a condition that warrants withdrawal from regular use, the register may make a true copy of the contents of the record or may provide suitable means for reading the microfilm, microfiche or digital image stored on magnetic or optical media of the instruments withdrawn. The records and certified copies made either from the true copy or from images stored as provided in this section must be received in all courts of law with the same legal effect as those contained in the original.

Notwithstanding Title 1, section 408, subsection 3, this chapter governs fees for copying records maintained under this chapter.

Sec. 2. 33 MRSA §751, sub-§14,  as amended by PL 1991, c. 497, §8, is further amended to read:

14. Abstracts and copies.   Making abstracts and copies from the records, a reasonable fee as determined by the county commissioners for each category of abstracts and copies, such as paper copies, attested copies, copies obtained online and bulk transfers of copies. In setting a reasonable fee for each category of abstracts and copies, the commissioners shall consider factors relating to the cost of producing and making copies available, which may include, but are not limited to: the cost of depleted supplies; records storage media costs; actual mailing and alternative delivery costs or other transmitting costs; amortized infrastructure costs; any direct equipment operating and maintenance costs; costs associated with media processing time; personnel costs, including actual costs paid to private contractors for copying services; contract and contractor costs for database maintenance and for online provision and bulk transfer of copies in a manner that protects the security and integrity of registry documents; and a reasonable rate for the time a computer server is dedicated to fulfilling the request; and

Effective July 12, 2010

Office of the Revisor of Statutes
State House, Room 108
Augusta, ME 04333