Chapter 703 Abstracts Of Title

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Published: 2015

CHAPTER 703
ABSTRACTS OF TITLE

703.01 County commissioners authorized to require clerk to make abstracts.

703.02 Abstracts of real estate upon petition; service charge of clerk.

703.03 What abstract to show.

703.04 Abstracting tax sales.

703.05 Service charge of clerk for furnishing abstract.

703.06 Board may purchase abstract books.

703.07 Abstracts of records destroyed by fire; purchase of abstract books by county; proceedings.

703.08 Copies of abstracts as evidence.

703.09 Condemnation of abstracts by county when records have been destroyed.

703.10 Order to show cause; enjoining owners from removing abstracts beyond jurisdiction of court.

703.11 Order granting petition; jury to assess compensation; copies of original abstracts.

703.13 Payment of compensation and delivery of abstracts; petitioner to pay cost.

703.14 Penalty for failure to deliver abstracts.

703.15 Abstracts acquired by condemnation.

703.17 Alteration of abstracts condemned by county for use of the public.

703.18 Refusing to make abstract.

703.19 Filing untrue copies of abstracts ordered filed for use of public.

703.01 County commissioners authorized to require clerk to make abstracts.—The county commissioners in and for any county of this state, whenever the said board deems it advisable, may require the clerk of the circuit court in and for said county to abstract any or all instruments of writing affecting any real estate situated in the county as the same is recorded. For such services the clerk may collect a charge not to exceed 60 cents for each piece of property so abstracted, provided there are not more than two descriptions. In instruments to be recorded when there are more than two descriptions, the charge of the clerk shall not exceed 60 cents for each of the first two descriptions, and an additional charge of 20 cents for each of the others or a flat fee of $1 per instrument. In cases where instruments are to be recorded and real estate is described by reference only, a search and recording charge shall be as provided in s. 28.24.
History.—s. 1, ch. 5173, 1903; GS 2505; RGS 3848; CGL 5755; s. 1, ch. 61-386; s. 30, ch. 70-134.

703.02 Abstracts of real estate upon petition; service charge of clerk.—Upon a petition of a majority of the registered voters of any county of this state, the board of county commissioners of said county, if it deems it advisable, shall have abstracted, under the supervision of said clerk, any or all instruments of record relating to real estate situated in said county. For such services the clerk shall receive a service charge as provided in s. 28.24.
History.—s. 2, ch. 5173, 1903; GS 2506; RGS 3849; CGL 5756; s. 31, ch. 70-134.

703.03 What abstract to show.—The said abstract books shall be so ruled and headed as to show the description of the property, the names of the grantors and grantees, mortgagors and mortgagees, nature of the instrument, consideration, date, release of dower, number of witnesses, number of book and page of record, and such other information arranged in such order as the said board of commissioners may deem advisable.
History.—s. 3, ch. 5173, 1903; GS 2507; RGS 3850; CGL 5757.

703.04 Abstracting tax sales.—Whenever the board of county commissioners deems it advisable, it shall have abstracted any or all of the tax sales relating to any real estate situated in the county. This shall be done under the supervision of the clerk, who shall receive service charges as provided in s. 28.24. The abstract books shall be so ruled and headed as to show number of certificate, date of sale, the year for which taxes were unpaid, number and page of book where recorded, date of redemption or cancellation, date of deed, number and page of book where recorded, and such other information and in such order as may be deemed advisable by the clerk.
History.—s. 4, ch. 5173, 1903; GS 2508; RGS 3851; CGL 5758; s. 32, ch. 70-134.

703.05 Service charge of clerk for furnishing abstract.—When the records of the county have been abstracted, the service charge of the clerk for making an abstract shall be as provided in s. 28.24.
History.—s. 5, ch. 5173, 1903; GS 2509; RGS 3852; CGL 5759; s. 33, ch. 70-134.

703.06 Board may purchase abstract books.—Upon a petition of a majority of the registered voters of any county in this state, the board of county commissioners of said county, if the said board deems it advisable, may purchase a set of abstract books, for whatever price, and on whatever terms, the board may deem expedient. The clerk of the court shall have custody of said books, and they shall be open to examination free of charge.
History.—s. 6, ch. 5173, 1903; GS 2510; RGS 3853; CGL 5760.

703.07 Abstracts of records destroyed by fire; purchase of abstract books by county; proceedings.—
(1) When the records, or any material part thereof, in any county in this state, concerning the title to property have been heretofore destroyed by fire so that a connected chain of title cannot be taken therefrom, the judge of the circuit court of such county, if requested by the board of county commissioners of such county by resolution of such board, shall appoint three competent and trustworthy persons as commissioners to examine into the state of the records in such county, and in case they find any abstracts, copies, minutes, extracts, maps, or plats from such records, existing after such destruction as aforesaid, and find that such abstracts, copies, minutes, extracts, maps, or plats were fairly made before such destruction of the records by any person or persons in the ordinary course of business, and that they contain a material and substantial part of such records, they shall certify the facts found by them in respect to such copies, abstracts, minutes, extracts, maps, or plats, and also (if they are of that opinion) that such abstracts, copies, minutes, extracts, maps, or plats tend to show a connected chain of title to the lands in said county, and shall file such certificates with the county clerk of the proper county, and the board of county commissioners thereof may, with the approval of the judge of the circuit court of the county, purchase from the owners thereof such abstracts, copies, minutes, extracts, maps, or plats, or such parts thereof as may tend to constitute a connected chain of title to the lands in said county, including all judgments and decrees that form part of such chain of title, paying therefor such reasonable price as may be agreed upon between them and such owners; provided, that such price shall be approved by said board of three commissioners appointed by such circuit judge as aforesaid, and also by said circuit judge; or such board of county commissioners may, with such approval and upon such conditions, procure a copy of said abstracts, copies, minutes, extracts, maps, or plats, instead of the originals, to be paid for in like manner, upon approval of the price thereof by said circuit judge and said board of three commissioners as aforesaid.

(2) The compensation of said three commissioners to be appointed by said circuit judge as aforesaid shall be fixed and allowed by the board of county commissioners and shall be paid by the county.

History.—s. 2, ch. 4951, 1901; GS 2511; RGS 3854; CGL 5761.

703.08 Copies of abstracts as evidence.—The abstracts, copies, minutes, maps, and plats of said county purchased under the provisions of s. 703.07 shall thereupon be placed in the office of the clerk of the circuit court of said county, to be copied or arranged in such form as the board of county commissioners shall deem best for the public interest. And in case the originals have been lost or destroyed, and no certified copy from the records of the original papers shall be in the power, custody, or control of the party asking to use the same on any trial or other proceedings, copies of the same, or any part thereof, duly certified by the clerk of the circuit court of said county, shall be admitted in evidence in all courts of law and equity in this state. Such clerk shall furnish to any and all parties requesting it, upon being paid his or her proper fees, certified copies of the same, or parts thereof.
History.—s. 3, ch. 4951, 1901; GS 2512; RGS 3855; CGL 5762; s. 784, ch. 97-102.

703.09 Condemnation of abstracts by county when records have been destroyed.—When the records, or any material part thereof, in any county in this state, concerning the title to property, have been destroyed by fire or other causes so that a connected chain of title cannot be taken therefrom, and any person or corporation is possessed of any abstracts, copies, minutes, extracts, maps, or plats made from such records before such destruction, the board of county commissioners of such county may acquire such abstracts, copies, minutes, extracts, maps, or plats, in whole or in part, as the board may determine, or copies thereof, to be placed in the office of the clerk of the circuit court for the use of the public as part of the public records, in the following manner:
(1) The board shall determine, by an entry in its minutes, what abstracts, copies, minutes, extracts, maps, or plats so owned by any person or corporation it desires to acquire for the use of the public; and

(2) The board shall thereupon cause a petition in the name of such county to be presented to the judge of the circuit court of the circuit in which such county is situated, setting forth what abstracts, copies, minutes, extracts, maps, or plats, so made from such records, are required; giving the name of any person, persons, or corporation owning the same or in possession thereof; and praying that such abstracts, copies, minutes, extracts, maps, or plats, or copies thereof sworn to by the custodian thereof to be correct copies of the same, may be condemned and placed in the clerk’s office for the use of the public as part of the public records.

History.—s. 1, ch. 5414, 1905; RGS 3856; CGL 5763; s. 151, ch. 83-216.

703.10 Order to show cause; enjoining owners from removing abstracts beyond jurisdiction of court.—Upon the presentation of such petition to such judge, she or he shall make an order requiring the owner or custodian of such abstracts, copies, minutes, extracts, maps, or plats to appear before her or him at a day by her or him fixed, not less than 10 nor more than 30 days from the date of such order, and show cause why the petition should not be granted, and the said judge shall at the time make an order enjoining the owners or persons in charge of such abstracts, copies, minutes, extracts, maps, or plats from removing the same beyond the jurisdiction of the court pending the litigation.
History.—s. 2, ch. 5414, 1905; RGS 3857; CGL 5764; s. 785, ch. 97-102.

703.11 Order granting petition; jury to assess compensation; copies of original abstracts.—Upon the day fixed, or any day to which the hearing may be adjourned, if no person shall appear, or if no sufficient cause be shown why the prayer of the petition should not be granted, then the said judge shall make an order granting the prayer of the petition and issue an order to the sheriff to impanel a jury of 12 persons to try what shall be just compensation for the said abstracts, copies, minutes, extracts, maps, or plats, or copies thereof, sought to be taken for the county. If the defendant so appearing shall, in her or his return to such order, elect that the condemnation sought by the petitioner shall, if any such condemnation be allowed, be of copies of such abstracts, copies, minutes, extracts, maps, or plats and not of the originals thereof, no condemnation shall be allowed of such originals, and the petition, in case it shall have sought a condemnation of such originals, shall thereupon be amended so as to seek only a condemnation of a copy of said abstracts, copies, minutes, extracts, maps, or plats.
History.—s. 3, ch. 5414, 1905; RGS 3858; CGL 5765; s. 786, ch. 97-102.

703.13 Payment of compensation and delivery of abstracts; petitioner to pay cost.—Upon the rendition of the verdict, the said judge shall make an order that, upon the payment into court for the use of the defendant, within 10 days, unless further time be allowed by the court, of the compensation ascertained by the jury, the prayer of the petition is granted, or else the proceedings shall be null and void, and the said judge shall fix a time within which, after such payment into court, the defendant shall place in the office of the clerk of the circuit court for said county, for the use of the public, such abstracts, copies, minutes, extracts, maps, or plats, or copies thereof, sworn to by the custodian of the said abstracts, copies, minutes, extracts, maps, or plats, in accordance with the prayer of said petition, and said judge shall render judgment against the petitioner for the cost.
History.—s. 5, ch. 5414, 1905; RGS 3860; CGL 5767.

703.14 Penalty for failure to deliver abstracts.—Any person or the officers of any corporation in possession of, or having under their control such abstracts, copies, minutes, extracts, maps, or plats who shall fail or refuse to comply with such order, shall be guilty of a contempt of court and may be imprisoned until such order is obeyed.
History.—s. 6, ch. 5414, 1905; RGS 3861; CGL 5768.

703.15 Abstracts acquired by condemnation.—Upon the filing of such abstracts, copies, minutes, maps, or plats, or such copies thereof, in the office of the clerk of the circuit court for such county, they shall have the same force and effect as is now provided in ss. 703.07 and 703.08 for those obtained and filed in such clerk’s office under the provisions of said sections.
History.—s. 8, ch. 5414, 1905; RGS 3862; CGL 5769.

703.17 Alteration of abstracts condemned by county for use of the public.—Any person or persons making any erasure, alteration, interlineation, or interpolation in any abstracts, copies, minutes, extracts, maps, or plats, or in any copies thereof filed in the clerk’s office under the provisions of ss. 703.09-703.11 and 703.13-703.15 shall be guilty of the crime of forgery.
History.—s. 9, ch. 5414, 1905; RGS 5207; CGL 7325; s. 678, ch. 71-136.

703.18 Refusing to make abstract.—Any person or any employee thereof, who may be engaged in such business of making abstracts, writing, entries, or maps in any county in which the records have been destroyed, shall furnish such abstract or copy, or any portion thereof and a certificate and affidavit of the correctness thereof to any person from time to time applying therefor in the order of application, and without unnecessary delay, and for a reasonable consideration to be allowed therefor, which in no case shall exceed the sum of 60 cents for each deed, mortgage, or other instrument for which such abstract is furnished, and $5 for the certificate and affidavit, and only one certificate and affidavit shall be necessary or shall be charged to or for all the entries, instruments, or items of the abstract of any chain of title, and any and all persons so engaged, whose business is hereby declared to stand upon a like footing with that of common carriers, who shall refuse so to do, if tender or payment be made to him or her or them of the amount demanded for such abstract or copy, and not exceeding the amount aforesaid, as soon as such amount is made known and ascertained, or of a sum adequate to cover such amount before it is ascertained, shall be guilty of the crime of extortion, and shall also be liable in any action for any and all damages, loss or injury which any person applying therefor may suffer or incur by reason of such failure to furnish such abstract or copy, as aforesaid, and shall also be subject to be compelled to furnish such abstract by mandamus or other legal proceedings.
History.—s. 7, ch. 4951, 1901; GS 3484; RGS 5358; CGL 7493; s. 679, ch. 71-136; s. 787, ch. 97-102.

703.19 Filing untrue copies of abstracts ordered filed for use of public.—Any person making copies of abstracts, copies, minutes, extracts, maps, or plats, where copies are prayed for under the provisions of ss. 703.09-703.11 and 703.13-703.15 and ordered filed in the office of the clerk of the circuit court for the use of the public, who shall not make the same truly and without alteration or interpolation, shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.—s. 7, ch. 5414, 1905; RGS 5359; CGL 7494; s. 680, ch. 71-136.
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